Friday, March 19, 2010

Fess Parker Dies at 85: A Farewell to Davy Crockett

You have to be a Baby Boomer to understand what it was like to grow up in the 1950's with heroes like Davy Crockett. Fess Parker created quite a stir when this series began on Walt Disney's weekly program.

Yes, I had my coonskin cap. Yes, it was tough when Davy got killed at the Alamo. I think I still have a Davy Crockett belt buckle somewhere around the house.

Those were the days, my friend, when good was good, evil was evil, and you knew exactly where you stood. Here's a short video clip from Davy at the Alamo and an article on the passing of Fess Parker:

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'Davy Crockett' Star Fess Parker Dead at 85

By PopEater Staff Posted Mar 18th 2010 03:46PM

Fess Parker, the actor who helped launch the Davy Crockett craze in the 1950s by playing the famed frontiersman in numerous Disney productions, died Thursday of natural causes, his rep confirms to TMZ. He was 85. Born in Texas, Parker was perfectly suited to play Crockett, and kids around the country clamored to get their hands on coon skin caps because of him.

Parker played the character in a popular TV series and later a pair of feature-length films. He portrayed Crockett from his days as a Tennessee lawmaker to his death at the Battle of the Alamo.

He also starred in the beloved film 'Old Yeller' as the father and other Disney hits like 'The Great Locomotive Chase' and 'Westward Ho!'

Later in his career, he even played Crockett's fellow pioneer Daniel Boone.

In 1970, Parker retired from acting, but in 1974 re-entered TV land with his own short-lived sitcom, 'The Fess Parker Show.'

He later found success in real estate and the wine business, having started the Fess Parker Family Winery and Vineyards in Los Olivos. At the winery, you can also buy coon skin caps.

He is survived by Marcella Belle Rinehart, his wife of 60 years, and their two children.

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Our condolences to Fess Parker's family, friends, and to his legion of fans. He will be greatly missed, but his legend will live on...

Charles M. Grist


  1. I also had a coonskin hat and a rifle like Davy Crockett. Very few people become legends nin their own time.Davy Crockett was one of them. It was said of Crockett that he was 1/2 man, 1/2 alligator, and part snapping turtle! As Chuck says it was great to have been a little kid in the 1950s. Thanks to such men as Fess Parker who were straight shooters in real life as well as on T.V.
    Chuck you need to hunt down that belt buckle.

  2. There will always be heroes for liberty because Libetys spirit needs worthy vessels to work in! Thank you for your service and This NAVT vet salutes you!

  3. It was a sad day when we lost Fess Parker. I grew up on Daniel Boone, it was one of the few shows my parents would let us kids watch