Rest in Peace: Michael Parks

We have another terrible piece of news to report as Kevin Smith has announced the passing of actor Michael Parks, who leaves us at the age of 77. Parks starred in such films as From Dusk Till Dawn, Tusk, Red State, and Grindhouse as well as playing the role of Jean Renault in “Twin Peaks.”

Smith wrote the following eulogy:

I hate to report that my cinematic muse Michael Parks has passed away. Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I’ve ever known. I wrote both Red State and Tusk 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 From Dusk Till Dawn at an advance screening at the Sunset 5 back in the mid-90’s, I said to Scott Mosier, “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 Sitgest Festival) 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 Johnny Depp 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…

We send out condolences to his friends and family members during this difficult time. RIP.

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Jonathan Barkan

Lifelong horror fan with a love of music on the side.

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