Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Redheaded Classic

Eleanor Parker was born (1922) in Cedarville, Ohio, and was signed by Warner Brothers in 1941, at the age of 19. By 1946, she had starred in Between Two Worlds, Hollywood Canteen, Pride of the Marines and Of Human Bondage. In 1950 she received the first of three nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for Caged, in which she played a prison inmate. She was also nominated in 1951 for her performance as Kirk Douglas's wife in Detective Story and again in 1955 for her portrayal of opera singer Marjorie Lawrence in the film bio, Interrupted Melody.

Incredibly, Ms. Parker was overlooked for her 1954 role opposite Charlton Heston in George Pal's jungle fantasy film about killer ants, The Naked Jungle. The Famous Author was nine when his Papi took him to see those marabunta (army ants) eating everything in sight, and TFA reports he suffered a serious crying jag when they threatened Ms. Parker. Her long red hair in that movie is still the stuff of TFA's midnight fantasies, and having seen the old movie on tape more than a dozen times, I have to agree. The woman is gorgeous. The red hair breathtaking.

Perhaps Ms. Parker's most famous screen role was as "Baroness Elsa Schraeder" in 1965's The Sound Of Music. A big big star in Hollywood's Golden Era, she is less remembered now despite her Oscar nominations. She is the mother of actor Paul Clemens, as well as three other children by another marriage. She wrote the preface to the book "How Your Mind Can Keep You Well", a meditation technique developed by Roy Masters.

Thanks to Wikipedia. And thanks to Ms. Parker for appearing regularly in our dreams.


Anonymous said...

Being a redhead myself, you know I love her.

"Bloody ants. Damn you all to hell."

-Detective Roger Stark
"There are limits to negotiation."

Anonymous said...

Extraordinarily beautiful. An amazingly talented actress. She is the one who everyone remembers yet everyone has forgotten. I have never seen anyone come remotely close to this unique and graceful talent.