'The Sound of Music' Star Eleanor Parker Dies at 91

'The Sound of Music' Star Eleanor Parker Dies at 91

Parker, best known for her role as Baroness Elsa Schrader in the 1966 movie starring Julie Andrews, passes away because of pneumonia at a medical facility in Palm Springs.
Eleanor Parker, an Oscar-nominated actress who played Baroness Elsa Schrader in 1966's "The Sound of Music" starring Julie Andrews, has passed away. She was 91.

A family friend Richard Gale told the Associated Press that the actress died of pneumonia on Monday morning, December 9. Parker "passed away peacefully, surrounded by her children at a medical facility near her home in Palm Springs," Gale said.

Parker was the daughter of a math teacher. She was born on June 26, 1922 in Cedarville, Ohio. She attended the Rice Summer Theatre on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts at the age of 15 and later continued pursuing her career at the Pasadena Playhouse. Parker signed a deal with Warner Bros. when she was 18.

"I knew I'd get in pictures. I wasn't even afraid of all the tough luck stories I'd heard about other girls who had gone to Hollywood but hadn't conquered. I knew that if I trained myself properly, I'd be ready for the break when it came," she said in an interview with Movie Show magazine in 1946.

Parker made her first big screen appearance in 1941's "They Died With Their Boots On" but her part was cut from the final version. She made her debut in 1942's "Busses Roar". Her other credits included "Mission to Moscow", "Between Two Worlds", "Pride of the Marines", "Of Human Bondage" and "Never Say Goodbye". She also appeared in 1944's "Between Two Worlds" and 1945's "Pride of the Marines" starring John Garfield.

Parker received her first Oscar nomination in 1951 for her role as a prison inmate in "Caged". She was also nominated for Oscar in 1952 for her appearance in "Detective Story". Her role as a polio-stricken opera singer in "Interrupted Melody" brought her third Oscar nomination in 1956. Parker's appearance in "The Sound of Music" was her last big role.

Besides movies, Parker appeared on TV shows including "Bracken's World", "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." and "Hawaii Five-O". She took part on "The Love Boat", "Fantasy Island" and "Murder, She Wrote" as well as TV movies. Her last screen appearance was in 1991's "Dead on the Money".

The actress was married four times. Her fourth husband Raymond Hirsch passed away in 2001. She is survived by her 2 sons and 2 daughters.

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