Incredibly sad news for horror fans–or just fans of movies in general–today as it’s just been announced that Michael Parks, character actor extraordinaire, has died at the age of 77.
The BBC suggests in their headline that Parks was Hollywood’s most underrated actor and the answer, at least from those of us who grew up with him, is an unequivocal yes. However he also counted Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith as some of his biggest and most vocal fans.
It was Smith who broke the news on his Instagram account, describing the actor, in an emotional post, as his muse. Parks had a couple of memorable turns in Smith’s horror movies Red State and Tusk, taking to their vastly different villain roles with considerable aplomb.
Horror fans will also recognise him from Jim Mickle’s glorious We Are What We Are, along with Rodriguez’s genre fan favourite From Dusk Till Dawn, but Parks was most well-known for starring in TV’s Twin Peaks along with Tarantino’s Kill Bill 1 and 2, among a wide variety of other eye-catching turns over his long and storied career.
As the BBC notes, he was criminally underrated, bringing class and esteem to everything he did. It’s unsurprising Tarantino described him as one of his all-time favourite actors. His is a considerable loss to the world of movies in general, and horror in particular, a genre in which he was making a long-anticipated comeback of sorts over the past few years.
Parks is survived by his wife and son. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.