Michael Parks 1940-2017


Hollywood is mourning the loss of a beloved character actor this week as Kill Bill / From Dusk Till Dawn star Michael Parks reportedly passed away yesterday. The cause of death was not made public but the sad news hit several well-known directors hard including Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith. Quentin Tarantino was also among his biggest fans, having called him “the world’s greatest living actor.” His film credits numbered close to 150 and his career spanned nearly 6 decades. He was 77 years old.

Michael Parks got his start on television in the ’60s, appearing on such shows as The Real McCoys, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke and Sam Benedict. In 1969, he played the lead role on the short-lived biker TV series Then Came Bronson for which he also performed the theme song. This kicked off a side career as a musician, which he pursued off and on afterward.

In the ’80s, he appeared in the second season of the Dynasty spin-off series The Colbys. David Lynch cast him in Twin Peaks as drug runner Jean Renault and he also played a mob boss in Death Wish V. Soon after that, he appeared in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn, which led to roles in several of their other films including Grindhouse, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, and Django Unchained. Most recently, he starred in Kevin Smith’s Red State and Tusk. What are your favourite Michael Parks performances?

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  • Lori Cerny

    His best performance has to be Esteban Vihaio in Kill Bill: Vol. 2. The accent, line delivery, body language, facial expressions… man, just the way he supports his right knee when he crosses his legs.

    Parks completely became a whole other person in that film and certainly deserved an award. They should create an award, naming it – The Michael Parks Character Award. It would go to any actor in a film who becomes a new persona.

    Parks could get his posthumously and let’s toss in a retroactive achievement for Jenette Goldstein as Vasquez in Aliens.