Passings: Michael Parks, Actor and Singer (1940 - 2017)

by VVN Music

Actor and singer Michael Parks died on Tuesday (May 9) at the age of 77 from an unknown cause.

News of Parks' death came from director Kevin Smith who recently worked with Parks on two films.

I hate to report that my cinematic muse #michaelparks has passed away. Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I've ever known. I wrote both #RedState and @tuskthemovie FOR Parks, I loved his acting so much. 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. From the moment I saw him steal the opening scene of #fromdusktildawn at an advance screening at the Sunset 5 back in the mid-90's, I said to @samosier "Could you imagine what it must be like to work with a Yoda of acting like that guy? I gotta write for him one day." It took me 15 years but my dream came true on Red State (for which Parks won Best Actor at the @sitgesfestival) and then again years later with #tusk. Only Michael Parks could have delivered the line "Is man indeed a walrus at heart?" and make it scary as fuck. My favorite memory of Michael is watching him and #johnnydepp act with and at each other, like a couple of dueling wizards, in their shared scene in Tusk. Parks was in Heaven that day, sharing the screen with another brilliant actor and creating an unforgettable performance. He elevated any flick or TV show he was in and elevated every director he ever acted for. I was so fucking blessed to have worked with this bonafide genius. But really, I was just lucky to have known him at all. My heart goes out to James (Michael's son), Oriana (Michael's wife), Quentin Tarantino (Michael's biggest fan) and any movie or music lover who was ever dazzled by the talents of Michael Parks. Farewell, old friend. I'll see you farther along... #KevinSmith #actor #genius #rip #walrusyes

Parks was born in southern California and spent much of his teen years drifting through a number of different jobs and entering his first marriage.

His first appearance came in a 1958 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and, over the next few years, appeared as a guest on such programs as Gunsmoke, The Greatest Show on Earth and Perry Mason. He did two films in 1965 but his major acting break came in 1966 when he played Adam in John Houston's The Bible: In the Beginning.

In the fall of 1969, Parks starred in the TV series Then Came Bronson about a man who goes on a long road trip on his motorcycle to find "the meaning of life". He also sang the closing theme song from the show, Long Lonesome Highway, which was released as a single and went to number 20 on the Hot 100, 5 on Adult Contemporary and 41 on the Country charts.

While the song was his only hit, he did record six studio albums over his lifetime.

Bronson was cancelled after one season and Parks became a working character actor in both film and TV with credits including The China Lake Murders, Death Wish V, From Dusk till Dawn, Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, Red State, Argo and Django Unchained.

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