Biography

Eleanor Jean Parker was born on June 26, 1922, in Cedarville, Ohio, the last of three children born to a mathematics teacher and his wife. Eleanor caught the acting bug early and began performing in school plays. She was was so serious about becoming a thespian, she attended the Rice Summer Theatre on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts beginning when she was 15 years old. She was offered her first screen-test by a 20th Century-Fox talent scout while attending Rice, but turned the opportunity down to gain professional stage experience in Cleveland after graduating from high school.

She moved on to California to continue her acting studies at the Pasadena Playhouse. It was there, while sitting in the audience of a play being put on at the Playhouse, she was again offered a screen-test -- this time from a Warner Brothers' scout -- and again declined, wanting to finish her first year at the Playhouse. When the year was up, Eleanor contacted Warner Brothers to take them up their offer of a screen-test, and was signed as a contract player two days after it was shot.

Her beauty meant she was not forgotten, and she was cast in one of Warner Brothers' biggest productions for the 1943 season, the pro-Soviet Mission to Moscow (1943) directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Walter Huston as the U.S. ambassador to the U.S.S.R. Eleanor played his daughter in the film, which became notorious in the McCarthy era for its glorification of "Uncle Joe" Stalin. The film proved significant to Eleanor as she met a future husband on the set, Navy Lieutenant. Fred L. Losse, Navy dentist. The marriage was a brief war-time affair, lasting from March 21, 1943, to December 5, 1944.

Parker received the first of her three Best Actress Oscar nominations playing a prisoner in Caged (1950), for which she won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival. She was also nominated the next year playing the cop's wife who shared a secret with the neighborhood abortionist in William Wyler's Detective Story (1951). Her third and last Oscar nod came for Interrupted Melody (1955), playing an opera singer struck down by polio. She could easily have been nominated that same year for her portrayal of Frank Sinatra's faux crippled wife in Otto Preminger's brooding masterpiece The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) adapted from the novel by Nelson Algren.

Parker proved herself to be a supremely talented and very versatile lead actress. The versatility was likely one of the reasons why she never quite became a major star. Audiences attending a movie which starred Parker never knew quite what to expect of her; if they even remembered she was the same actress, they had seen before in a different type of role in another picture. Her turns in Detective Story (1951) and The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) could not have been more different. Parker's stardom and subsequent fame (and remembrance) suffered from her focusing on being a serious actress and creating a character who fit the motion picture she was in, rather than playing a character again and again and again as most movie stars do. She is probably best remembered for the relatively tame part as the Baroness in The Sound of Music (1965).

Eleanor Jean Parker was born on June 26, 1922, in Cedarville, Ohio, the last of three children born to a mathematics teacher and his wife. Eleanor caught the acting bug early and began performing in school plays. She was was so serious about becoming a thespian, she attended the Rice Summer Theatre on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts beginning when she was 15 years old. She was offered her first screen-test by a 20th Century-Fox talent scout while attending Rice, but turned the opportunity down to gain professional stage experience in Cleveland after graduating from high school.

She moved on to California to continue her acting studies at the Pasadena Playhouse. It was there, while sitting in the audience of a play being put on at the Playhouse, she was again offered a screen-test -- this time from a Warner Brothers' scout -- and again declined, wanting to finish her first year at the Playhouse. When the year was up, Eleanor contacted Warner Brothers to take them up their offer of a screen-test, and was signed as a contract player two days after it was shot.

Her beauty meant she was not forgotten, and she was cast in one of Warner Brothers' biggest productions for the 1943 season, the pro-Soviet Mission to Moscow (1943) directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Walter Huston as the U.S. ambassador to the U.S.S.R. Eleanor played his daughter in the film, which became notorious in the McCarthy era for its glorification of "Uncle Joe" Stalin. The film proved significant to Eleanor as she met a future husband on the set, Navy Lieutenant. Fred L. Losse, Navy dentist. The marriage was a brief war-time affair, lasting from March 21, 1943, to December 5, 1944.

Parker received the first of her three Best Actress Oscar nominations playing a prisoner in Caged (1950), for which she won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival. She was also nominated the next year playing the cop's wife who shared a secret with the neighborhood abortionist in William Wyler's Detective Story (1951). Her third and last Oscar nod came for Interrupted Melody (1955), playing an opera singer struck down by polio. She could easily have been nominated that same year for her portrayal of Frank Sinatra's faux crippled wife in Otto Preminger's brooding masterpiece The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) adapted from the novel by Nelson Algren.

Parker proved herself to be a supremely talented and very versatile lead actress. The versatility was likely one of the reasons why she never quite became a major star. Audiences attending a movie which starred Parker never knew quite what to expect of her; if they even remembered she was the same actress, they had seen before in a different type of role in another picture. Her turns in Detective Story (1951) and The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) could not have been more different. Parker's stardom and subsequent fame (and remembrance) suffered from her focusing on being a serious actress and creating a character who fit the motion picture she was in, rather than playing a character again and again and again as most movie stars do. She is probably best remembered for the relatively tame part as the Baroness in The Sound of Music (1965).

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 74

Birthday 1922-06-26

Day of Death 2013-12-09

Place of Birth Cedarville, Ohio, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Элинор Паркер

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1991 Dead on the Money as Catherine Blake
1984 Murder, She Wrote(1 episode)
1983 Hotel(1 episode)
1981 Madame X as Katherine Richardson
1980 Once Upon a Spy as The Lady
1979 She's Dressed To Kill as Regine Danton
1979 Sunburn as Mrs. Thoren
1978 The Bastard as Lady Amberly
1978 Vega$(1 episode)
1974 Home for the Holidays as Alexandra Morgan
1973 The Great American Beauty Contest as Peggy Lowery
1972 Ghost Story(1 episode)
1971 Vanished(2 episodes) as Sue Greer
1971 Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring as Claire Miller
1969 Hans Brinker as Dame Brinker
1969 Bracken's World(26 episodes) as Sylvia Caldwell
1969 Eye of the Cat as Aunt Danny
1968 Hawaii Five-O(1 episode)
1968 How to Steal the World as Margitta Kingsley
1967 The Tiger and the Pussycat as Mme Vincenzini
1967 Warning Shot as Mrs. Doris Ruston
1966 An American Dream as Deborah Kelly Rojack
1966 The Oscar as Sophie Cantaro
1965 The Sound of Music as Baroness Elsa von Schraeder
1964 Panic Button as Louise
1963 Kraft Suspense Theatre(1 episode)
1963 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre(1 episode)
1962 Madison Avenue as Anne Tremaine
1961 Return to Peyton Place as Connie Rossi
1960 Checkmate(1 episode) as Marion Bannion/Gussie Hill
1960 Home from the Hill as Hannah Hunnicutt
1959 A Hole in the Head as Eloise Rogers
1957 The Seventh Sin as Carol Carwin
1957 Lizzie as Elizabeth Richmond
1956 The King and Four Queens as Sabina McDade
1955 The Man with the Golden Arm as Zosch Machine
1955 Interrupted Melody as Marjorie Lawrence
1955 Many Rivers to Cross as Mary Stuart Cherne
1954 Valley of the Kings as Ann Barclay Mercedes
1954 The Naked Jungle as Joanna Leiningen
1953 Escape from Fort Bravo as Carla Forester
1953 The Academy Awards(3 episodes)
1952 Above and Beyond as Lucey Tibbets
1952 Scaramouche as Lenore
1951 Detective Story as Mary McLeod
1951 A Millionaire for Christy as Christabel 'Christy' Sloane
1951 Valentino as Joan Carlisle / Sarah Gray
1950 Three Secrets as Susan Adele Connors Chase
1950 Caged as Marie Allen
1950 Chain Lightning as Joan "Jo" Holloway
1949 It's a Great Feeling as Herself, Cameo Appearance (uncredited)
1948 The Ed Sullivan Show(1 episode)
1948 The Woman in White as Laura Fairlie / Ann Catherick
1948 The Voice of the Turtle as Sally Middleton
1947 Always Together as Eleanor Parker
1947 Escape Me Never as Fenella MacLean
1946 Never Say Goodbye as Ellen Gayley
1946 Of Human Bondage as Mildred Rogers
1946 Blow-Ups of 1946 as Herself
1945 Pride of the Marines as Ruth Hartley
1944 Hollywood Canteen as Herself
1944 The Very Thought of You as Janet Wheeler
1944 The Last Ride as Kitty Kelly
1944 Atlantic City as Bathing Beauty (uncredited)
1944 Crime By Night as Irene Carr
1944 Between Two Worlds as Ann Bergner
1943 Destination Tokyo as Mike's Wife on Record (voice)
1943 Mission to Moscow as Emlen Davies
1943 The Mysterious Doctor as Letty Carstairs
1942 Vaudeville Days as Colleen (song "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling")
1942 Busses Roar as Norma
1942 Men of the Sky as Mrs. Frank Bickley
1942 The Big Shot as Telephone Operator (voice)
1942 Soldiers in White as Nurse Ryan

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