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Eleanor Parker, Baroness in 'The Sound of Music,' dies at 91

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Less than a week after the Internet and media were abuzz over NBC's live broadcast of The Sound of Music, the actress best known for playing a memorable part in the 1965 film version has passed away. Eleanor Parker, aka the Baroness in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical adaptation, died at the age of 91 in California on Monday.

According to Variety, Parker, a native of Cedarville, Ohio, died early this morning due to complications from pneumonia at a medical facility near Palm Springs, where she was residing.

Though her most recognizable role is arguably that of Baroness Elsa Schraeder, Captain Von Trapp's would-be fiancee who ultimately lost out to Julie Andrews' Maria, Parker's acting career spanned five decades and netted her three Oscar nominations for Best Actress within a six-year period.

Her first nomination was for 1950's Caged, in which the then-29-year-old played a widow of 19 who goes to prison. The following year, Detective Story earned her a nomination for her portrayal of the wife of Det. James McLeod, played by Kirk Douglas. Parker then played real-life Australian opera star Marjorie Lawrence, who was diagnosed with polio in her mid-30s, in 1955's Interrupted Melody.

Parker's career also included both a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960, five years before The Sound of Music. Her final acting appearance was the 1991 TV movie Dead on the Money.

Married four times, Parker is survived by Raymond Hirsch, her husband since 1966. Parker also has two daughters and two sons, one of whom is an actor.


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