American actor Michael Parks, a frequent collaborator of directors Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith has passed away aged 77, with Smith breaking the rather sad news on Instagram…
View this post 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
Parks’ career began back in the 1960s and he scored his first major role as the star of the series Then Came Bronson, from which he also launched a successful recording career as a country artist. He would go on to make appearances in the likes of The Equalizer, Death Wish V: The Face of Death and Twin Peaks before his first outing as his most famous character, Texas Ranger Earl McGraw, in From Dusk Till Dawn.
Parks would reprise the role of Earl McGraw in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Planet Terror and Death Proof, while his other recent credits include roles in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Red State, Argo, Django Unchained and Tusk.