Last year we lost more talent from the world of film, music, and television than I thought possible without the world casually imploding. 2017 hasn’t been any easier, and now news has broken that the legendary character actor Michael Parks has passed away.
Kevin Smith got the chance on two occasions to write a part for the man who had inspired him for decades with Red State and Tusk. In a touching Facebook post, Smith paid a moving tribute to his friend.
“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 Sitges Film 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…”