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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/10/2013 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Parker was versatile character actress who slipped effortlessly from comedy to drama

While she appeared in countless roles, her best remembered turn was probably as the baroness in "The Sound of Music." Character actress Eleanor Parker has died at the age of 91.

A gifted performer, Eleanor Parker was able to play many kinds of different roles, from heavy drama to light comedy. She was dubbed the 'woman of a thousand faces.'

A gifted performer, Eleanor Parker was able to play many kinds of different roles, from heavy drama to light comedy. She was dubbed the "woman of a thousand faces."

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/10/2013 (4 months ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Eleanor Parker, The Sound of Music, actress, death


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) -  Parker was a onetime leading lady of the 1940s and 1950s. A three-time Oscar nominee who starred alongside such stars as Frank Sinatra and Kirk Douglas. She died from complications due to pneumonia.

A gifted performer, Parker was able to play many kinds of different roles, from heavy drama to light comedy. She was dubbed the "woman of a thousand faces." She died of complications from pneumonia near her home in Palm Springs, California.

While never winning the Academy Award, the Ohio native was nominated as best actress three times in a five-year period. She portrayed a horrified prison inmate in "Caged" (1950), the neglected wife of a cop portrayed by Douglas in director William Wyler's "Detective Story" (1951) and as the polio-stricken opera singer Marjorie Lawrence in "Interrupted Melody" (1955) with Glenn Ford.

Director Otto Preminger's "The Man With the Golden Arm," a groundbreaking drama about drug addiction featured Parker in one of her best roles as the crippled wife of frank Sinatra. Parker also co-starred with Sinatra in director Frank Capra's "A Hole in the Head" in 1959.

"He can be a bad boy but he does it charmingly," Parker said of Sinatra in a later interview.

She played the child-hating Baroness Elsa Schraeder in her most enduring movie, the 1965 musical "The Sound of Music" starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, which became the highest grossing film to date.

Parker's co-stars included some of the top leading men in Hollywood: Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Charlton Heston, Robert Mitchum and Ronald Reagan.

Parker had fond memories of working with Errol Flynn. "I guess I was a little old-fashioned for Errol. He used to call me 'Grandma,'" Parker was quoted as saying in Doug McClelland's 2003 biography, "Eleanor Parker: Woman of a Thousand Faces."

"Once, while we were waiting for a scene to be set up, he was holding a glass of what looked like milk. I was thirsty from rehearsing and asked for a sip. I nearly choked! The drink was mostly gin. But I liked Errol. He treated you the way you wanted to be treated," she said.

Parker's last role was in the Farrah Fawcett stinker "Sunburn" (1979).

Parker was married four times and had four children.

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