Admittedly, some of the films in which she appeared during the 1940s, with the exceptions of "Of Human Bondage," "The Voice of the Turtle" and "The Woman In White," had little going for them except her graceful presence and beauty. However, Parker was leaving an undeniable trajectory as an actress of first rank. She was incomparable as an actress; however, without having a "personality" that could be packaged and labeled to the public, she didn't fit the Hollywood mold. In that era, talent came second to contrived glamour and personality.
There was simply too much talent involved here, and Hollywood didn't quite know what to do with it. Furthermore, she had an intelligent mind and refused to conform to the mindlessness of the industry. Despite all of this, the starlet quickly became a major star through late 1940s, 1950s and into the 1960s appearing in more higher quality films; moreover, she become one of the most popular and esteemed actresses of her epoque--among her peers, as well as her fans internationally.
In Hollywood, there's a symbolic little ceremony that means much to those with little in their lives, really. It's a small statuette that's handed out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It has a name--Oscar.
Earning an Oscar is sometimes well-merited and deserving. At times, it's been obtained through various
means that have nothing to do with a best performance or a job well done.
Many times, it's obtained by simply knowing whom to go to bed with. There, I said it!
Three times the Academy voted to nominate Eleanor Parker for Best Actress. The three nominations were for "Caged" 1950, "Detective Story" 1951 and "Interrupted Melody" 1955. She didn't win once.
In 1970, The Golden Globe Awards voted to nominate her for excellence in "Bracken's World"
Best TV Actress-Drama. She didn't win.
An Emmy Award nomination came next for Outstanding Single Performance By An Actress In A
Leading Role in an episode of "The Eleventh Hour"-"Why Am I Grown So Cold?" Again, a no-win.
She does have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame--but so does Lassie. Although she fully
qualified for multiple stars just like Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney and Roy Rogers for their notable work
in radio, motion pictures, television and the stage, she received one dinky star.
In the world of cinema, there are four major distinguished film awards: the Venice Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival and little Oscar. The first three are the most prestigious and are taken very seriously by true artists. The last award brings in the "big bucks," but for the most part, it's a joke. However, there are some insecure little people that would kill or die for it.
Finally, in 1950, Parker won what was viewed by many in the industry as a well-deserved Volpi Cup
for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. However, back in Hollywood, "Caged," has been labeled
by some as "camp" and not serious film noir. H-m-m-m-m.
At the end of her life journey, she lacked nothing: not prestige, not her dignity, not material goods and above all, she never lacked having faith in God and peace within. In the end, she did win the award she coveted the most--the love, respect and dedication of her family her top priority: Richard, Paul, Susan and Sharon. Surrounded by her family at her side, she left this earth peacefully to be with her Lord.
Had she been British, she would have long ago received a title of sorts, just like Dame Angela Lansbury, Dame Judith Anderson, Lord Lawrence Olivier and so many, many others. Here, we can barely muster a star which daily gets spat on Hollywood sidewalks. Something has to change in the award system. Too many seriously talented artists who have truly contributed something to this nation, and to the world, fall by the crack, and we don't even have a recognizable way to say "thank you."