Your RDA of Irony

Happy Birthday, You Dreadful Actress!

Today is the birthday of Luise Rainer. She is 100; that is about 50 times the length of her career.  Miss Rainer is certainly the worst actress to win two Academy Awards. Her specialty–and sole claim to talent–was the ability to smile while crying.

The public quickly tired of her–and she has been relegated to trivia for more than sixty years. I do pity her if only because she was married to Clifford Odets. I wonder if he was as bombastic at breakfast as he was in his writing.

“Hear the glory of the cornflakes, children of the earth, the gifts of honest toil…”

She probably wondered if she should have stayed in Germany and taken her chances with Hitler.

Miss Rainer won one of her Academy Awards in the most ludicrously cast film in history: “The Good Earth.” If you recall–and what a waste of your synapses if you do–the Japanese complained about the Chinese actresses in “Memoirs of a Geisha.” When “The Good Earth” premiered, the Chinese were somewhat preoccupied being annihilated by the Japanese. But imagine how the Chinese might have reacted to being portrayed by Paul Muni, Luise Rainer and Walter Connolly….

Wang Muni: Do you know that it is impossible to hold a bagel with chopsticks? No wonder this country has famines!

Olan Rainer: Dahling. Vould you mind putting the nightsoil on the crops? I just did mein nails.

Uncle Connolly: Top of the morning to ya! Now I want you to be remembering to vote for Tammany Tong.

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