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Eleanor Parker Tempted Men Throughout Her Life, These Photos Prove It

Eleanor Parker was a stunning and talented Golden Age actress whose long career and varied roles were the envy of many. She was a fiercely independent woman who refused to let Hollywood dictate her life and her career choices. And she had one of the prettiest faces in movies. In this video, we’re taking a look at her life and career, while also looking as some glamourous shots of this legendary actress. So stick around, as Facts Verse presents: Eleanor Parker Tempted Men Throughout Her Life, These Photos Prove It

Eleanor Parker was born in Cedarville, Ohio, on June 26, 1922. She was the youngest of three kids of Lola and Lester Parker. Her father was a math teacher, and her mother was a homemaker. Parker’s family didn’t have entertainment in their blood, and neither or her parents were actors or performers. But Eleanor was determined form a young age to be on stage, performing. She got her start acting in plays at school as an elementary school student. This eventually led to her spending a summer during her teens years on Martha’s Vineyard, studying at the Rice Summer Theater. During one performance, she was spotted by a theatrical agent form 20th Century-Fox. He offered to get Eleanor a screen test, to potentially sign a contract with the studio. But Eleanor wasn’t simply a performer at heart. She was also an intelligent young woman, and knew the importance of continuing her education. So she declined the offer from 20th Century-Fox to finish high school.

Of course, this didn’t mean her visions of making it as a movie star were over. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting there. She started studying stage acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. While there, lightning struck for a second time. During a performance, she was spotted by an agent from Warner Bros., who offered her a screen test to potential sign a contract with them. And yet again, Eleanor turned it down. She felt she wasn’t quite ready yet, and needed a bit more training. However, when she turned 19, she decided it was time, and called Warner Bros. to accept their previous offer. Warner Bros. was still willing to see her, and loved her screen test. They promptly signed her to a contract.

Her early career

Eleanor was soon cast in her first film, They Died with Their Boots On, through Warner Bros. However, as can happen, when the film was released she discovered her scenes had been cut. But she was determined to continue on. Her first appearance on the big screen was in 1942, in the short, “Soldiers in White.” In these early years, she was mostly limited to smaller parts in B-movies like “The Mysterious Doctor” and “Busses Roar.” But she did land one small role in a more prestigious film – 1943’s Mission to Moscow. This film was important for Eleanor in two major ways. The first was that her performance, despite being in a minor role, thoroughly impressed the Warner Bros. execs who had begun to wonder how long her contract would continue. As such, they cast her in a much larger role in her next big picture, Between Two Worlds, in 1944. It was also an important movie for Eleanor because while on set, she met a man named Fred Losse. Losse was a naval dentist, and the two fell immediately in love. They got married shortly after production wrapped. Sadly, that marriage was not meant to last, and the two were divorced by the following year.

Parker’s first starring role was in The Very Thought of You, with Dennis Morgan as the male lead. She was beginning to make a name for herself both in town, as well as with audiences. So much so, that she actually made a cameo as herself in the movie “Hollywood Canteen” in 1944. Warners then looked to capitalize on her growing fame by casting her in a remake of the film “Of Human Bondage.” It was theoretically going to be Parker’s biggest movie to date, and the director of the film, Edmund Goulding, raved about Parker’s performance after shooting finished. But for a variety of reasons, the film didn’t come together as Warner’s had hoped. They ended up shelving the project for a couple years, before quietly releasing it. Reviews and box office numbers weren’t kind for the film. But Eleanor continued, undeterred. 

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Eleanor’s Ups, Downs, and Suspensions

In 1945, she starred in “Pride of the Marines” and she actually referred to this film as her big break. And yet, as can happen, her next couple of films after it were duds. Whether or not these flops had anything to do with Eleanor’s performances is anyone’s guess. However, the studio took notice of this, and perhaps stopped giving her as much leeway as she’d previously been getting. In these early years in her career, Eleanor was suspended on more than one occasion by Warner Bros. They didn’t appreciate the fact that she was choosy about the roles she choose, and would occasionally turn down their film offers. She turned down roles in “Stallion Road” and in “Love and Learn.” She had to serve suspensions for each of these “transgressions.” It happened again when she turned down a role in “Somewhere in the City.” But Parker used her suspended time to her benefit. She met and got married to Bert Friedlob, and the pair had a baby in the interim.  

Of course, this only made Eleanor more choosy about which roles she wanted to take. For example, she was offered a part in the movie “The Hasty Heart” because it was going to require her to shoot in England. She was adamant about not leaving her newborn baby in the first year of its life. And, as expected, Warner Bros. gave her a suspension from her contract as a punishment. In fact, Parker once noted that she likely only received about six months of payment over the course of two years in 1947 and 1948. However, she was not regretful about that at all. She had always wanted to be a mother, and she prioritized that over any career decisions.

Her Return To Film

After Parker’s hiatus to take care of her newborn, she came back to the world of film, and did so in a big way. First she starred alongside Humphrey Bogart in Chain Lightning. At this time she was being more proactive about the types of roles she took. She was no longer waiting for the studio to offer her parts. Instead, when she heard about a part she wanted, she would actively advocate for herself. She did exactly that when she read the script for “Caged” in 1950, and was persuasive enough to win the role. It was a wise decision by all, as she delivered a stellar performance. She nabbed an Academy Award nomination for her effort.

She continued to have agency over her career, and this ultimately led to her leaving her long time studio, Warner Bros. She had been led to believe she’d be the star in an upcoming filim called “Safe Harbor,” but she then found out that Warner Bros. didn’t plan to even make it. Fed up, she left Warner Bros. completely.

Her Refusal to Be Typecast

In the Golden Age of Hollywood, actors and actresses were perhaps more likely to be typecast once they gained some success. While it’s certainly true for certain people today, it was more common for the biggest stars of that era to be expected to basically play the same role with every successive movie they were in. Eleanor, never one to be told what to do, resisted this pattern in her career. In fact, she developed three distinct character types that she successfully played in different movies. One was of a demure and shy nature, like the part she played to great acclaim opposite Ronald Reagan in “The Voice of the Turtle.” Another was a more adventurous and bold type, like when she played Mildred Rogers in “Of Human Bondage.” And then there was the type of the charming and elegant lady, which she played to a tee in “The Sound of Music,” famously acting as the baroness and rival to Julie Andrew’s character.

It was this level of acting skill, combined with her gorgeous looks, that made her one of the most iconic Hollywood beauties in the Golden Age.

Parker’s Later Career

After leaving Warner, Parker had a long and successful career. She received another Academy Award nomination for her performance in 1951’s “Detective Story”, and joined MGM in many of their best films of the 1950s. This included Scaramouche, Many Rivers To Cross, and From Fort Bravo. She also wowed audiences with her performances in Interrupted Melody, playing an opera singer who suffers from polio. She was once again nominated for an Oscar for this incredible performic. She continued acting throughout the 1960’s, though her film roles started to dry up. As such, she turned more to television acting. She was on Bracken’s World, for example, from 1969 to 1970.

Parker’s Marriages

In addition to her short marriage to Fred Losse, Parker was married three other times over the course of her life. She married producer Bert Friedlob in 1946, but they divorced in 1953. But this marriage yielded 3 children. She then married painter Paul Clemens in 1954. They divorced in 1965, but not before she gave brith to her son Paul. Paul later became an actor as well. And finally, she married Raymond Hirsch in 1966, and remained married to him until he died of cancer in 2001. Parker died on December 9, 2013, from pneumonia.

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