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Myth or Lie # 1: Eleanor Parker Was A Recluse.
Because of her insistance in maintaining her privacy, and not having an interest in the overall notorious PR antics of this industry, this actress simply passed on engaging in an unnecessary and exaggerated social life. This being said, she knew her responsibilities to the public as an actress and did her part to fulfill those responsibilities when called on--above and beyond what was expected from her.
She helped christen rail trains. She did the obligatory at-the-beach photo op.
She also attended baptisms, worship services both at churches and
synagogues She also went to parties, weddings, anniversaries and just about any normal social event that any other motion picture star attended.
Wait, it doesn't stop there! In addition, she went to Oscar, Emmy and
Golden Globe rehearsals and ceremony presentations for herself as well
as in behalf of others.
Oh, yes. She also participated during WWII in behalf of her country and in
the famous Hollywood Canteen events for our servicemen and service
women. She traveled extensivily abroad for location shots and vacationed
with her brood as well. So, this is a recluse?
What she didn't do, for the most part, was liberally give interviews;
the reasons for which this writer can only speculate and lament. What a
treasury of experience, wisdom and acting expertise could have been gleaned from this
magnificent grand dame of films. Perhaps, she had a real fear of speaking in
public. This is almost unimaginable with her perfect diction, professionally trained voice, vocabulary and articulation; however, it's a v-e-r-y remote possibility.
Perhaps she was simply using caution fully knowing what Hollywood gossip
columnists and faux film critics were capable of doing to an actor's career and personal
life as well. Thankfully, we do have one revealing and very interesting interview,
which was given to Mr. Alan K. Rode in 2010 and is available online - the
Noir City Sentinel. You can see how utterly beautiful and radiant she looked at this
noir festival circa 2005 standing alongside Alan.
According to one local real estate Palm Springs article, she was said to be a
"notorious recluse" and "night owl" who drew her curtains during the day.
Let me go on record by saying that I live in South Florida, and the Florida sun's heat is just a little too much for this writer--even with central air conditioning. Many times I prefer to work at night when there are less interruptions. Moreover, I also draw blinds during the day, and I can assure you that I'm no celebrity.
Attempts to label Ms. Parker as such are mean-spirited, unfair and totally unwarranted. Whatever her reasons, one thing is for sure, she, Eleanor Parker, who had given so much for others, was now entitled to her privacy in her later years.