Sound of Music Actress Eleanor Parker Dead at Age 91

She was nominated for 3 Oscars in the 1950s

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 9, 2013 7:33 PM CST

(Newser) – Eleanor Parker, who was nominated for Academy Awards three times for her portrayals of strong-willed women and played a scheming baroness in The Sound of Music, has died at 91. Family friend Richard Gale said Parker died today morning due to complications from pneumonia. "She passed away peacefully, surrounded by her children at a medical facility near her home in Palm Springs," Gale added. Parker was nominated for Oscars in 1950, 1951, and 1955, but then saw her career begin to wane in the early 1960s. Her last memorable role came in 1965's The Sound of Music, in which she played the scheming baroness who loses Christopher Plummer to Julie Andrews.

"Eleanor Parker was and is one of the most beautiful ladies I have ever known," said Plummer in a statement. "Both as a person and as a beauty. I hardly believe the sad news for I was sure she was enchanted and would live forever." Parker worked only infrequently after that, appearing in films and on such TV shows as Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, and Murder, She Wrote. She also starred in the short-lived 1960s TV series Bracken's World. "I'm primarily a character actress," she said in a 1988 interview, explaining why she never achieved the stardom of so many of her co-stars. "I've portrayed so many diverse individuals on the screen that my own personality never emerged." Click for more.

In this Aug. 25, 1945 file photo, Errol Flynn reads an amusing passage from a new novel to his leading lady, Eleanor Parker, on the set of Never Say Goodbye.
In this Aug. 25, 1945 file photo, Errol Flynn reads an amusing passage from a new novel to his leading lady, Eleanor Parker, on the set of "Never Say Goodbye."   (AP Photo)
In this Feb. 28, 1967 file photo, film actress Eleanor Parker visits Palm Mallorca, while in in town trying to purchase a villa in Spain.
In this Feb. 28, 1967 file photo, film actress Eleanor Parker visits Palm Mallorca, while in in town trying to purchase a villa in Spain.   (AP Photo, File)
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