Cecilia Parker; Actress in 'Andy Hardy' Films

Cecilia Parker of Ventura, an actress who played Mickey Rooney's sister in the "Andy Hardy" film series in the 1930s and '40s, died in her home Sunday after a long illness. She was 79.

Parker was born April 26, 1914, in Ft. William, Ontario, and lived in Los Angeles before retiring to Ventura 20 years ago.

In 1938, she married actor Robert Baldwin Sr. at San Buenaventura Mission . She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1940.

Parker began her acting career at age 16 as a contract employee of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

She went on to appear on screen in "The Painted Veil" as the sister of Greta Garbo; as Mickey Rooney's sister Marion in 11 of the 16 "Andy Hardy" movies and in dozens of motion pictures including "Young as You Feel," "Mystery Ranch," "The Rainbow Trail," "Enter Madame," "High School Girl," "Ah Wilderness!" and "The Mine With the Iron Door."

"My mother was very flamboyant," Parker's daughter, Ann Bridges of San Diego said Sunday. "I remember a lot of parties and playing in my mother's gowns."

Bridges added: "I have a picture sitting on Mickey Rooney's lap, signed 'To my sweet potato from your Uncle Mick.' "

Also surviving Parker are her husband, Robert Baldwin Sr., of Ventura; two sons, Robert Baldwin Jr. of Tracy and John Baldwin of Ventura; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, Ventura.

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