RIP Michael Parks (1940 – 2017)
It is with deep sadness we must report that legendary genre actor Michael Parks has passed away this morning. Filmmaker Kevin Smith confirmed the news earlier.
“I hate to report that my cinematic muse Michael Parks has passed away,” Smith wrote. “Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I’ve ever known…I loved his acting so much. He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform.”
Parks made his acting debut in a 1958 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and would continue to work in television for many years. He made his feature film debut in 1965 with Brian G. Hutton’s film Wild Seed and would go on to star as Adam in the religious epic The Bible: In the Beginning… the next year. The actor continued to work in both mediums throughout the ’60s and ’70s, alongside a singing career through which he released seven studio albums. Parks even lead his own series, Then Came Bronson, for which he also performed the theme song. In addition, Parks both directed and starred in the film The Return of Josey Wales, a sequel to the 1976 Clint Eastwood film The Outlaw Josey Wales.
In recent years, however, Parks has become a cult favorite due to his appearances in films by Smith, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino. Parks is perhaps best known as the recurring character Earl McGraw, who first appeared in 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn and would go on to show up in 2003’s Kill Bill: Volume 1 and both films included in 2007’s Grindhouse. The actor also appeared in Argo, We Are What We Are, and Django Unchained. Additional credits for the actor include Twin Peaks, Walker Texas Ranger, and the Smith-directed horror films Red State and Tusk.
Parks is survived by his wife Oriana and son James, who appeared alongside him in Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Death Proof.