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Dec 11 2013

Goodbye, Eleanor Parker

Anne Mariehere with some sad news. Hollywood beauty Eleanor Parker passed away early this week at age 91. Though Parker is best known for her iconic turn as the Countess inThe Sound Of Music,她居然有一个长期和多样的职业生涯,其中包括战争片,B级电影,游荡剑客,黑色电影和三个最佳女主角提名。

Eleanor Parker started as a bit player at Warner Brothers in the 1940s. At first, she bumped around in B movies and film noir, such as两个世界之间s. But from the start she was willing to take risks. In 1946, she starred in a remake of the infamous Bette Davis vehicleOf Human Bondageopposite Paul Henreid. Both the film and her performance continue to garner mixed reviews, but no one could accuse her of taking the easy road.

The 1950s saw Eleanor Parker's star rise rapidly. In 1952, she starred in the large Technicolor swashbucklerScaramoucheopposite Stewart Granger (my personal favorite). Her three Oscar nominations were from this period: firstCagedin 1951, thenDetective Storyin 1952, and finallyInterrupted Melodyin 1956. In addition to these, she also played Frank Sinatra's crippled wife inThe Man With The Golden Arm. From the 1960s onward, Parker took more supporting roles in films such asThe Sound Of MusicandAn American Dream. She retired in 1991.

Of all of Eleanor Parker's diverse performances, the stand out isCaged. Now a cult classic,Cagedtells the story of a young lady (Parker) whose experiences in a woman's prison quickly turn her from naive innocent to cynical con. It could easily be lumped in with other Prison Women movies, but the fact is that for its timeCagedwas a shocking movie. Topics usually considered verboten by the Hays Code censorship--pregnancy, women's crime, homosexuality, and corrupt law enforcement--are all taboos attacked by this film. At the center of this whirlwind stands Eleanor Parker, giving one hell of a heartbreaking performance.

Parker in Caged

Eleanor Parker was an under-appreciated talent. However, in those films she where she left her mark she remains unforgettable. After all, how would Maria react without the Countess's sad and sly revelation? Where would Scaramouche get the will to fight without his fiery redhead? Finally, what actress could have raised a prison noir from genre pulp to Oscar-worthy film? Eleanor Parker was more than a pretty face, she was a pretty great actress. She will be missed.

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Reader Comments (13)

RIP Beautiful and talented Eleonore...and yes, she was outstanding in CAGED!

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered CommenterMirko

一个很棒的女演员,她受够了drew from public view with dignity intact. I've seen almost all of her films excepting the elusive Three Secrets with Patricia Neal and Ruth Roman. She was star of the month a few months ago on TCM which afford a chance to see many of her films, more obscure as well as the famous. So many great films aside from Sound of Music I've always loved Between Two Worlds, Voice of the Turtle, Home from the Hill, and The Seventh Sin. Sad another legend gone.

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Ah. I loved her in Scaramouche and was pissed when Stewart Granger chose Janet Leigh over her (oops, spoiler alert!) She was always enjoyable and under-employed, kind of a fiesty Barbara Stanwyck-type. I remember her in a weird soapy flick with Robert Mitchum: Texas (or somewhere in the south), illegitimate kids, and George Hamilton.

"And somewhere out there is a young lady, whom, I'm afraid, will never be a nun."

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered CommenterPam

Great actress, who shall be missed and never forgotten. R.I.P.

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered CommenterWill

Rest in peace, Eleanor Parker. I have only seen her performance in 'Caged,' which was brilliant. Definitely worthy of competing alongside Bette Davis's Margo Channing and Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond in 1950.

She will be missed.

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Highlights from her "Caged" performance. (Spoilers!)

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

What a great actress she was and what a beauty! Loved her in Caged and Detective Story. I think she should have won the Oscar for the latter. I'd choose her for the former but the 1950 Best Actress race was stacked as we all know. Sad that she'll be remembered for a thankless supporting turn when she had plenty of great starring roles in the '50s, but at least she's remembered somehow.

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered CommenterSean Troutman

An underrated actress that always seemed to be better than the given material. Wylers Detective Story is her finest moment.
Thank You for posting this article. It seems other web sites have shined her on.

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered CommenterrobertL

I love her shout out from Beautiful Thing.....! (Jamie's mum asks him who plays The Baroness from the other room.)

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered Commentermr. salty


December 11, 2013 |Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

She was quite special but sadly forgotten by most. She left a classy legacy.

December 11, 2013 |Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy


December 11, 2013 |Unregistered Commenterrob


December 11, 2013 |Unregistered CommenterPatryk

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