Luise Rainer

The German actress (shown in 1998) won the best actress Oscar for “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936) and “The Good Earth” (1937). But she didn’t have any place in her heart for Oscar, nor did she kowtow to her studio, MGM, or its power-wielding boss, Louis B. Mayer. In fact, she didn’t even show up for the awards ceremony in 1937. When press leaked out that she had won for “Ziegfeld,” MGM publicists rushed to her home to get her to come — the awards weren’t being handed out until 11 p.m. But Rainer was nonplussed. According to “Inside Oscar,” Rainer told the academy that she had just returned by car from San Francisco and her face was red from the sun and the wind. The studio’s publicists insisted she put on some makeup and clothes and get to the Biltmore Hotel. She and her husband, playwright Clifford Odets, made it by 10:30 p.m.
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
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