I was greatly saddened to learn today of the passing of three-time Oscar nominee Eleanor Parker, an actress I hold in such high regard that five years ago she was included on my list of 20 Favorite Actresses.
As I wrote earlier this year, Eleanor Parker has been part of my moviegoing life since I first started going to the movies. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) was the second movie I ever saw, and that film probably had a bigger overall impact on my life than any other movie, for a whole host of reasons. Without a doubt, that movie is part of the reason I'm sitting here writing this blog today. And most certainly, THE SOUND OF MUSIC is the source of more happy moviegoing memories for me than any other film. I thus owe Eleanor Parker a great debt for her role in making a film which has been so incredibly special in my life.
In more recent years I came to appreciate the depth of Parker's career and her chameleon-like transformations in so many wonderful films. My favorite Parker role may be her early work as the charming bride of soldier Dennis Morgan in THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU (1944)...or perhaps it's her wonderfully daffy comedic role in THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE (1947), playing a woman afraid of her own kitchen utensils...or her saucy turn as the flame-haired actress in SCARAMOUCHE (1952), looking amazing in Technicolor...or perhaps it's when she battles killer ants with Charlton Heston in THE NAKED JUNGLE (1954).
Sound of Music 7" Twitter account to express sorrow over Parker's passing, while Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich) Tweeted on his personal account that Parker was "a gracious beautiful true film star." Several of the other actors from the film Tweeted similar sentiments.
My fellow musicals fan, Jessica, has posted a lovely tribute to Eleanor Parker at Comet Over Hollywood.
Farewell and thank you to a most remarkable lady.
Update: Turner Classic Movies has announced that there will be a 14-hour tribute to Eleanor Parker on Tuesday, December 17th. The seven films shown will be THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU (1944), OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1946), THE WOMAN IN WHITE (1948), CAGED (1950), SCARAMOUCHE (1952), INTERRUPTED MELODY (1955), and HOME FROM THE HILL (1960). Parker was nominated for two of her Oscars for CAGED and INTERRUPTED MELODY.
TCM also informed me via Twitter that they were able to incorporate Parker into the annual "TCM Remembers" which debuts tonight, December 10th. My understanding is that TCM Remembers will air sometime between 4:45 and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. (Update: Here's the link for TCM Remembers.) There's also a separate "TCM Remembers" solo tribute to Eleanor Parker currently airing on TCM. (Update: Here's a link to the Parker tribute at the TCM website.)
Additionally, Parker fans might like to visit John DiLeo's 2012 tribute to the actress at ScreenSavers.
Here is the obituary from the Los Angeles Times.
MEN OF THE SKY (1942), SOLDIERS IN WHITE (1942), BUSSES ROAR (1942), CRIME BY NIGHT (1944), THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU (1944), PRIDE OF THE MARINES (1945), NEVER SAY GOODBYE (1946), THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE (1947), IT'S A GREAT FEELING (1949), A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY (1951), DETECTIVE STORY (1951), ABOVE AND BEYOND (1952), SCARAMOUCHE (1952), ESCAPE FROM FORT BRAVO (1953), MANY RIVERS TO CROSS (1955), THE KING AND FOUR QUEENS (1956), and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965).
Related post: TCM Star of the Month: Eleanor Parker (June 2013).
Update: Here is a review of VALLEY OF THE KINGS (1954).