Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Eleanor Parker, 1922-2013

Eleanor Parker (r.) with Agnes Moorhead, in Caged (1950)

The death has been announced of actress Eleanor Parker, at the age of 91. The headline mentions Parker's portrayal of the Baroness in the 1965 movie version of The Sound of Music, which I suppose is appropriate in some ways what with the recent live TV version of the stage show. But Parker was actually nominated for the Best Actress Oscar three times, even though she never won. The first is for Caged, which I pictured above. Unfortunately, that was the year that All About Eve and Sunset Blvd. were released, making for tough competition at the Oscars, even though surprisingly neither film garnered trophies for the actresses.

Parker would be nominated again the very next year for playing the wife of violent detective Kirk Douglas in Detective Story, with the last being for playing an opera singer overcoming serious illness in Interrupted Melody.

Above and Beyond didn't garner Eleanor Parker an Oscar nomination, but it's still a worthwhile movie about Paul Tibbets, the US Army officer who led the mission to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima at the end of World War II. Not knowing what was going on must have been extremely difficult for the wives, and Parker does a good job of portraying that dilemma.

TCM is probably furiously editing their annual obituary piece, which as far as I know has not yet aired. I don't know when or if there's going to be a change in the programming lineup to honor Parker.

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