In this July 29, 1999 file photo, actress Luise Rainer poses in her central London apartment. (AP Photo/Adam Butler, File)
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Luise Rainer, a star of cinema's golden era who won back-to-back Oscars but then walked away from a glittering Hollywood career, has died.Rainer, whose roles ranged from the 1930s German stage to television's "The Love Boat," died Tuesday at her home in London from pneumonia, said her only daughter, Francesca Knittel-Bowyer.Those trophies marked the peak of Rainer's career, which declined so rapidly that many considered her an early victim of "the curse of the Oscars".Years later, Rainer recalled how she had just had a fight with her husband, American playwright Clifford Odets, when she got word that she had won her second Oscar.Rainer made several pictures in 1938, including "Toy Wife" and "The Great Waltz," but she chafed under the studio system and clashed with MGM chief Louis B. Mayer, and soon moved to New York with Odets.Four actors have matched Rainer's Oscar double in consecutive years: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Jason Robards and Tom Hanks.
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