Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Eleanor Parker... Part II

More pics and babbling...
Eleanor was born on June 26th, 1922 in Cedarville Ohio and aspired to be an actress at a very early age. In 1941 she was offered a contract with Warner bros at $75 a week. Her first film appearance was supposed to be a bit part in "They Died with Their Boots On" but her scene ended up on the cutting room floor. This pic is scanned from an Italian postcard, not sure of the vintage.
The studio put her in B-films and small roles until in 1943 she finally got a larger role in Michael Curtiz' "Mission to Moscow" starring dramatic heavyweights Walter Huston and Ann Harding. Sadly the film is rather dull, but she got good notices. The next year she was appearing with John Garfield, Paul Henried and Sydney Greenstreet in "Between Two Worlds", a role she got because Joan Leslie was held up still filming the over-schedule "Rhapsody in Blue". The still above was for a film she made later that same year, "The Very Thought of You", a fairly off-beat war-time drama written and directed by Delmer Daves and co-starring Dennis Morgan, Dane Clark, Henry Travers, Faye Emerson and Andrea King. Eleanor got the role in this film because Ida Lupino was recovering from an illness. She gave a wonderful, heartfelt performance and was now well on her way to being a star as well as an actress to be reckoned with.

Here's a scan of an original Lobby Card I have for the film. At one point Henry Travers is so disgusted by the way his family has treated returning serviceman Dennis Morgan, a visitor in his home, that he scolds them by saying "You treated that boy with all the courtesy you'd give a JAP!". I can't help it, but every time I see Henry Travers in a film I HAVE to say "Why look, it's CLARENCE!" in my best Jimmy Stewart voice.

Eleanor looking quite the flawless beauty here! Another vintage autographed still I picked up several years ago. The photo was taken by the great Bert Six.

Another original Lobby Card I have in my collection. Eleanor very effectively played two roles in this gothic type period piece released in 1948. Well-cast and with good production values it is worth a look if you get the chance.

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