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Cecilia Parker (April 26, 1914July 25, 1993) was a film actress.

She was brought to southern Californiamarker as a child by her mother, Mrs. Naudy Anna Parker. Her father was an Englishmarker soldier. Parker graduated from the Convent of the Immaculate Heart in Hollywoodmarker in June 1931. At the time she resided with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Parker, at 546 North Fuller Street in Los Angeles, Californiamarker. Parker was selected from among a group of extras to attend the Fox Film studio training school for younger players.

Soon she was selected to play opposite George O'Brien in The Rainbow Trail (1932). The Rainbow Trail, written by Zane Grey, was the novelist's sequel to Riders of the Purple Sage. Parker starred with Tom Tyler and Carmelita Geraghty in a 1932-1933 produced by Universal Pictures. It is entitled The Jungle Mystery. In July 1933 she was chosen to play the heroine in the Ken Maynard western, The Trail Drive (1933). That same year, she was John Wayne's leading lady in the first singing cowboy movie, Riders of Destiny.

After playing the sister of Greta Garbo in 1934's The Painted Veil, Parker signed a seven year contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.The studio wanted a blonde who resembled Garbo as a young girl.Her new contract called for a starting salary of $75 a week and scales up to $1000 a week for the seventh year.

In November 1935 Parker purchased a new home in Beverly Hills, Californiamarker. She installed both a barbecue and a basketball court. The following year she joined the balletschool of Dave Gould at M.G.M., along with Maureen O'Sullivan. By the fall of 1936 Parker was studying singing.

She starred as Marian Hardy in a series of Andy Hardy movies in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Beginning with A Family Affair in 1937, the series featured Hollywood luminaries like Mickey Rooney, Lewis Stone, Ann Rutherford, and Fay Holden. The motion pictures were directed by George "one take" Seitz. Out West With The Hardys (1938) features the entire Hardy family on a western trek to a large ranch. You're Only Young Once was the entry which revolved around Parker's romance with a married life-guard on Catalina Island. Marion's various romances was a recurring feature of the Hardy series.

It is rumored that she gave MGM some trouble at one point, because in 1941 she was "loaned" (exiled is probably a better word) to ultra-low-rent studio PRC for one picture, a fate that usually befell actors who displeased the higher-ups at the studios. All was apparently forgiven, though, as she made five more pictures at MGM before she retired in 1942. She returned in 1958 for one final Andy Hardy film, but then went back to the real estate business she and her husband operated in Ventura, California, where she died in 1993.

Personal life

Parker's sister, Linda, was an actress who appeared in a number of uncredited roles in the early 1930s. Both sisters once tested for the same part in David Copperfield. Parker was a close friend of actress Anne Shirley. During the mid-1930s the two kept a standing dinner date on Thursday nights.

In 1938 she married actor Dick Baldwin, who helped her to become a naturalized citizen in 1940. Her death at 79 on the 25th of July, 1993 was shrouded with mystery when her cause of death was simply reported by the New York Times as "a long illness".She was survived by her husband Robert Sr., a daughter, Ann Bridges of San Diego; two sons, Robert Jr., of Tracy, California and John, of Ventura; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

References

  • Bismarck, North Dakotamarker Tribune, Fifth Hardy Family Picture Delightful, Friday, December 2, 1938, Page 8.
  • Los Angeles Times, Film Outlook During Summer Assumes Rosier Hue, June 14, 1931, Page B9.
  • Los Angeles Times, Chosen By Fortune For Screen Career, October 6, 1931, Page 10.
  • Los Angeles Times, Rainbow Trail Announced For Loew's State, December 22, 1931, Page A7.
  • Los Angeles Times, Tyler To Play Lead, May 31, 1932, Page A9.
  • Los Angeles Times, Cecilia Parker To Lead, July 16, 1933, Page A1.
  • Los Angeles Times, Court Accepts Young Player's Film Contract, July 25, 1934, Page A10.
  • Los Angeles Times, Odd and Interesting, September 25, 1934, Page 19.
  • Los Angeles Times, Around And About In Hollywood, November 6, 1935, Page A15.
  • Ls Angeles Times, Around And About In Hollywood, February 17, 1936, Page A15.
  • Los Angeles Times, Around And About In Hollywood, February 18, 1936, Page A19.
  • Portsmouth, Ohiomarker Times, Cecilia Parker, Sunday, November 15, 1936, Page 68.


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