|Sound of Music baroness Parker dies
US actress Eleanor Parker, who was nominated for Academy Awards three times for her portrayals of strong-willed women and played a scheming baroness in “The Sound of Music,'' has died at 91.
Parker was nominated for Oscars in 1950, 1951 and 1955, but then saw her career begin to wane in the early 1960s. Her last memorable role came in 1965's “The Sound of Music,'' in which she played the scheming baroness who loses Christopher Plummer to Julie Andrews, AP reports.
“Eleanor Parker was and is one of the most beautiful ladies I have ever known,'' said Plummer 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 worked only infrequently after “The Sound of Music,'' appearing in films and on such TV shows as “Fantasy Island,'' “Murder, She Wrote'' and “The Love Boat.'' She also starred in the short-lived 1960s TV series ``Bracken's World.''
“I'm primarily a character actress,'' she said in a 1988 interview, explaining why she never achieved the stardom of so many of her co-stars. “I've portrayed so many diverse individuals on the screen that my own personality never emerged.''
Growing up in Cedarsville, Ohio, Parker had yearned to be an actress, and when the family moved to Cleveland, she began taking acting lessons. In the summer she worked as an apprentice in a Martha's Vineyard stock company, waiting tables to support herself.
After moving to Pasadena, she was cast in her first movie role at 19, a bit part in “They Died With Their Boots On,'' starring Errol Flynn.
Parker's first three marriages ended in divorce: to Navy dentist Fred L. Losse; producer Bert Friedlob, which resulted in three children, Susan, Sharon and Richard; and painter Paul Clemens, with whom she had a son, actor Paul Clemens. Her 1966 marriage to Shubert Theater manager Raymond Hirsch ended with his death in 2001.