Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fess Parker (1924-2010)

Fess Parker was famous for playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in both film and on television.

Fess Parker was born on August 16, 1924 in Fort Worth, Texas.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps at the end of World War II. Parker graduated from the University of Texas in 1950 with a history degree, and then moved to California, where he studied drama at the University of Southern California.

Discovered by Adolphe Menjou who was a guest artist at the University of Texas while Fess Parker was a student. Menjou helped him with formal introductions when he first got to Hollywood.

Fess Parker began his film career as the voice of Leslie, the chauffeur in Harvey (1950). He next appeared on Broadway in Mister Roberts (1951).

Fess Parker became a contract player with Warner Brothers appearing in small roles in several films such as Springfield Rifle (1952), Island in the Sky (1953), The Bounty Hunter (1954), and Battle Cry (1955).

In 1955, Fess Parker was cast to play Davey Crockett in Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955). This led to a contract with Disney.

As a contract star for Disney appearing in many films such as The Great Locomotive Chase (1956), and Westward Ho, The Wagons! (1956) and Old Yeller (1957).

Fess Parker also appeared in Alias Jesse James (1959), Hell Is for Heroes (1962), and Daniel Boone: Frontier Trail Rider (1966).

On television, Fess Parker played Davy Crocket in the miniseries Davy Crockett (1954-1955) Sen. Eugene Smith in
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1962-1963) and Daniel Boone in Daniel Boone (1964-1970).

Fess Parker was named a Disney Legend in 1991.

Fess Parker retired from the film industry in the 1970s.

Parker built his first resort hotel in Santa Barbara in 1986. Set on 23.5 ocean front acres, Fess Parker's Double Tree Resort faces one of Santa Barbara's nicest beaches

In 1987, Parker purchased a 714 acre ranch thirty five miles north of Santa Barbara, in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he promptly set about planning and establishing Fess Parker's Winery & Vineyard.

In 1998, Parker purchased The Grand Hotel in Los Olivos, just minutes from his winery. The charming 21 room Victorian-style Inn is now called “Fess Parker's Wine Country Inn & Spa”.

Fess Parker has received numerous awards for producing some of the region's finest wines.

Fess Parker married Marcella Rinehart on January 18, 1960. Thaey have two children, 11 grandchildren, and one great grand son.

Fess Parker died on March 18, 2010 of natural causes.

No comments:

Post a Comment