2013年12月12日 星期四

Eleanor Parker: More Than Just the Sound of Music Baroness

《音樂之聲》女配角埃莉諾·帕克去世

訃告2013年12月13日
埃莉諾·帕克和克拉克·蓋博在1956年的電影《一王四後》中。
埃莉諾·帕克和克拉克·蓋博在1956年的電影《一王四後》中。
United Artists, via Getty Images


埃莉諾·帕克(Eleanor Parker)曾三次獲得奧斯卡最佳女演員提名,但是她最知名的角色是在《音樂之聲》台:真善美(The Sound of Music)中扮演的配角——恨嫁的男爵夫人。周一她在加利福尼亞州棕櫚泉市去世,享年91歲。

她的世交理乍得·蓋爾(Richard Gale)對美聯社說她死於肺炎併發症。

帕克是個優雅、端莊卻依舊性感的女電影演員。不過她最知名的角色是在《音樂之聲》(The Sound of Music, 1965)中扮演的男爵夫人。這位男爵夫人愛上了克里斯托弗·普魯默(Christopher Plummer)扮演的馮特拉普上校(Captain von Trapp)。這個角色需要一種冷艷的風度。由於對他那一屋子孩子沒興趣,她輸給了朱莉·安德魯斯(Julie Andrews)扮演的家庭女教師(勞拉·貝南蒂[Laura Benanti]在NBC頻道的新版《音樂之聲》中扮演男爵夫人)。
帕克事業的最高讚譽出現在該片上映十年前。

她獲得奧斯卡提名的三個角色都富有戲劇性:《鐵窗紅淚》(Caged, 1950)中被冤枉的年輕囚犯,《大偵探故事》(Detective Story, 1951)中被大偵探忽視的妻子,以及《西廂情斷》(Interrupted Melody, 1955)中患上小兒麻痹症的歌劇明星。最後這部影片是關於澳大利亞女高音歌手瑪喬麗·勞倫斯(Marjorie Lawrence)的傳記影片。1963年,她因在NBC頻道關於精神病案例的電視劇《第十一小時》(The Eleventh Hour)中出演其中一集而獲得艾美獎提名。
1944年時的帕克。她在20世紀50年代三次獲得奧斯卡最佳女演員提名。
1944年時的帕克。她在20世紀50年代三次獲得奧斯卡最佳女演員提名。
Associated Press

帕克的仰慕者認為,她一直沒有大紅大紫是因為她扮演過各種角色。她有時扮演金髮女郎,有時扮演淺黑膚色的女人,經常以紅頭髮亮相。她給人留下了不可磨滅的印象,但是淹沒在各種各樣的角色中,從《士兵的驕傲》(Pride of the Marines, 1945)中戰爭英雄高尚的未婚妻,到翻拍電影《人性的枷鎖》(Of Human Bondage, 1946)中W·薩默賽特·毛姆(W. Somerset Maugham)筆下墮落的女服務員兼妓女。

埃莉諾·珍·帕克(Eleanor Jean Parker)1922年6月26日出生在俄亥俄州錫達維爾市。父親是一名數學老師。她很小的時候就在校園話劇中出演角色,十幾歲時前往馬薩諸塞州瑪莎葡 萄園的賴斯夏季戲劇學校學習表演。後來她搬到加利福尼亞州,在帕薩迪納劇院學習。
有很多消息來源可以證實,她在這兩所學校學習時都有星探來找她試鏡,但是為了完成學業她都拒絕了。完成學業後,她回頭去找華納兄弟的星探,很快簽了合約。

但是她在銀幕上首次亮相的時間被延遲了。本來她要在埃羅爾·弗林(Errol Flynn)主演的西部片《馬革裹屍還》(They Died With Their Boots On, 1941)中亮相,但是她的戲被剪掉了。1942年,她在兩個宣傳戰事的短片中露面,並在亨弗萊·鮑嘉(Humphrey Bogart)的黑幫電影《大佬》(The Big Shot)中為一名電話接線員配音。那年年底,她在《巴士轟鳴》(Busses Roar)中扮演一名受驚的巴士乘客,這部黑白故事片講述的是戰爭時期的破壞分子。

在接下來的25年里,她出演的大多是十分嚴肅的影片,比如講述空襲遇難者來世生活的《兩個世界之間》(Between Two Worlds, 1944),以及關於吸毒的影片《金臂人》(The Man With the Golden Arm, 1955),她在其中扮演弗蘭克·西納特拉(Frank Sinatra)那一點也不體貼人的妻子。但是她偶爾出演的喜劇電影為她贏得了好評,比如和羅納德·里根(Ronald Reagan)主演的《邂逅的愛情》(The Voice of the Turtle, 1947),和西納特拉主演的《合家歡》(A Hole in the Head, 1959),以及和克拉克·蓋博(Clark Gable)主演的輕喜劇《一王四後》(The King and Four Queens, 1956)。

帕克主演過很多電視電影,在20世紀六七十年代,還客串過幾部電視 劇。她在NBC頻道的電視劇《布拉肯的世界》(Bracken』s World, 1969-70)中扮演一位有影響力的電影業秘書,獲得了新的關注。她的最後一部院線電影是和法拉赫·福塞特(Farrah Fawcett)主演的《晒傷》(Sunburn, 1979),這部喜劇片反響不佳。她的最後一部電視電影是1991年和凱文·麥卡錫(Kevin McCarthy)主演的《裸露畸戀》(Dead on the Money)。
帕克的第一任丈夫是弗雷德·L·洛斯(Fred L. Losse),他是一名海軍牙醫,他們是在親蘇影片《莫斯科使團》(Mission to Moscow)的片場相識的。他們於1943年結婚,21個月後離婚。1946年,她嫁給了電影製片人伯特·E·弗雷德羅伯(Bert E. Friedlob)。他們生了三個孩子,1953年離婚。

她的第三任丈夫是藝術家保羅·克萊門斯(Paul Clemens),他們1954年結婚,1965年離婚。他們育有一子。1966年,她嫁給了芝加哥商人雷蒙德·N·赫希(Raymond N. Hirsch)。他2001年去世。暫時還沒有關於她在世親人的信息。

1953年,剛獲得兩次奧斯卡提名的帕克對《紐約時報》談起了她在事業上的好運氣。「事情最終都好起來了,」她說。過了一會兒又補充道,「我認為,只要你工作,相信自己,做正確的事,心無旁騖,你總會找到出路。」

她在採訪中還說,「我甚至實現了自己的三個願望——出現在電影中、給媽媽買一件貂皮大衣、給家人買一個房子。」
翻譯:王相宜



Eleanor Parker: More Than Just the Sound of Music Baroness

The ravishing redhead was a prime dramatic star of Hollywood's Golden Age
Eleanor Parker
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Getty Images
All the obituaries identified Eleanor Parker as the actress who played Elsa Elberfeld in The Sound of Music — the Baroness who releases her fiancé Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) from his vows so he can marry Julie Andrews’ singing ex-nun. That’s a little like elegizing Paul Newman for his popcorn.
In Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1965 blockbuster movie musical, Parker is the one of the few performers who doesn’t get to sing — though she had a firm soprano with perfect pitch. Elsa’s one song in the 1959 show, “How Can Love Survive?”, was cut for the movie (but restored for last week’s live-TV production, in which Laura Benanti played and sang Elsa). And really, who remembers the character or, for that matter, the actress? Plummer does. After hearing of her December 9th death —  at 91, after a bout of pneumonia — he said, ”Eleanor Parker was and is one of the most beautiful ladies I have ever known — 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.”
(READ: Laura Stampler on the Carrie Underwood Sound of Music)
So who was Eleanor Parker? A ravishing redhead whose beauty was not her claim to celebrity but an ornament to her craft. Indeed, she shone in roles for which her classic good looks — the warm mouth, perfect oval face and eyebrows worthy of a Shakespearean sonnet — might be an irrelevance or a disadvantage. So often, Hollywood said: We’ll take this gorgeous girl and muss her up. Parker jumped at the chance and gave some of the movie midcentury’s strongest performances.
In Caged (1950) she was sent to a woman’s prison stocked with predatresses. In the 1951 Detective Story she must confess to her cop husband (Kirk Douglas) that she once had an abortion. Four years later she played women in wheelchairs: the Metropolitan Opera star Marjorie Lawrence, stricken with polio, in Interrupted Melody, and Frank Sinatra’s scheming wife in The Man With the Golden Arm. For the first three films she earned Academy Award nominations for Best Actress; the fourth is in the movie that cinephiles remember her for.
Born June 26, 1922 in Cedarville, Ohio, Eleanor Jean Parker began acting in Cleveland theaters and, after moving to California as a teenager, at the Pasadena Playhouse. She signed a contract with Warner Bros. and worked up from B-movies that ran less than an hour (Busses Roar, The Mysterious Doctor, The Last Ride) to her first “A” picture, the 1944 Between Two Worlds, an Outward Bound-style postmortem fantasy. She upped her éclat with the role of John Garfield’s supportive wife in the 1945 Pride of the Marines, nursing and nourishing her soldier-husband, who had been blinded in a Guadalcanal battle, back to sanity with her unflinching love
(READ: TIME’s review of Pride of the Marines by subscribing to TIME)
Parker got what might have been a big break when she was cast as the Machiavellian Mildred in a 1946 remake of W. Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage. Bette Davis, who had vaulted to stardom playing Mildred in a 1934 film, sent Parker flowers and a note saying she hoped the showy slattern role was as good to the young actress as it had been for her. In TIME, critic James Agee credited Parker for “a fine, shoulder-wriggling job.” But the movie tanked, as did another romantic drama from the same year, Never Say Goodbye. As Agee wrote, pen in check, it’s “the one about a divorced husband (Errol Flynn) who loves his ex-wife (Eleanor Parker), who loves him but won’t-admit-it-even-to-herself, and their little girl (Patti Brady), who loves, and is loved by, both of them, and will never let them hear the last of it. … Those who made this version use all the known tricks, and invent a few new ones, for depriving it of both humor and humanity.”
The Warner executives didn’t know what to do with their young star — of her pairing with Humphrey Bogart in Chain Lightning (1950), a TIME critic opined, “Much of the dialogue they speak does not deserve to travel at the speed of sound” — until they cast Parker in Caged. She is Maria Allen, a newlywed who tries to save her husband after he was injured in a heist. Instead, Maria is wrongly convicted and sent to women’s prison, where the warden (Agnes Moorehead) may have progressive ideas but the real boss is Hope Emerson’s ultra-butch giantess of a lifer. “Let’s you and me get acquainted, honey,” she growls to Marie. “You may be a number to others but not to me.” When Marie discovers she’s pregnant, the infirmary nurse asks if the father can help pay the bills. Marie says the father is her husband, and he’s dead. “Another bill for the state!” the nurse snarls. “Get dressed.”
Gallows humor and acerbic aphorisms abound — “In this cage you get tough or you get killed,” observes fellow inmate Betty Garde — in a script co-written by Virginia Kellogg (who had worked on the ’40s crime epics T-Men and White Heat). With John Cromwell as director, Caged earned Oscar nominations for Parker, Emerson and the screenplay. The star also took the Best Actress prize at the 1950 Venice Film Festival, where her rivals included Ingrid Bergman in the Italian Stromboli directed by Bergman’s new beau, Roberto Rossellini.
(READ: TIME’s review of Caged by subscribing to TIME)
Parker’s dramatic profile now in more visible relief, she was cast by William Wyler in his film version of Sidney Kingsley’s 1949 Broadway hit Detective Story. The action is almost totally confined to a Manhattan precinct house, and a pretty young wife might seem a needless intrusion. But it happens that Detective Jim McLeod is tracking an abortionist, and that the dastard once operated on Mary McLeod (Parker). Shocked, Jim tells her, “I’d give my soul to take out my brain, hold it under the faucet and wash away the dirty pictures you put there tonight.” Mary stands her rhetorical ground: “But when you wash away what I may have put there, you’ll find you’ve a rotten spot in your brain, Jim. And it’s growing. I know. I’ve watched it.” Yes, people in movies used to speak in complete sentences, and Parker invests full emotional force in this outburst from a sensitive, troubled woman who finds righteous anger in her despair.
In 1955, the year that Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was introduced, Parker starred as the Australian diva Marjorie Lawrence, an opera star for a decade until she contracted the disease, then fought it for two years until she was able to perform Isolde, seated, at the Met. Future Met soprano Eileen Farrell did the off-camera singing for Interrupted Melody, but Parker trained for weeks to learn the arias and during the shoot sang fortissima instead of lip-synching to make the breathing and phrasing more plausible. The film, which has its soapy and starchy moments, zaps to life when Marjorie’s doctor-husband (Glenn Ford) plays a recording of her singing “My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice,” and Marjorie crawls across the floor to kick the machine and end the sonic torture. Parker put a world of flailing fury into that impressive scene.
(READ: TIME’s 1943 tribute to Marjorie Lawrence by subscribing to TIME)
In The Man with the Golden Arm,  Otto Preminger’s chilling version of Nelson Algren’s scalding novel about a card dealer’s drug addiction — this is the movie whose plot TIME synopsized as “the hero gets his heroin” — Sinatra touched the depths of desperation and the acme of his acting art as Frankie Machine, with the young Kim Novak as his luscious guardian angel. (Novak would later star in the third Of Human Bondage screen version; so no degrees of Kevin Bacon for any of the three Hollywood Mildreds.) Parker’s role as Frankie’s wife Zosch is small but indelible. She lays guilt like wet cement around Frankie’s dreams to get free of the junk, and uses her wheelchair as the cage he’s supposed to share with her. (SPOILER ALERT: The witch can walk.)
No question this is the peak work for Sinatra, who virtually stole the assignment from Marlon Brando, and for Preminger; it might also be the all-time-harrowing junkie film. Screenwriter Walter Newman thought Shelley Winters, so familiar with playing braying losers in A Place in the Sun and The Night of the Hunter, should have been cast as Zosch. But Parker, still lovely at 33 under that no-makeup makeup look, initially wins a little sympathy for the character. She suggests that Zosch might have every right to feel wronged, her beauty-queen destiny derailed by her downward-spiraling husband and her invalid status. She is the Machine with an unshakable addiction: her malice against Frankie, which she means to be a life sentence of confinement for them both.
(READ: reviews of The Man With the Golden Arm novel and movie by subscribing to TIME)
Just below the top rung of stars, Parker often played what we may call the Neglected Female Lead. She fretted while Robert Taylor built the plane that carried the first A-bomb in Above and Beyond (1952); tagged along across Egypt with archaeologist Taylor in Valley of the Kings (1954); played a rare comedy role as a Calamity Jane type pursuing Taylor in Many Rivers to Cross (1955). She got rejected by Stewart Granger in favor of the lower-billed, but fabulously fetching, Janet Leigh in Scaramouche (1952); diverted Civil War Northerner William Holden with her Confederate wiles in Escape from Fort Bravo (1953); supported Charlton Heston as he fights an invading army of South American soldier ants in The Naked Jungle (1954); and served as Sinatra’s wavering romantic interest in Frank Capra’s A Hole in the Head (1959).
Showcases for their male stars, these films allowed Parker to be the decorative helpmate or coquette, little more. She did get to give some lip to Clark Gable in the 1956 A King and Four Queens, where, in the role of Sabina McDade (a wonderful name for a feisty floozy), she tells him, “I wouldn’t trust you with a snow-blower in a blizzard.” But 1950s Hollywood was awash in manly Westerns and past its gynocentric prime; it would never make a movie called A Queen and Four Kings. Parker’s last starring role in a “major” Hollywood movie was Return to Peyton Place, the 1962 sequel in which she replaced Real Star Lana Turner as Constance Mackenzie Rossi, the dirty town’s doyenne.
(FIND: “The Lana Turner Affair” in Howard Chua-Eoan’s must-read Top 25 Crimes of the Century; no subscription required!)
When she could, Parker moved from the salad bar to red-meat roles in melodramas that earn the adjective “lurid.” In the 1957 Lizzie, based on Shirley Jackson’s novel The Bird’s Nest, and directed by B-minus movie auteur Hugo Haas, she plays Elizabeth, a librarian who receives threatening letters from a creature named Lizzie. Released a few months before the similarly-themed The Three Faces of Eve, which earned an Oscar for the young Joanne Woodward, this low-budget psychological thriller unleashed Parker on a trio of personalities, each of which she over- or underplayed to spooky precision. She also got some solid screen time in Vincent Minnelli’s Home from the Hill (1960), as the neglected wife of Texas philanderer Robert Mitchum. The movie is two-and-a-half hours of domestic recriminations, with Parker’s Hannah freezing out Mitchum’s Wade and raising their son Theron (George Peppard) on her own. It is a marital battle who hostilities can cease only at the grave.
Eleanor Parker and Richard Haydn are greeted by Christopher Plummer in a scene from the film 'The Sound Of Music', 1965
20th Century Fox / Getty Images
The year after lending her stately grace to the Baroness in The Sound of Music, Parker got one last terrific role, though in a crappy movie. An American Dream, based on Norman Mailer’s fourth and possibly worst novel, was a species of detritus from Hollywood in the mid-’60s, when the avatars of the town’s Golden Age that knew Europe was making all the cool films, and they didn’t know how to imitate them profitably. Young directors, like this movie’s Robert Gist, from TV, were allowed to try something dark and weird; and Mailer’s novel, about an ex-Congressman talk-show host accused of his wife’s murder, would do as a springboard. That the novelist had stabbed and nearly killed his own wife a few years earlier gave the project a frisson of sick fever.
(READ: Richard Lacayo on the life and work of Norman Mailer)
So what’s Eleanor Parker doing in this dreck? Great work! As Deborah, wealthy wife of the protagonist Stephen Rojack (Stuart Whitman), Parker spectacularly struts and taunts her contempt; her every phrase wields the scalpel of emasculation. Deborah’s wild sexual exploits disgust her husband — a Mailer hero as prude? — and drive him to demand a divorce. Hearing that, she sneers the immortal line: “From the daughter of the eighth richest man in the whole U.S.? Bitch I am but rich I am.” Twenty minutes into this Virginia Woolf spray of venom, Deborah falls to her death off the penthouse terrace balcony, and takes the movie with her.
Parker kept acting in TV shows, starring in the short-lived inside-Hollwood series Bracken’s World (1969), for which she gleaned a Golden Globe nomination, and doing guest spots on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Murder She Wrote — the aging actor’s equivalent of shuffleboard and rest-home Bingo. In 1991, just before her 70th birthday, Parker retired. She lived quietly in Palm Springs with the memories of the four husbands she had divorced or outlived and the fondness of her four children, all born between 1948 and 1958, the decade of her early stardom. She could look back proudly on a career of swank and subtle achievement, for she had proved that this lady could play the tramp. Baroness she might be, but bitch she was.
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