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TV’s Davy Crockett Dies

Fess Parker was 85


 

Fess Parker, the actor who became one of TV’s biggest stars in the ’50s when he played Davy Crockett, has died of natural causes at the age of 85. In the title role of Walt Disney’s television series about the legendary frontiersman, Parker set off a worldwide Davy Crockett craze, immortalized in a series of 1955 Peanuts strips where Charlie Brown was obsessed with the character. The show was one of the biggest merchandising bonanzas in TV history up to that point, spinning off lunchboxes, ersatz Crockett rifles and coonskin caps, and a celebratory theme song, “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” recorded by Parker. He also starred for Disney in the famous tearjerking feature film Old Yeller, and in the ’60s, after leaving Disney, he starred in Daniel Boone, another long-running series about the “wild frontier.” He retired from acting in the ’70s and went into the real estate and wine businesses.

New York Times


 
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