Image of Eleanor Parker

Eleanor Parker

Eleanor Jean Parker was born on June 26, 1922, in Cedarville, Ohio, the last of three children born to a mathematics teacher and his wife. Eleanor caught the acting bug early and began performing in school plays. She was was so serious about becoming a thespian, she attended the Rice Summer Theatre on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts beginning when she was 15 years old. She was offered her first screen-test by a 20th Century-Fox talent scout while attending Rice, but turned the opportunity down to gain professional stage experience in Cleveland after graduating from high school. She moved on to California to continue her acting studies at the Pasadena Playhouse. It was there, while sitting in the audience of a play being put on at the Playhouse, she was again offered a screen-test -- this time from a Warner Brothers' scout -- and again declined, wanting to finish her first year at the Playhouse. When the year was up, Eleanor contacted Warner Brothers to take them up their offer of a screen-test, and was signed as a contract player two days after it was shot. Her beauty meant she was not forgotten, and she was cast in one of Warner Brothers' biggest productions for the 1943 season, the pro-Soviet Mission to Moscow (1943) directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Walter Huston as the U.S. ambassador to the U.S.S.R. Eleanor played his daughter in the film, which became notorious in the McCarthy era for its glorification of "Uncle Joe" Stalin. The film proved significant to Eleanor as she met a future husband on the set, Navy Lieutenant. Fred L. Losse, Navy dentist. The marriage was a brief war-time affair, lasting from March 21, 1943, to December 5, 1944. Parker received the first of her three Best Actress Oscar nominations playing a prisoner in Caged (1950), for which she won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival. She was also nominated the next year playing the cop's wife who shared a secret with the neighborhood abortionist in William Wyler's Detective Story (1951). Her third and last Oscar nod came for Interrupted Melody (1955), playing an opera singer struck down by polio. She could easily have been nominated that same year for her portrayal of Frank Sinatra's faux crippled wife in Otto Preminger's brooding masterpiece The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) adapted from the novel by Nelson Algren. Parker proved herself to be a supremely talented and very versatile lead actress. The versatility was likely one of the reasons why she never quite became a major star. Audiences attending a movie which starred Parker never knew quite what to expect of her; if they even remembered she was the same actress, they had seen before in a different type of role in another picture. Her turns in Detective Story (1951) and The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) could not have been more different. Parker's stardom and subsequent fame (and remembrance) suffered from her focusing on being a serious actress and creating a character who fit the motion picture she was in, rather than playing a character again and again and again as most movie stars do. She is probably best remembered for the relatively tame part as the Baroness in The Sound of Music (1965).


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Born:
Jun 26, 1922 In Cedarville, Ohio, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
67
First Appeared:
In the movie The Big Shot 1942-06-13
Latest Project:
Movie Dead on the Money 1991-06-17
Known For
Poster of Home for the Holidays
Poster of Vanished
Poster of Valley of the Kings
Poster of The Mysterious Doctor
Filmography
Movie Dead on the Money Catherine Blake 1991-06-17
Series Murder, She Wrote Unknown 1984-09-30
Series Hotel Unknown 1983-09-21
Movie Once Upon a Spy The Lady 1980-09-19
Movie She's Dressed To Kill Regine Danton 1979-12-10
Movie Sunburn Mrs. Thoren 1979-08-10
Movie The Bastard Lady Amberly 1978-05-22
Series Vega$ Unknown 1978-04-25
Movie Home for the Holidays Alexandra Morgan 1974-07-13
Movie The Great American Beauty Contest Peggy Lowery 1973-02-13
Series Ghost Story Unknown 1972-09-15
Series Vanished Sue Greer 1971-03-08
Movie Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring Claire Miller 1971-01-16
Movie Hans Brinker Dame Brinker 1969-12-14
Series Bracken's World Sylvia Caldwell 1969-09-19
Movie Eye of the Cat Aunt Danny 1969-06-18
Movie How to Steal the World Margitta Kingsley 1968-09-18
Series Hawaii Five-O Unknown 1968-09-20
Movie Il Tigre Mme Vincenzini 1967-09-20
Movie Warning Shot Mrs. Doris Ruston 1967-01-18
Movie An American Dream Deborah Kelly Rojack 1966-08-31
Movie The Oscar Sophie Cantaro 1966-03-04
Movie The Sound of Music The Baroness 1965-03-02
Movie Panic Button Louise 1964-04-10
Series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Unknown 1963-10-04
Series Kraft Suspense Theatre Unknown 1963-10-10
Movie Madison Avenue Anne Tremaine 1962-01-07
Movie Return to Peyton Place Connie Rossi 1961-05-05
Movie Home from the Hill Hannah Hunnicutt 1960-03-03
Movie A Hole in the Head Eloise Rogers 1959-09-15
Movie The Seventh Sin Carol Carwin 1957-06-28
Movie Lizzie Elizabeth Richmond 1957-04-04
Movie The King and Four Queens Sabina McDade 1956-12-21
Movie Many Rivers to Cross Mary Stuart Cherne 1955-02-04
Movie The Man with the Golden Arm Zosch Machine 1955-12-14
Movie Interrupted Melody Marjorie Lawrence 1955-07-01
Movie Valley of the Kings Ann Barclay Mercedes 1954-07-23
Movie The Naked Jungle Joanna Leiningen 1954-03-03
Movie Escape from Fort Bravo Carla Forester 1953-12-04
Series The Academy Awards Unknown 1953-03-18
Movie Above and Beyond Lucey Tibbets 1952-12-31
Movie Scaramouche Lenore 1952-05-08
Movie Detective Story Mary McLeod 1951-11-01
Movie A Millionaire for Christy Christabel 'Christy' Sloane 1951-09-02
Movie Valentino Joan Carlisle / Sarah Gray 1951-03-08
Movie Three Secrets Susan Adele Connors Chase 1950-10-20
Movie Caged Marie Allen 1950-05-19
Movie Chain Lightning Joan "Jo" Holloway 1950-02-18
Movie It's a Great Feeling Herself, Cameo Appearance (uncredited) 1949-08-01
Movie The Voice of the Turtle Sally Middleton 1948-02-28
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie The Woman in White Laura Fairlie / Ann Catherick 1948-05-15
Movie Always Together Eleanor Parker 1947-12-10
Movie Escape Me Never Fenella MacLean 1947-11-07
Movie Never Say Goodbye Ellen Gayley 1946-11-09
Movie Of Human Bondage Mildred Rogers 1946-07-20
Movie Pride of the Marines Ruth Hartley 1945-08-24
Movie Crime By Night Irene Carr 1944-09-09
Movie Between Two Worlds Ann Bergner 1944-05-20
Movie The Very Thought of You Janet Wheeler 1944-10-20
Movie The Last Ride Kitty Kelly 1944-10-07
Movie Hollywood Canteen Herself 1944-12-31
Movie Destination Tokyo Mike's Wife on Record (voice) 1943-12-31
Movie Mission to Moscow Emlen Davies 1943-05-22
Movie The Mysterious Doctor Letty Carstairs 1943-03-03
Movie Busses Roar Norma 1942-08-18
Movie The Big Shot Telephone Operator (voice) 1942-06-13