Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy Birthday: Eleanor Jean Parker!

Eleanor Jean Parker, versatility led to her being called a Woman of a Thousand Faces, the title of her biography by Doug McClelland.

After high school, she was signed by Warner Brothers in 1941, at the age of 18. She would have debuted that year in the film, They Died with Their Boots On, but her scenes were cut.

Her actual film debut was playing nurse Ryan in, Soldiers in White(1942). About a young intern, who is drafted in the Army Medical Corps as a private. After, being injured he is sent to a hospital where a Major, informs him about advances in medical science and his future looks good.

Eleanor Jean Parker, Probably best known as the baroness in, The Sound of Music (1965). A story about a young woman, who leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

My favorite Eleanor Parker movie is: The Naked Jungle(1954). Director Byron Haskin. Cast: Charlton Heston and Eleanor Parker. Telling the story of an attack of army ants on a Peruvian cocoa plantation, it was based on the short story "Leiningen Versus the Ants" by Carl Stephenson.

Below are two Eleanor Parker movies, recommended by, Clara.

Caged(1950). Film about a teenage newlywed, who is sent to prison for being an accessory to a robbery. Her experiences while incarcerated, along with the killing of her husband, change her from a very frightened young girl into a hardened convict. The movie was adapted by Virginia Kellogg from the story Women Without Men by Kellogg and Bernard C. Schoenfeld. It was directed by John Cromwell.

The Man with the Golden Arm(1955). Based on the novel of the same name by Nelson Algren, which tells the story of a heroin addict who gets clean while in prison, but struggles to stay that way in the outside world. It stars Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker, Kim Novak, Arnold Stang and Darren McGavin. Director: Otto Preminger. Eleanor Parker plays Zosh, the supposedly invalid wife of a morphine addicted, would-be jazz drummer Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra).


  1. Even when I admire her since I'm a child ('cause the baroness rocks all the way) I've just seen one movie starring her, but I don't remember the name...she was in a wheelchair...Anyway, I want to see "Caged" & now the one you're recommending :) Greetings.

  2. Clara, I looked up the movie info. and added it to the, Eleanor Jean Parker, post. Thanks.

  3. Dawn, Eleanor Parker was a true beauty who could also act. I remember her in "Caged" and she went from pitifully naive to incredibly hard in a very smooth way. Of course, her performance in The Sound Of Music was just great, helping the movie to be more than sentimental, giving it a worldly wit and air of sadness that it needed. And The Man With The Golden Arm -- well, I have never forgotten her final scene where she desperately blows her whistle. Thanks for the wonderul post.

  4. A wonderful actress but also indescribably and incredibly and astoundingly beautiful! What a terrific picture to open the write-up, Dawn! Thank you!

  5. Sark, Thank you. I agree.. Eleanor Jean Parker was a wonderful actress. I hope TCM plays: Caged(1950) and The Man with the Golden Arm(1955), soon.


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