Fess Parker

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Fess Parker

Born

8/16/1924, Fort Worth Texas

Died

3/18/2010

Birth Name

Fess Elisha Parker, Jr.

Gender

Male
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
16 votes

Biography

EDIT
Tall, Texas-born actor who was discovered by Adolphe Menjou at the University of Texas. Became the epitome of the frontier hero when cast by Disney as Davy Crockett in a series of one hour movies during the mid-50's. After the series Parker became typecast as a frontiersman so…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Parker and Daniel Boone leading lady Patricia Blair both hailed from Fort Worth, TX.

    • Co-starred with Peter Lorre in the 1958 Playhouse 90 drama Turn Left at Mt. Everest.

    • Parker was nominated for an Emmy in 1955 as Best New Personality.

    • Fess was reportedly jealous of Daniel Boone co-star Ed Ames due to the fact that Ames received more fan mail than him.

    • In the early 60's Parker made guest appearances on Burke's Law and Alfred Hitchcock.

    • Unlike Davy Crockett, the real Daniel Boone never wore a coonskin cap. Boone wore an ordinary felt hat. Fess donned the coonskin again for his second frontier series at the insistence of producers.

    • Parker sang "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" at Disneyland the day the amusement park opened on July 17, 1955. He sang the song again at the park's 50th anniversary in 2005.

    • Parker and his wife have 11 grandchildren.

    • Parker earned a graduate degree in drama at USC.

    • Parker joined Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity while at the University of Texas.

    • Parker served as a radioman in the Marine Corps during World War II after being rejected as an aviator because he was too tall.

    • When Parker decided to return to series television in 1964 he wanted to reprise his role as Davy Crockett but was unable to secure the rights. Thus, he became that other legendary frontier hero--Daniel Boone.

    • Parker directed five episodes of Daniel Boone.

    • Parker was given introductions to important people in Hollywood by actor Adolphe Menjou whom he'd met at the University of Texas.

    • Except for a failed 1974 sitcom pilot, Fess's last appearance on-screen was in the 1972 TV movie Climb an Angry Mountain.

    • Fess Parker stands 6' 5" tall.

    • Fess co-starred with Steve McQueen, Bobby Darin, and Bob Newhart in the 1962 war drama Hell is for Heroes.

    • Fess now owns and operates a bed and breakfast Inn/winery in Santa Barbara County, CA.

    • Fess was forced to turn down a role in the classic 1956 western The Searchers because he couldn't get out of his Disney contract. The role went to Jeffrey Hunter instead.

    • Parker originally attended Hardin-Simmons College in Abilene TX before transferring to the University of Texas in Austin.

    • Parker has been married to the former Marcella Rinehart since 1960. They have two children.

    • Buddy Ebsen, who later became famous as Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, played Parker's sidekick, George Russell, in the Davy Crockett series for Disney.

    • After the series ended, Parker was forced to sue the producers of Daniel Boone for his rightful share of the profits from the series.

    • In 1957 Parker played the father in the classic Disney film Old Yeller.

    • Parker made his film debut in 1952's Springfield Rifle appearing with the likes of Gary Cooper and Lon Chaney, Jr.

  • Quotes

    • Parker: (regarding the similarities of his Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone characters) I think I was the only actor ever in the witness protection program.

    • Parker: I guess you could call me plain. I don't go in for show. There isn't anything I want too much except to be a good actor.

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