Twin Peaks and Kill Bill star Michael Parks dies aged 77

The actor was a favourite of directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez

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Michael Parks – star of films by Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith – has died aged 77.

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His agent confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the Twins Peaks and Kill Bill actor passed away on Wednesday. The cause of death has not been disclosed. 

Parks started his long screen career on US sitcom The Real McCoys in 1961 and he later went on to play drug runner Jean Renault on the second season of Twin Peaks, a show soon to be revived.

Then the actor went on to big roles thanks to starring as ranger Earl McGraw in Rodriguez’s 1996 vampire flick From Dusk ’til Dawn. 

Tarantino cast Parks in both Kill Bill films, reprising his McGraw role in the first film, before playing Mexican pimp Esteban Vihaio in Volume 2. Parks played McGraw once more for Tarantino and Rodriguez in their Grindhouse films. 

This resulted in roles in Ben Affleck’s Argo, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford and two Kevin Smith horror flicks, Red State and Tusk.

Smith took to Instagram to pass his respects to Parks, saying “Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I’ve ever known…

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…Farewell, old friend”

I hate to report that my cinematic muse #michaelparks has passed away. Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I've ever known. I wrote both #RedState and @tuskthemovie FOR Parks, I loved his acting so much. He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set. From the moment I saw him steal the opening scene of #fromdusktildawn at an advance screening at the Sunset 5 back in the mid-90's, I said to @samosier "Could you imagine what it must be like to work with a Yoda of acting like that guy? I gotta write for him one day." It took me 15 years but my dream came true on Red State (for which Parks won Best Actor at the @sitgesfestival) and then again years later with #tusk. Only Michael Parks could have delivered the line "Is man indeed a walrus at heart?" and make it scary as fuck. My favorite memory of Michael is watching him and #johnnydepp act with and at each other, like a couple of dueling wizards, in their shared scene in Tusk. Parks was in Heaven that day, sharing the screen with another brilliant actor and creating an unforgettable performance. He elevated any flick or TV show he was in and elevated every director he ever acted for. I was so fucking blessed to have worked with this bonafide genius. But really, I was just lucky to have known him at all. My heart goes out to James (Michael's son), Oriana (Michael's wife), Quentin Tarantino (Michael's biggest fan) and any movie or music lover who was ever dazzled by the talents of Michael Parks. Farewell, old friend. I'll see you farther along… #KevinSmith #actor #genius #rip #walrusyes

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