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Michael Parks, the brooding actor who broke through as television’s first easy rider on Then Came Bronson and resurrected by David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez as an icon of Hollywood cool, died yesterday. He was 77.
His death was confirmed by his talent agent Jane Schulman, who did not disclose a cause.
Born - April - Corona - California - Parks
Born April 24, 1940, in Corona, California, Parks held various jobs – fruit-picking, ditch-digging, truck driving and fighting forest fires, according to Schulman – and married, briefly, at 16 before beginning the acting career that would span six decades. He started with a bit part on the ABC rural sitcom The Real McCoys and was the Biblical (and scantily clad) Adam in John Huston’s 1966 The Bible, and appeared here and there on episodic TV before riding to fame on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle as the title character of NBC’s Then Came Bronson.
Though the show last only one season, Parks made a lasting impression as Jim Bronson, a loner who dropped out of society and onto the “long lonesome highway” – the title of the theme song that Parks himself sang – following the suicide of his best friend (played by Martin Sheen).
Structure - Bronson - Lives - Guest - Stars
The episodic structure allowed Bronson to drop in (and out) of various American lives coast to coast, with new guest stars joining each week’s adventure. Kurt Russell,...
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