LOS ANGELES – 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 Monday morning from 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 her career began 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, Plummer said 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’s death comes at a time when The Sound of Music is back in the spotlight following NBC’s live restaging of the classic last week – a ratings smash.
Parker worked infrequently after The Sound of Music, appearing in films and on such TV shows as Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote and The Love Boat.
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.