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Eleanor Parker

Eleanor Parker

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Also Known As: Eleanor Jean Parker Died: December 9, 2013
Born: June 26, 1922 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Cedarville, Ohio, USA Profession: Cast ... actor
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BIOGRAPHY

A ravishing redheaded leading lady of the 1940s and 50s, Eleanor Parker signed a contract with Warner Bros. on her 18th birthday after gaining experience on stage in Cleveland, summer stock and at the Pasadena Playhouse. She made her debut in Raoul Walsh's "They Died with Their Boots On" (1941) before graduating to starring status in distinguished films like "Pride of the Marines" (1945, her third movie with director Delmer Daves), and "Voice of the Turtle" (1947, opposite Ronald Reagan), adapted from John van Druten's Broadway hit. Parker reached the zenith of her popularity and acclaim in the early 50s, winning three Best Actress Oscar nominations for her terrorized prison inmate in "Caged" (1950), as Kirk Douglas' neglected wife with a secret in "Detective Story" (1951) and as polio-stricken opera star Marjorie Lawrence in "Interrupted Melody" (1955). That same year, she was also memorable as Frank Sinatra's beautiful but hateful crippled wife in Otto Preminger's "The Man with the Golden Arm".

Parker's career had definitely peaked, and though she would reteam with Raoul Walsh for "The King and Four Queens" (1956, with Clark Gable) and Sinatra for Frank Capra's "A Hole in the Head" (1959), her best work of the late 50s was in Hugo Haas's "Lizzie", in which she was excellent as a woman with three distinct personalities, and Carl Schultz's "The Seventh Sin" (both 1957), playing the adulterous wife of a doctor who redeems herself during an epidemic. "Madison Avenue" (1962) marked her last starring role in a picture, but Parker continued to appear in secondary roles through the 70s, most notably as the Baroness in Robert Wise's "The Sound of Music" (1965). After headlining the NBC melodrama about the movie business "Bracken's World" (1969-70) and appearing in her final feature to date, "Sunburn" (1979), Parker acted in three TV-movies, "Once Upon a Spy" (ABC, 1980), "Madame X" (NBC, 1981) and "Dead on the Money" (TNT, 1991), in addition to the 1986 "Stage Struck" episode of CBS' "Murder, She Wrote". Parker died of complications of pneumonia in Palm Springs on December 9, 2013.

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