Eleanor Parker, "Sound Of Music" Actress, Dies At Age 91


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There has been yet another day in the past week in Hollywood. Eleanor Parker is the latest Hollywood icon to pass away, dying at the age of 91.

She was known to most people from her role in The Sound Of Music, a classic musical which shot her co-star Julie Andrews to fame.

Parker died on December 9th due to complications with pneumonia, and her family friend Richard Gale reports that "She passed away peacefully, surrounded by her children at a medical facility near her home in Palm Springs."

She grew up in Cedarsville, Ohio, and had always wanted to be an actress, and when the family moved to Cleveland, she began taking acting lessons.

Eleanor Parker was an actress who acted in films primarily during the 1950s, and received three Oscar nominations for roles during that time period.

She received her first Oscar nomination for Caged, a 1950 film in which she played an inmate in a brutal prison. She was also nominated for Detective Story, in a role where she played Kirk Douglas' wife, and for Interrupted Melody, portraying opera singer, one of the most challenging roles of her career.

It has been a rough time for Hollywood recently, as big name stars such as Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine both died.

Her career started to wind down during the 1960s, and the last memorable role that she was seen in was The Sound Of Music, which was released in 1965. In The Sound Of Music, Parker played the baroness who lost her husband, Christopher Plummer, to the joyful Maria, played by Julie Andrews.

In addition to William Holden, an actor she had worked with, Dustin Hoffman, and several others, Eleanor Parker discovered at the Pasadena Playhouse after moving to California. She was cast in her first film at the age of 19, following her move to Pasadena, a role in They Died With Their Boots On, a film starring Errol Flynn.

Throughout her career, Eleanor Parker was known as a character actress, and was nominated for roles that all showed her playing strong-willed women. While The Sound Of Music was her most famous, and well-known role, she had a lengthy career, and continued acting in TV movies until 1991.

Image via Wikimedia Commons