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R.I.P. esteemed character actor Michael Parks (1940-2017)

05.10.2017

I'm sad to report that esteemed character actor Michael Parks has passed away today.

While never a household name, Parks has had a long and storied acting career in both TV and film. He's probably best known now for his lead roles in Kevin Smith's two horror films, RED STATE and TUSK, but he had been in the entertainment business long before that, starting in 1958 on ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS. Since then he was a prominent role on the original TWIN PEAKS, a recurring character in the "Tarantino-verse" as Texas Ranger Earl McGraw (appearing in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, both GRINDHOUSE segments, and both KILL BILLS), and even played Jack Kirby in Ben Affleck's Oscar-winning ARGO.

Kevin Smith, who worked with Parks on two of his more memorable late-period lead roles in RED STATE and TUSK had this to say about him:

I hate to report that my cinematic muse Michael Parks has passed away. Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I’ve ever known...He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform.

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

A post shared by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on

Parks is survived by his wife, Oriana, and his son James.

R.I.P. Michael Parks (1940-2017)

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: As uneven and ultimately disappointing it is, Park's speech in RED STATE is indeed riveting, and almost saves the film by acting prowess alone.
Source: Variety

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11:28AM on 05/11/2017
R.I.P.
R.I.P.
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10:15AM on 05/11/2017

RIP Bronson

One of those actors who could elevate material just by showing up.
One of those actors who could elevate material just by showing up.
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12:22AM on 05/11/2017
RIP A man who could play multiple roles in films to near invisible levels. Awesome character actor!
RIP A man who could play multiple roles in films to near invisible levels. Awesome character actor!
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11:24PM on 05/10/2017

Now this one hurts.

You figure it's to be expected considering his age but I just can't get over the feeling that Parks had more left to do. In any event kudos to Kevin Smith. Tarantino might have given him some great material introduced him to most of us, but he never gave the man the lead role her always deserved. Smith had the insight to see how much potential was waiting for a filmaker to come along and utalize it and as a result his two riskiest efforts as a filmaker were immesurable imporved. Even If you
You figure it's to be expected considering his age but I just can't get over the feeling that Parks had more left to do. In any event kudos to Kevin Smith. Tarantino might have given him some great material introduced him to most of us, but he never gave the man the lead role her always deserved. Smith had the insight to see how much potential was waiting for a filmaker to come along and utalize it and as a result his two riskiest efforts as a filmaker were immesurable imporved. Even If you hated them both you have to admit that Parks performance alone makes them worth watching. This scene might just be the best one in Tusk and it's because Parks made the decision to introduce an element of black comedy into it, creating an unforgetably strange and unsetteling scene.
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10:56PM on 05/10/2017
What a shame. Whether you liked the movies he was in or not, his presence always had an immense amount of weight. Brilliant and very underrated actor.
What a shame. Whether you liked the movies he was in or not, his presence always had an immense amount of weight. Brilliant and very underrated actor.
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4:41PM on 05/10/2017

Very Sad - An Awesome Actor

I remember him from the TV series 'Then Came Bronson'. His music was gentle and engaging. He put out 5 LPs and I consider myself fortunate to have 3 of them in my collection.
I remember him from the TV series 'Then Came Bronson'. His music was gentle and engaging. He put out 5 LPs and I consider myself fortunate to have 3 of them in my collection.
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4:23PM on 05/10/2017

This sucks

RIP god bless
RIP god bless
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3:59PM on 05/10/2017
RIP Mr. Parks. A truly talented actor. You will be missed
RIP Mr. Parks. A truly talented actor. You will be missed
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