Eleanor Parker, 91, who was nominated for Academy Awards three times for her portrayals of strong-willed women and played a scheming baroness in

The Sound of Music

, died Monday in Palm Springs, Calif., due to complications from pneumonia.

Ms. Parker was nominated for Oscars in 1950, 1951, and 1955, but then saw her career begin to wane in the early 1960s. Her last memorable role came in 1965's The Sound of Music, in which she played the scheming baroness who loses Christopher Plummer to Julie Andrews.

Like William Holden, Dustin Hoffman, and others, Ms. Parker was discovered at the Pasadena Playhouse. She was signed by Warner Bros., where she played minor roles until the studio recognized her dramatic depth and cast her in a 1946 remake of Of Human Bondage.

The film flopped, and Ms. Parker was again relegated to mediocre roles until her breakthrough as an inmate in a brutal prison in the 1950 film Caged. The role brought Ms. Parker her first Oscar nomination, for best actress.

Her second came the following year as Kirk Douglas' frustrated wife in Detective Story. She took on one of her most challenging roles in 1955 in Interrupted Melody, portraying opera star Marjorie Lawrence, who continued her career after contracting polio. The result: her third Oscar nomination. - AP