77 (passed away May. 9th, 2017)
Apr. 24th, 1940
Corona, California, USA
Michael Parks' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
In 1961, Parks portrayed the nephew of the character George MacMichael on the ABC sitcom The Real McCoys. He appeared as Cal Leonard in the 1963 Perry Mason episode "The Case of Constant Doyle", and gained recognition in the role of Adam in John Huston's The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966). His other early roles included an appearance in two NBC series: the legal drama Sam Benedict, as Larry Wilcox in the 1962 episode "Too Many Strangers", and the medical drama The Eleventh Hour, as Mark Reynolds in the 1963 segment "Pressure Breakdown". He also appeared in The China Lake Murders and Stranger by Night, having portrayed a police officer in both.
Parks was the star of the series Then Came Bronson from 1969 to 1970. He sang the theme song for the show, "Long Lonesome Highway", which became a #20 Billboard Hot 100 and #41 Hot Country Songs hit. Albums he recorded under MGM Records (the label of the studio which produced the series) include Closing The Gap (1969), Long Lonesome Highway (1970), and Blue. He also had various records of songs included on these albums. He played Philip Colby during the second season (1986–1987) of ABC's Dynastyspin-off series The Colbys. He appeared as Irish mob boss Tommy O'Shea in Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994), French-Canadian drug runner Jean Renault in the ABC television series Twin Peaks, Dr. Banyard in Deceiver (1997), Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in From Dusk till Dawn (1996), and Ambrose Bierce in From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (2000).
Parks played two roles in the Kill Bill film series, reprising the role of Earl McGraw in the first film and playing Esteban Vihaio in the second film. He most recently reprised the role of Earl McGraw in both segments of the film Grindhouse. His son, James Parks, played the son of Earl McGraw in Kill Bill, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, Death Proof and Planet Terror. Parks played a villain in Kevin Smith's horror films Red State (2011) and Tusk (2014). Smith later announced on his podcast that Parks had recorded an album during Red State's production, after Smith and producer Jon Gordon noticed his singing talent during filming. The album, titled The Red State Sessions, was released on August 15, 2011 as a download from the film's website.
Parks died on May 9, 2017 in his Los Angeles home at the age of 77. A cause of death has not yet been revealed. Upon hearing the news, director Kevin Smith posted on his Instagram account "Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I've ever known. I wrote both [Red State] and [Tusk] for Parks, I loved his acting so much." he also added, "He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set."Director Robert Rodriguez referred to Michael Parks as "a true legend" in a Twitter post.
- Was a close friend of legendary director 'Jean Renoir' (qv).
- He played Earl McGraw, the police officer with bad puns, in _Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)_ (qv) and then played Esteban Vinaio, the 80-year-old, smooth Mexican pimp who once was Bill's mentor in _Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)_ (qv).
- Picked fruit, dug ditches, drove trucks and fought forest fires.
- Lived on a Yacht in the Monterey, California harbor in the early 1980s.
- Recorded a half-dozen country/blues albums in the late sixties and early seventies and one "Cooling soup" in the late nineties.
- Father of actor 'James Parks (I)' (qv).
- Attempted to qualify for the 1972 Olympics as a miler, running a time of 4:06.
- Was discovered by 'Frank Silvera' (qv) while acting in a play entitled "Compulsion" at age 18.
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