With makeup, minimal makeup or simply without any makeup at all, at the height of her career, the aristocratic lines of this lady's face graced movie magazines and motion picture theatre screens all over the world. In Hollywood's Golden Age, where glamour and beauty was a mandate, and talent was many times considered as a nonessential asset, this Chamleon Lady had it all!
One thing is certain: when God created Eleanor Parker, He had the lens of a camera on His mind. She was a gift to us all and continues to be one through her many films. Although she is temporarily gone from us physically, she's resides peacefully in our hearts. If you believe in an after life, in the Arms of the Eternal One, you can rest assured that we'll all see her once again magnificently...this time face-to-face.
Legendary Cinematographer Peverell Marley, confronted by the challenge of turning one of Hollywood's most beautiful, new, rising starlets into the slovenly, low-life Mildred Rogers in "Of Human Bondage," had to go into overdrive for this one. His efforts paid off.
Despite the remarkably authentic-sounding cockney accent conjured up by Eleanor Parker, and her brilliant, energetic performance, after endless chopping, the film failed to make a full-pledged top-tier star of the young actress. While it was a critically-acclaimed film in England, the film failed to ignite in the U.S
As reported by columnist Louella O. Parsons, Hollywood's premier lady of gossip, she [Louella] once had an interview with Edmund Goulding, the director of "Of Human Bondage," (1946). He reportedly said: "That girl [Eleanor Parker] is going far if she's given a chance. "She's one of the five greatest actresses in America!" "She is a great actress, and I hope her beauty doesn't stand in her way."
Fortunately, this never happened with Eleanor. Being the intelligent woman and actress that she was, looking her best was not an issue with Parker in her career. What mattered most was what she could bring to the part. How many hearts could be touched, how many smiles, or better yet, how many laughs could she provoke in all of us? That's what mattered the most to her.
As Mildred Rogers in
"Of Human Bondage"
Men were totally mesmerized by her classic, finely chisled features, and photographers vied for the opportunity to take her photos. Conservatively, thousands of her photos are available online for viewing. For the most part, this writer has never yet met a woman who didn't like her performances and who didn't secretly wish that she could look and dress as she did. She was elegance personified!
Her face was porcelin exquisite; moreover, her complexion was flawless. Rarely seen without a perfectly coiffured hairstyle, she won the praise of hair stylists via the National Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association in 1955.
Her bearing was regally svelt. Her intelligence was extraordinary, she could be very frank and she was faithful and noble-hearted as well; what more could a friend or a man desire?
As for her make-up, she was either ravishingly beautiful or just about the prettiest girl in town. There was simply no other inbetween. Even as Mildred in "Of Human Bondage" 1946, her loveliness surfaced over the malicious, dispicable character she was portraying. She could just as easily been cast as a high-fashion model or a drunken city vagrant depending on the role that she played. Either way, your heart would not remain the same.
"The Sound of Music" - 1965
Kristen Rae Johnson