Michael Parks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Michael Parks
Michael Parks Then Came Bronson 1969.JPG
Parks as Jim Bronson (1969)
Born Harry Samuel Parks
(1938-04-04) April 4, 1938 (age 76)
Corona, California U.S.
Occupation Actor

Michael Parks (born April 4, 1938)[1] is an American actor and singer.[1] He has appeared in almost fifty films and has made frequent TV appearances, but is probably best known for his work in recent years with directors Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Kevin Smith as well as the 1969 television series Then Came Bronson.

Personal life[edit]

Parks was born Harry Samuel Parks in Corona, California, the son of a truck driver father.[1] He drifted from job to job during his teenage years. He was married at the age of 15.[citation needed]


Parks appeared opposite Bette Davis as Cal Leonard in the 1963 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of Constant Doyle." He gained recognition in the role of Adam in John Huston's The Bible: In the Beginning (1966) featuring his concealed frontal nudity. In 1961, Parks portrayed the nephew of series character George MacMichael (Andy Clyde) on the ABC sitcom, The Real McCoys, starring Walter Brennan.

His other early roles included an appearance in two NBC series, the legal drama Sam Benedict, in the role of Larry Wilcox in the 1962 episode entitled "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 television 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.[2] 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 45 rpm records of songs included on these albums.

He subsequently played Philip Colby during the second season (1986–1987) of ABC's Dynasty spin-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, Doctor Banyard in Deceiver (1997), Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), which was written by Tarantino and directed by Rodriguez, and then took a leading role as Ambrose Bierce in its straight-to-video prequel From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter (2000).

Parks played two roles in Tarantino's Kill Bill, reprising Earl McGraw in Vol. 1, and playing Esteban Vihaio in Vol. 2. He has most recently reprised the role of Earl McGraw in both segments of the Tarantino/Rodriguez film Grindhouse.

His son, James Parks, is also an actor. He has played the son of his father's character, Earl McGraw, four times: Kill Bill, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, Death Proof and Planet Terror.

In July 2010, at the San Diego Comic Con, filmmaker Kevin Smith announced that Parks had been cast as the villain (Pastor Abin Cooper), in his upcoming horror film Red State. Smith later announced on his podcast "Plus One" 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 August 15, 2011, as a download from the film's website.


Album discography[edit]

  • 1969 - Closing The Gap (MGM)
  • 1970 - Long Lonesome Highway (MGM)
  • 1970 - Blue (MGM)
  • 1970 - Lost & Found (Verve)
  • 1971 - Best Of Michael Parks (MGM)
  • 1981 - You Don't Know Me (First American)
  • 1998 - Coolin' Soup (Listen)
  • 2011 - The Red State Sessions (SModcast)


  1. ^ a b c Michael Parks Biography, Film Reference
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (August 2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 315. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 

External links[edit]