Prior to becoming an actor. his jobs included picking fruit, digging ditches, driving trucks and fighting forest fires.
Turned down an offer to play minor league baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates because he was making more money upholstering caskets.
Attempted to qualify for the 1972 Olympics as a miler, running a time of 4:06.
Recorded a half-dozen country/blues/jazz albums in the late '60s and early '70s.
He played Earl McGraw, the police officer with bad puns, in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and then played Esteban Vinaio, the 80-year-old, smooth Mexican pimp who once was Bill's mentor in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004). This makes him only one of two actors to appear in both Kill Bill films playing different characters. The other person to play separate roles in both films is Chia Hui Liu.
The official "Kill Bill" websites claim that he is "frequently cited by longtime fan Quentin Tarantino as the world's greatest living actor.".
Parks has been a prolific actor, as the synopsis of his career below indicates. Still going strong at over 70yrs old, he recently peaked with his performances in the KILL BILL 1&2 films which are destined to become film classics. Over the course of time while building this site, I've been in contact with several individuals who worked with Parks over the years, many of whom have spontaneously used the word genius in reference to him. The Quentin Tarantino "Greatest Living Actor" quote above seems to be a case of making the obvious seem like a revelation. The TCB fans knew it all the time!!! The quote was gleaned from the KILL BILL website linked below.
Parks is truly a master of his craft. Although he never acheived super star status(which it seems he never sought) he is, to borrow from James Brown, "the hardest working man in show business" as his imdb filmography proves. The interviews on the following pages demonstrate that he's a thoughtful, intellectual, multi-talented individual. Still working in his 70's, he has indeed been able to "hang in there". The "Worldly Remains" interview is especially in depth and insightful.
Second most quotable line from TCB movie after "Hang in there", "You don't work, you dont eat"!