Michael Parks, a character actor who was a favorite of Quentin Tarantino, died Tuesday at at the age of 77.
Parks appeared in both of Tarantino's "Kill Bill" movies as well as "From Dusk Till Dawn" and "Django Unchained." He was also a favorite of directors like Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez, and had roles in the former's "Tusk" and the latter's "Grindhouse."
Parks began his career in 1961 in the TV series "The Real McCoys." He went on to appear in "Perry Mason," "Sam Benedict," and "The Colbys." And he played Jean Renault in "Twin Peaks."
He starred in and sang the theme song to "Then Came Bronson," a short-lived TV series in 1969. The song, "Long Lonesome Highway" made it to No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Parks went on to record several albums, including "Red State Sessions," which he made while filming Smith's "Red State" in 2011.
Parks is survived by wife Oriana and son James. Smith penned a heartfelt tribute to the actor on Instagram:
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