"It's been a formula that I've used most of my life: ignorance plus optimism."
About This Interview
Fess Parker (1924-2010) was interviewed for two-and-a-half hours at his inn in Los Olivos, CA. Mr. Parker talked about his childhood in Texas and his eventual journey to Hollywood after visiting there during his military service in World War II. He discussed his early roles in filmed westerns and his early television roles including Dragnet and Annie Oakley. In 1954, he was hired by Disney to play the lead in Davy Crockett, a limited series. The program was so popular, and spawned such a merchandising craze, that Parker's Crockett was brought back for two more limited series. After the series ended, Parker worked on many other series as a guest star, before launching into the short lived 1962 series, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. In 1964, Parker triumphed as the lead in (and occasional director of) the series, Daniel Boone, which ran for six years. With his success with Daniel Boone , Parker semi-retired and acquired real estate, resorts and wineries. The interview was conducted by Don Carleton on July 24, 2000.