Depending on where you read the information Luise was born in either Vienna, Austria or Düsseldorf, Germany* to a prosperous Jewish family. She was a popular stage actress by her early 20s. She had the good sense (and good fortune) to get a Hollywood offer and hightail it out of Germany by 1935 when Hitler was consolidating power. Within her first three years in Hollywood she had already won two Oscars. In the grand scheme of cinema, she may appear now to be something like a flash in the pan, but the flash was obviously of supernova proportions. When I finally saw The Great Ziegfeld (1936) for the Best Pictures From The Outside In series I fell for her flighty emotional French diva. Here's a taste.
Luise currently lives in London and she's still giving interviews. How about that! I love this bit from her on acting
I don’t believe in acting. I think that people in life act, but when you are on the stage, or in my case also on screen, you have to be true. You must feel it, and give birth to it, like to a child, Do you understand? I was asked long ago, by Columbia University in New York, would I teach I said: 'Teach? I would wring everyone’s neck!’ I wouldn’t dream of it, because life has to teach you.Have you seen both her Oscared turns, the other being The Good Earth (1937)? Did you want to sing Luise a rousing round of Happy Birthday in English and/or German today?
*According to some reports this confusion is purposeful, Hollywood sold her as 'Austrian' nicknaming her "The Viennese Teardrop" because Germany wasn't exactly popular in the States in the 1930s.