Over the last few weeks some of the biggest stars of the Golden Era in Hollywood have passed away. Recently we’ve lost Eleanor Parker, Peter O’Toole and Joan Fontaine.
Over the next few days we’d like to pay tribute to these actors who brightened the big screen and provided us with some of the best movies of the last 70 years.
Eleanor Parker is one of the rare breed of Hollywood stars (Anne Baxter is another) who managed to reach the top ranks without the public knowing or caring much about their personal lives. Their talent was enough. Their fans, and their employers, knew that they would deliver fine performances.
And fine performances were exactly what Parker was known for. Although she never won the Oscar she was nominated three times. Over a career that spanned five decades she starred in top films and opposite the most famous leading men of the time.
See her with John Garfield in Pride of the Marines, with Charlton Heston in The Naked Jungle, with Clark Gable in The King and Four Queens.
She segued into character parts opposite Frank Sinatra in The Man with the Golden Arm and A Hole in the Head. Then her most famous character part as the Countess in The Sound of Music.
In her prime she starred in the three films which garnered her the Oscar nods, Caged, The Detective Story, and Interrupted Melody. Our favorite is Caged, a gritty tale of women’s prisons. It’s not an easy picture to watch but her performance is riveting. In any year other than 1950 she would have been a shoo-in for the Award.
One of her lesser known films, and a good old fashioned movie, is Three Secrets, which co-stars Patricia Neal and Ruth Roman. It was directed by Robert Wise who later cast Parker in The Sound of Music.
One might almost say ANY film starring Eleanor Parker is worth seeing at least once. And most of them, like Three Secrets, can be seen many times.
So we remember Parker, and make her one of our Stars of the Week.