Michael Parks: 1940 – 2017

Musician, actor, and all around badass Michael Parks has passed on at 77. Familiar to TV audience from his myriad of guest-appearances over four decades on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Gunsmoke, The Equalizer and Twin Peaks (playing a French Canadian scoundrel), Parks just brought that heady brew of intimidating and crazy, with a twinkle in his eye. His peculiar cadence and mannerisms of speaking make him in the league of Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and Robert Deniro, as being instantly recognizable in any part, but still able to fold into a character. And he could do this with only minutes of screen time, whereas A-listers had a whole film to do so. Parks was exceptionally efficient and talented as a character actor and a thief of scenes.

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez cast him as the ubiquitous Sheriff McGraw across 4 films (Kill Bill, Death Proof, Planet Terror, and his stunning mood setting intro for From Dusk Till Dawn.) Lately Kevin Smith has been using him to play megalomaniacs and put him in a very central role both Red State and Tusk, but really, Parks ace in the hole was stealing single scenes, like his Mexican Pimp in the back half of Kill Bill, or his prospector in Django Unchained. He worked right up to his death (Hostiles is currently in production). He will be sorely missed.

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