Beloved actor Michael Parks has died at the age of 77. You will likely remember Parks mostly for his recurring role as Texas Ranger Earl McGraw in Quentin Tarantino’s films (including From Dusk Till Dawn, Grindhouse and Kill Bill). Parks most recently connected with indie film mastermind Kevin Smith where he also delivered some of the finest work of his career – especially in the highly underrated Red State where he delivered perhaps his most mesmerising monologue ever as a deranged and murderous priest.
The news of Parks’ passing came this morning when director Kevin Smith announced the news with a moving Instagram post where he fondly calls Parks the best actor he’d ever known. (Read his full tribute below). Parks leaves behind a wife (Oriana) and his only son James Parks (who also portrayed his on-screen son in the Tarantino films as a fellow Texas Ranger – and put on an amazing performance himself in The Hateful Eight).
I’ll miss Michael Parks – a lot. He was in some ways the backbone of Quentin Tarantino’s cinematic universe, playing this wise-cracking, too old for this shit ranger, who stole every damn scene he was a part of and that included multiple movies throughout the years. Hell — even Tusk, which was divisive amongst audiences, Parks delivered one helluva performance as a twisted man who kidnaps people and turns them into monstrous walruses. Smith likes to smoke that weed doesn’t he? Say what you will about that film – Parks nailed it and he nailed every single role, every single time no matter the project and because of that – he will be sadly missed. Truly one of the best of all time.