Fess Parker

  • Birth Name: Fess Elisha Parker Jr.
  • Birth Place: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
  • Died: March 18, 2010
  • Profession: Actor, Director, Real-estate developer, Vineyard owner
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Fast Facts

  • Enlisted in the Navy during WWII and became a radioman when his 6' 6" stature precluded him from being a pilot or gunner.
  • Before portraying iconic historical figures, earned a history degree from the University of Texas; while there, he was discovered and introduced to an agent by actor Adolphe Menjou.
  • Began his acting career with the touring company of Mister Roberts; his big break came when Walt Disney noticed him in a bit role in the 1954 sci-fi film Them! and cast him as Davy Crockett.
  • His stint as Crockett was for three episodes but proved so popular that feature films followed and a merchandising boom ensued: millions of coonskin caps flew off the shelves, several versions of the song "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" hit the charts (including Parker's, at No. 5) and demand for his appearances skyrocketed.
  • Went on to portray frontier figure Daniel Boone for six seasons.
  • Became a real-estate developer and owner of an award-winning California winery (whose label sports a coonskin cap).
  • Was lauded as a Disney Legend in 1991; awarded the Medal of Arts by the Texas Cultural Trust Council in 2003; and in 2004 had his portrayal of Crockett immortalized on a window on Main Street in the Disneyland theme park.


  • 1955, Emmy — Most Outstanding New Personality: Nominee


  • Marcella Rinehart Parker — Wife
  • Mackie Allen Parker — Mother
  • Fess Elisha Parker Sr. — Father
  • Fess Elisha Parker III — Son
  • Ashley Parker Snider — Daughter


  • Attended Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, Texas, United States; University of Texas, Austin, Texas, United States (BA in History, 1950); University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, United States (MFA in Drama, 1951)

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