Eleanor Parker, the stunningly beautiful actress that played the role of the baroness in “The Sound of Music”, has died at the age of 91.
Parker passed away on Monday morning after suffering complications from pneumonia.
Richard Gale, a family friend, said of Parker, “She passed away peacefully, surrounded by her children at a medical facility near her home in Palm Springs”.
Parker was nominated for Academy Awards in 1950, 1951 and 1955. Her last memorable role was in 1965’s “The Sound of Music,” in which she played the baroness who lost Christopher Plummer to Julie Andrews.
Christopher Plummer, who played Captain Von Trapp, stated, “Eleanor Parker was and is one of the most beautiful ladies I have ever known. Both as a person and as a beauty. I hardly believe the sad news for I was sure she was enchanted and would live forever.”
Parker’s death comes at a time when “The Sound of Music” is back in the spotlight with NBC’s live version of the classic last week.
Eleanor Parker said in an 1988 interview, “I’m primarily a character actress. I’ve portrayed so many diverse individuals on the screen that my own personality never emerged.”
Parker was discovered at the Pasadena Playhouse, later signing a contract with Warner Brothers. She played minor roles until she was cast as Mildred Rogers in the remake of “Of Human Bondage” in 1946, which sadly was a flop.
Her breakthrough performance came with the 1950 movie “Caged”, where she plays an inmate. This role landed her an Oscar nomination for best actress. Her second came the following year as Kirk Douglas’s frustrated wife in “Detective Story.”
She received her third Oscar nomination for her portrayal of opera star Marjorie Lawrence in “Interrupted Melody”.
Eleanor Parker was married four times. Her first marriage was to Navy dentist Fred L. Losse. Her second union was to producer Bert Friedlob, which resulted in three children, Susan, Sharon and Richard. Her third was to painter Paul Clemens, with whom she had a son, actor Paul Clemens. Her 1966 marriage to Shubert Theater manager Raymond Hirsch ended with his death in 2001.
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