Denny's Zinger: What to Say to Your Boss Who Is a Jerk
What triggered this column was the passing of Luise Rainer (pronounced rye-ner), age 104.
Rainer was first performer to win best actor Academy Awards in two successive years. The others: Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Tom Hanks.
Rainer, born in Dusseldorf, won Oscars for "The Great Ziegfeld" (1936) and "The Good Earth" (1937).
It is generally conceded her 1936 award was for one minute and 44 seconds onscreen—the famed telephone scene.
She made five more films, whereupon she disappeared. From the New York Times obituary:
"I was one of the horses of the Louis B. Mayer stable, and I thought the films I was given after my Academy Awards were not worthy," she said. "I couldn't stand it anymore. Like a fire, it went to Louis B. Mayer, and I was called to him. He said, 'We made you, and we are going to kill you.'
"And I said: 'Mr. Mayer, you did not make me. God made me. I am now in my 20's. You are an old man,' which of course was an insult. 'By the time I am 40 you will be dead.'"
She was not quite right. She was 47 when he died. But she outlived him by more than a half-century. —Robert D. McFadden
She married a wealthy man and went on to have a long, happy life.
"I've always felt guilty about not having continued to work. I should have made 50 more pictures," she told The Los Angeles Times in 1987.
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