Parker was nominated for an Oscar on three occasions, but she is best known for her portrayal as the Baroness in the 1965 musical
Eleanor Parker, an esteemed actress with a rich history of well-received performances from a career stretching over 50 decades, has passed away due to complications from pneumonia at a medical facility close to Palm Springs, California. The renowned actress was 91-years-old upon her death, with Variety first releasing the news of her passing.
Beginning in 1941 with an unused bit part in They Died with Their Boots On and lasting until her appearance in the TV movie Dead on the Money in 1991, Parker was one of the best know actresses of her time in the 1950's and 60's. In her 50's heyday, Parker was nominated for an Academy Award three times, all for Best Actress, but it is her role in the timeless movie version of Rogers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music that she is known best for today.
Her role as The Baroness, who was left behind by Christopher Plummer's Captain Von Trapp for Julie Andrews' Maria in the film, has made sure that she has been remembered to this day, however Parker was an well-regarded and wide ranging actress in her day.
Actress Eleanor Parker has died at age 91. I remember her vividly from my early movie loving days; and saw her,... http://t.co/6aEx5zFNEz— Anne Rice (@AnneRiceAuthor) December 10, 2013
First nominated for an Oscar in 1951 for her role as a cynical young widow coming to terms with life outside of prison in Caged, her second came a year later for her role alongside Kirk Douglas in William Wyler’s Detective Story. Her final nomination arrived in 1956 for her role as polio-stricken, Australian-born opera star Marjorie Lawrence in Interrupted Melody.
Born in Cedarville, Ohio, Parker began her infatuation with acting aged 15 when she attended the Rice Summer Theater at Martha’s Vineyard. Moving to California to study at Pasadena Playhouse after leaving high school, Parker had little difficulty making the move into the movies and even declined screen test offers from 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. whilst she was still studying. She eventually signed by WB and began working on her first film aged 19.
Parker is survived by her fourth husband, Raymond Hirsch, who she has been married to since 1966, and her four children; sons Paul and Richard and daughters Susan and Sharon.