March 18th, 2010
03:45 PM ET

'Crockett,' 'Boone' actor Fess Parker dead at 85

Fess Parker, best known for playing Daniel Boone in a 1960s television series, died Thursday at his home near Santa Barbara, California, his publicist said.

Parker followed his acting career with successful hotel and winery ventures around Santa Barbara.

A statement issued by his family did not reveal the cause of death.

Parker is survived by his wife of 50 years, Marcella, their son and daughter, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild who "spent a great deal of time with Fess in his final months and weeks," the statement said.

A native of Texas, Parker served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before graduating from the University of Texas-Austin in 1950.
He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s to pursue acting.

Walt Disney cast Parker in the lead role of "Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier," co-starring Buddy Ebsen. He followed that with several more Disney films, including "Davy Crockett and the River Boat Pirates," "The Great Locomotive Chase" and "Smoky."

His TV career took off in 1964 with the title role in NBC's "Daniel Boone," which aired for for six seasons. When the series ended in 1970, Parker became a real estate developer in Santa Barbara.

"After successfully opening three high-end mobile home parks, the 360-room Fess Parker Doubletree Resort opened in 1985," the family statement said. "It is one of the most successful hotels on the Santa Barbara waterfront."

Parker and his family also opened Fess Parker Winery on the Foxen in Los Olivos, California.

–CNN's Brittany Kaplan contributed to this report.

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soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. Dianne

    Now that was a man. God's speed Fess and thanks for Davey Crockette and my coon-skin cap and Daniel Boone.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Becky

    Fess Parker played both Davey Crockett and Daniel Boone.

    What wonderful memories I have thanks to Fess Parker! I never missed an episode of either show.

    Thanks Mr. Parker.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rick

    He was a very good actor. Rest in peace.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    Actually, he played Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Biff Jones

    I live just a couple miles from Daniel Boone's first home here in East Tennessee. The man and the men he portrayed were true American Patriots. The Communists and Marxists in Washington District of Corruption and our out of control Federal Government would have made our founding fathers and men like Daniel Boone sick to their stomach. America is slowly in decline.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Norm

    Inspired me in my youth. Good man....

    March 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wil Chabotte

    I grew up wathcung Mr. Parker playing Davey Crockett and later Daneil Boone and thoroughly enojyed the talent he shared with his fans. Its too bad more people in the movie/ TV industry do not have Mr. Parker's values and ethics. His star will dim only slightly, but he will be sorely missed by those who enjoyed his work. R.I.P> Fess and play it well for those in heaven.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. john

    He was Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone but he'll always to Davy to me.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. James

    Davy, Davy Crockett...king of the wild frontier.
    I'm 58 now and he was my very first hero. I am also a musician and the first song I ever played on the piano was the theme from Davy Crockett...I still play it to this day for warm up

    March 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. T.OROUKE

    THE LAST GREAT PERSON TO STORM INTO WASHINGTON DC.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Roland

    Never missed an episode and his memory will not easily be forgotten.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ross P.

    He was Davy Crockett and I had a Racoon Hat just like his.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. David - Houston

    He was such an easy-going actor that he seemed natural for the role as a woodsman & hunter. Rest in peace Fess, you gave us all great memories & visual adventures.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Geri

    Never missed a show. Back when TV was worth watching. Good show for families to watch together. Thanks for the memories.....

    March 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robert Chandler

    He played both Boone and Crockett.

    But, he was most famous, and became famous first, playing Crockett in the Disneyland TV series and then, I believe, in Disney movies about Crockett.

    March 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
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