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This 104-Year-Old Actor Set Multiple Oscars Records That Have Yet To Be Beaten

Summary

  • Luise Rainer became the youngest two-time Oscar winner ever, setting a record that hasn’t been broken to this day.
  • Rainer was also the first actor to win two Oscars, achieving this early in her career.
  • Rainer held the record for being the oldest living Oscar winner, a record that still stands over nine years after her death.


An Oscars winner who lived to be 104 years old set multiple impressive award records, none of which have been matched or beaten since. The 2024 Oscars are fast approaching, with nominations to be announced on January 23 and the ceremony to be held on March 10. There are always more Oscars firsts on the horizon, as well as records to be set, matched, and beaten, some of which could very well happen at the 2024 Oscars after such an incredible year for film.

One Oscar winner from the 1930s set multiple records in her day with her first (and only) two Oscar wins. This actress from the Golden Age of Hollywood set these records very early in her short career and very late in her long life. Like other long-term Classical Hollywood Oscars records that won’t be broken at the 2024 Oscars, one of her records will remain secured for a while, but another may not be safe much longer.


Luise Rainer Is The Youngest Two-Time Oscar Winner Ever

She was also the first actor to win two Oscars

Luise Rainer as O-Lan in The Good Earth.

German-born actress Luise Rainer was a relatively unknown performer when she won her first Oscar in 1937. Rainer won for her emotionally impactful performance in the MGM musical biopic The Great Ziegfeld about famous theatrical producer Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld Jr. and his extravagant Broadway show, Ziegfeld Follies. Rainer’s role as Ziegfeld’s wife, Anna Held, was closer to supporting than leading in the film, but she won for Best Actress regardless. The following year, Rainer won the Oscar for Best Actress again, this time for her role as the female lead in The Good Earth.

At the time of her second win in 1938, Rainer was 28 years old. With these two consecutive wins, Rainer became the first actor, male or female, to have two acting Oscars to her name. Rainer also set the record for the youngest two-time Oscar winner across all categories. Nobody has managed to beat Rainer’s record to this day, though a few have come close. Fellow actress Jodie Foster, who won her two Oscars for Best Actress by the age of 29 in 1992, thanks to The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs, came closest to tying with Rainer.

Unfortunately, Rainer spoke about how her Oscar wins were almost like a curse. Rainer said that winning these Oscars so early in her career was “the worst possible thing (via MSN Movies) because of the public’s doubts about whether she deserved them, which made her feel like she had to “work all the harder now to prove the Academy was right” (via The Evening Independent). The pressure had an adverse effect, as her Hollywood career quickly began to plummet after her big wins.

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Luise Rainer Was The Oldest Living Oscar Winner At Her Time Of Death

Rainer was almost 105 years old when she died

Luise Rainer as Anna Held surrounded by showgirls in The Great Ziegfeld.

On December 30, 2014, Rainer passed away just 13 days shy of her 105th birthday, which would’ve taken place on January 10, 2015. At the time of her death, Rainer had lived the longest life of any Oscar winner in history. Much like the record she set as the youngest two-time Oscar winner of all time, Rainer was the oldest living Oscar winner when she died, and she maintains this record more than nine years post-mortem. To this day, no other Oscar winner, living or dead, has lived as long as she did.

One person did come close to beating Rainer’s record, though. Like Rainer, five-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner Olivia de Havilland lived to be 104 years old. The Gone with the Wind star reached this milestone on July 1, 2020, but she passed away just a few weeks later, on July 26, 2020. Currently, the oldest surviving Oscar winner is fellow Old Hollywood actress Eva Marie Saint, who will celebrate her 100th birthday on July 4, 2024.

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One Of Luise Rainer’s Oscar Records Could Be Beaten At The 2024 Oscars

Billie Eilish could dethrone Rainer at the 2024 Oscars

Though her record for oldest living Oscar winner is safe for at least another five years, Rainer’s other major Oscars record for the youngest two-time winner may finally be beaten at the 2024 Oscars. 22-year-old singer Billie Eilish and her 26-year-old brother and producer, Finneas O’Connell, are expected to be nominated for Best Original Song at the 2024 Oscars. The collaborative sibling duo are current frontrunners for the award for their song “What Was I Made For?” from the Barbie soundtrack.

Finneas O’Connell and Billie Eilish winning Best Original Song for Barbie at the 2024 Oscars would mark their second Oscar win together after taking home the award for “No Time To Die” in 2021. With this win, Eilish would dethrone Rainer as the youngest two-time Oscar winner in history, with O’Connell taking over Foster’s current spot as the second-youngest. However, if the musical pair do take home the Oscar, which they likely will, Rainer will still be the youngest (and will always be the first) actor to win two acting Oscars.

Sources: MSN Movies, The Evening Independent

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