Eleanor Parker, a three-time Oscar nominee who portrayed the baroness who lost her man to Maria in the 1965 film “The Sound of Music,” has died at the age of 91.
She died Monday of complications from pneumonia at Palm Springs medical facility, a family friend told the Associated Press.
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“Eleanor Parker was and is one of the most beautiful ladies I have ever known,” said Christopher Plummer, who starred with her and Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music,” in a statement. “Both as a person and as a beauty. I hardly believe the sad news, for I was sure she was enchanted and would live forever.”
Parker was nominated for Oscars in 1950 (“Caged”), 1951 (“Detective Story”) and 1955 (“Interrupted Melody”).
Parker was discovered at the Pasadena Playhouse and signed a contract at Warner Bros., where she landed her first major role as Mildred Rogers in the 1946 remake of “Of Human Bondage.”
Her breakthrough performance came as a prison inmate in the 1950 film “Caged,” which brought her first Best Actress Oscar nomination.
She was nominated again the following year, when she played Kirk Douglas’s frustrated wife in “Detective Story.”
Her final nomination came in 1955 in “Interrupted Melody,” in which she played opera star Marjorie Lawrence, who continued her career after contracting polio.
Her career as a leading lady was established, and she played opposite some of the top leading actors of the day. She starred with Stewart Granger in “Scaramouche,” with Robert Taylor in “Above and Beyond,” with William Holden in “Escape from Fort Bravo” and opposite Charlton Heston in “The Naked Jungle.”
She also appeared in “The Man with the Golden Arm” with Frank Sinatra and “The King and Four Queens” with Clark Gable.
Parker’s career slowed after “The Sound of Music.” She appeared on TV shows including “Fantasy Island,” ”Murder, She Wrote” and “The Love Boat” and starred in the short-lived 1960s series “Bracken’s World.”
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