Michael Parks, Film and TV Character Actor, Dies at 77

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
Michael Parks

The 'Twin Peaks' and 'Kill Bill' star worked with filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith.

Michael Parks, the veteran Hollywood character actor who appeared in Kill Bill, Django Unchained and Red State, has died. He was 77.

His passing on Wednesday was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by his agent, Jane Schulman of Vesta Talent Agency. The cause of death was not disclosed. 

During his busy Hollywood career, Parks appeared in movies by auteur directors like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith, who paid tribute to the veteran actor on Wednesday via Instagram.

"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," Smith wrote. "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."

Parks was born Harry Samuel Parks on April 24, 1940, in Corona, Calif., and grew up as the son of a baseball player. His first screen roles included playing a nephew named Tom in 1961 on the ABC sitcom The Real McCoys and the role of Park on a 1962 Gunsmoke episode.

Parks starred on Then Came Bronson, appeared on legal dramas like Perry Mason and Sam Benedict and had roles on the Dynasty spinoff series The Colbys and David Lynch's Twin Peaks, where he played the Canadian drug runner Jean Renault.

Parks' movie credits included Ben Affleck's Argo, the horror/crime hybrid From Dusk Till Dawn and dual roles in the Kill Bill franchise as Texan Ranger Earl McGraw in the first film and Esteban Vihaio in the sequel. And he played a villain in Smith's horror films Red State and Tusk.

Parks is survived by his wife, Oriana, whom he married in 1997, and a son, the actor James Parks. A memorial service for Parks will be held on Saturday, May 20 from 1 p.m. at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park, at 1218 Glendon Avenue in Los Angeles.

May 18, 8 a.m. Updated with details on a May 20 memorial service.

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