Hollywood golden era actress Eleanor Parker dies in Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS - Eleanor Parker, a three-time Oscar nominee best known for her role as the baroness in  "The Sound of Music,'' died yesterday in Palm Springs.

Parker died of pneumonia-related complications for which she was being treated by one of the local  hospitals. She was 91.

The native Ohioan, who studied at the Pasadena Playhouse before landing her first movie studio contract, appeared in more than 80 film and television projects spanning 50 years, according to Internet Movie Database.

Parker began as a B-list performer at Warner Bros. Studios in 1941. She made her feature film debut a year later in "Busses Roar'' and went on to bigger budget fare toward the end of World War II, appearing alongside John Garfield in 1945's "Pride of the Marines.''

She received her first Academy Award nomination for her role in "Caged,'' a 1950 film about life in a women's prison. She was nominated the following year for her part as a cop's wife in "Detective Story,'' and five years later for "Interrupted Melody,'' in which she appeared opposite Glenn Ford and Roger Moore as an opera singer struck down by polio.

One of her most critically acclaimed but little known performances was in "Lizzie,'' a 1957 drama about a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder.

Parker's most recognized part -- as the Baroness in the 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "The Sound of Music'' -- did not earn Parker any awards but etched her a place in motion picture history.

Parker finished the 1960s with a flurry of more serious roles in such films as  "The Oscar'' and Norman Mailer's "An American Dream.''

Her big screen appearances waned through the 1970s and '80s, when she transitioned to television, including a regular part on the series Bracken's World'' and guest spots on "Hawaii Five-O,'' "The Love Boat,'' "Fantasy Island'' and  "Murder, She Wrote.''

Her last production credit was in 1991.

Parker was born on June 26, 1922, in Cedarville, Ohio. She was married four times and had four children -- two boys and two girls.

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries