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Fess Parker Biography

Birth Name:
Fess Elisha Parker Jr.
Birth Place:
Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Actor, director, real-estate developer, vineyard owner

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


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