Eleanor Parker Biography

(American Actress Known for Her Films: ‘Caged’, ‘Detective Story’ and ‘Interrupted Melody’)

Birthday: June 26, 1922 (Cancer)

Born In: Cedarville, Ohio, United States

Eleanor Parker was a highly versatile American actress who won three Oscar nominations for ‘Best Actress’, an ‘Emmy Award’ and a nomination for the ‘Golden Globe’ award, but is best known for her supporting role of the baroness who had an ice-cold demeanor and was bent upon marrying Captain Von Trapp in the film ‘Sound of Music’. She had little sympathy for the Captain’s children who had lost their mother a few years back and ultimately lost the Captain to Maria, the governess, who brought back music into the life of the Von Trapp family. She became a star because of her versatility. She acted in a huge variety of roles from a war hero’s noble-minded fiancé to a vicious waitress-prostitute, sometimes as a redhead, sometimes as a brunette and sometimes as a blonde. She was considered to be just below the top rung of actresses in Hollywood and had to settle for roles that portrayed the ‘neglected female’ kind. Nevertheless she was a favorite of many leading actors of the times. After retiring from films she lived a quite life in Palm Springs and could proudly look back on a career that was both swank and subtle.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Eleanor Jean Parker

Died At Age: 91


Spouse/Ex-: Bert E. Friedlob (1946–1953; divorced; 3 children), Fred Losee (1943–1944; divorced), Paul Clemens (1954–1965; divorced; 1 child), Raymond N. Hirsch (1966–2001; his death)

father: Lester Day Parker

mother: Lola Isett

children: Paul Day Clemens, Richard Parker Friedlob, Sharon Anne Friedlob, Susan Eleanor Friedlob

Actresses American Women

Died on: December 9, 2013

place of death: Palm Springs, California, United States

U.S. State: Ohio

Notable Alumni: Pasadena Playhouse

Cause of Death: Pneumonia

More Facts

education: Pasadena Playhouse

Childhood & Early Life
Eleanor Parker was born Eleanor Jean Parker in Cedarville, Ohio, USA, on June 26, 1922. Her father was a math teacher named Lester Day Parker and her mother was Lola Isett.
She was the last of her parents’ three children. She started acting in school plays when she was a mere child.
She graduated from ‘Shaw High School’ after attending many public schools.
When she was in her teens, she enrolled at the ‘Rice Summer Theater’ in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
She next moved to California to study at the ‘Pasadena Playhouse’.
During her studies at both schools, she was approached by various studios for screen tests in their films but she refused them and continued with her studies till they were complete.
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After completing her studies she approached the talent scout for ‘Warner Bros’ and was immediately signed up for films.
She was supposed to make her film debut with the western ‘They Died With Their Boots On’ in 1941 opposite Errol Flynn but the scenes in which she appeared were edited and cut.
In 1942 she appeared in two short films describing the war and then provided the voice of a telephone operator from the background in Humphrey Bogart’s gangster movie ‘The Big Shot’.
During the end of 1942 she appeared as a frightened bus passenger in a black-and-white wartime saboteur movie ‘Busses Roar’.
She played a serious role in ‘Between Two Worlds’ in 1944.
In 1945 she acted in ‘Pride of the Marines’ where she played the role of the fiancé of a war hero.
In 1946 she played the part of a vicious waitress-prostitute in a film remake of W. Somerset Maugham’s book ‘Of Human Bondage’.
She won favorable reviews for her role opposite Ronald Reagan in the comedy ‘The Voice of The Turtle’ in 1947.
In 1950, in ‘Caged’ she played the role of a young prisoner who had been wrongfully accused and sent to a prison for women which was full of female predators. She won an Oscar nomination for her role in the film.
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In 1951 she acted in ‘Detective Story’ opposite Kirk Douglas and won a second Oscar nomination.
In 1952 she acted opposite Robert Taylor in ‘Above and Beyond’ and opposite Stewart Granger in ‘Scaramouche’.
In 1953 she was seen opposite William Holden in ‘Escape from Fort Bravo’.
She played the role of an archaeologist’s wife opposite Robert Taylor in ‘Valley of Kings’ and opposite Charlton Heston in ‘The Naked Jungle’ in 1954.
In 1955 she played the role of the Metropolitan Opera star Marjorie Lawrence who had been stricken with polio and won her third Oscar nomination.
She appeared opposite Frank Sinatra as his scheming wife in ‘The Man With the Golden Arm’ and earned a high amount of popularity.
She starred opposite Clark Gable in ‘The King and Four Queens’ in 1956.
In 1957, in ‘Lizzie’, she played the role of a librarian who gets threatening letters from a creature.
In 1959 Eleanor acted in another comedy film opposite Frank Sinatra in ‘A Hole in the Head’.
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In 1960 she was seen again as the neglected wife in Vincent Minnelli’s ‘Home from the Hill’.
Her last appearance as a star in a major Hollywood film was in ‘Return to Peyton Place’ in 1962.
In the mid 60s she got a role in the crappy movie ‘An American Dream’.
During the 1960s and 1970s, she appeared as a guest artist in quite a number of television movies such as the NBC series ‘Bracken’s World’ which ran from 1969 to 1970. She also guest-starred in ‘The Love Boat’, ‘Fantasy Island’ and ‘Murder She Wrote’.
Her comedy film ‘Sunburn’ in 1979 starring Farah Fawcett was a flop.
She appeared for the final time in the television movie ‘Dead on the Money’ opposite Kevin McCarthy in 1991.
She retired from acting in 1991 just before her 70th birthday.
Awards & Achievements
Eleanor Parker won an Oscar nomination for ‘Best Actress’ in 1950 for the role of wrongfully convicted young prisoner in the film ‘Caged’.
In 1951 she won her second Oscar nomination for ‘Best Actress’ for the role of a neglected police officer’s wife in ‘Detective Story’.
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She won her third Oscar nomination for ‘Best Actress’ in 1955 for the role of an opera singer stricken with polio in the film ‘Interrupted Melody’.
She also won an ‘Emmy Award’ in 1963 for her acting in an NBC series on psychiatric cases titled ‘The Eleventh Hour’.
In 1970 she won a ‘Golden Globe’ nomination for the TV series ‘Bracken’s World’.
In June 2013 she was given the honor of ‘Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month’.
She was given a star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’.
Personal Life & Legacy
She married Fred L. Losse, a Navy dentist in 1943 but the marriage lasted for only 21 months.
She married Bert Friedlob, a would-be producer, on January 5, 1946 and had two daughters and a son from this marriage named Susan, Sharon and Richard. She divorced him on November 10, 1953.
Her marriage to Paul Clemens, an artist, on November 25, 1954, ended in a divorce on March 9, 1965. She had a son named Paul from this marriage.
She married Raymond N. Hirsch, a businessman from Chicago, on April 17, 1966 but was left a widow when he died in 2001.
Eleanor Parker died of complications due to pneumonia on December 9, 2013 in Palm Springs, California, USA at the age of 91.
She was given the nickname of ‘A Woman with a Thousand Faces’.

See the events in life of Eleanor Parker in Chronological Order

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