Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Happy Birthday, Eleanor Parker!!
Happy 90th birthday to the talented and beautiful Miss Eleanor Parker. (June 26, 1922) Miss Parker is one of the few stars from the "golden era" who is still alive, so I most definitely want to celebrate her.
This lovely, gentle-voiced lady resides near the very top of my favorite actress list---at #4! I completely love her and am definitely on a quest to see as much of her filmography as I can. She was a terrific actress, receiving a Best Actress Academy Award nomination three times. (I go on record as saying that I think she ought to have won in 1950, for her performance in Caged. Though I adore Judy Holliday [who did win], Bette Davis [who was also nominated], and Sunset Boulevard [for which Gloria Swanson was nominated], I definitely feel that Miss Parker's performance was the most brilliant of them all and ought to have garnered her the Oscar.)
It was my search for Robert Taylor films which brought Eleanor to my attention. The two of them made three movies together (Above and Beyond, Valley of the Kings, and Many Rivers to Cross), and when I watched Above and Beyond for the first time, I was surprised to see a name I recognized from The Sound of Music. I had no idea that the Eleanor Parker of Sound of Music had been part of Hollywood's "golden era" or even that she had made other films. (Of course, since I wasn't a classic movie enthusiast through decades of my Sound of Music years, my ignorance of Miss Parker is understandable.) At any rate, I loved her in Above and Beyond, so in addition to tracking down the other two films she had made with the handsome Mr. Taylor, I sought out several of her other works---and the more I saw of her, the more impressed I became. She very quickly rose to near the very top of my favorite actress list.
My absolute favorite of Eleanor Parker's films is The Sound of Music, in which she had the role of the woman I disliked---that competitor for Georg's affections, the Baroness Schrader. This wonderful movie, which has been a part of my life since I was a mere child, is very beloved to me and remains firmly on my "25 favorite movies of all-time list."
Rounding out my list of five favorite Eleanor Parker films are:
2. Caged (with Agnes Moorehead---reviewed HERE)
3. The Man with the Golden Arm (with Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak---reviewed HERE)
4. Detective Story (a very recent discovery, with Kirk Douglas---reviewed HERE)
5. Pride of the Marines (with John Garfield---reviewed HERE)
So, Miss Eleanor Parker, happy 90th birthday to you!! I hope your birthday finds you in good health and surrounded by family and friends. You will always be one of my very favorite actresses. Thank you for bringing so much enjoyment to my life through so many wonderful movies!!