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Updated: Sun, 23 Feb 2014 20:45:00 GMT
The curse of the Oscar's

Luise Rainer

Luise Rainer (© FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
  • Adrien Brody (© MIKE BLAKE/Newscom/RTR)
  • Marisa Tomei (© AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
  • Mira Sorvino (© AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
  • Luise Rainer (© FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
  • Tatum O'Neal (© AP Photo)
  • Cuba Gooding Jr (© AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
  • Halle Berry (© AP Photo)
  • Helen Hunt (© AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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Best Actress, The Great Ziegfeld (1936); Best Actress, The Good Earth (1937)

The infamous Oscar curse apparently originated with class act Luise Rainer. A wonderful actress with beautiful range, Rainer was the first actress to win back-to-back Oscars for Best Actress, first for her roles as actress Anna Held in The Great Ziegfeld (1936), then as a Chinese peasant in The Good Earth (1937). But this honour was something Rainer described as the "worst possible thing" to happen to her career. After her accomplishment, and a few badly received films, her Hollywood career was over. She moved to New York to live with her husband, famed playwright and intellectual Clifford Odets, and ultimately endured a heartbreaking divorce with the writer. She did make a film in 1943 (Hostages) but left Hollywood again in 1944.