Fess Parker Biography

Born: 8/16/1924
Died: 3/18/2010
Best Known as: Davy Crockett in the Walt Disney television series

Born Fess Elisha Parker II, the man who inspired an undeniable desire for coonskin caps, grew up in Texas, where he graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in history. He earned a master's degree in drama at the University of Southern California and began his professional acting career in 1951. In 1954, he was hired by Walt Disney to play Davy Crocket in a television trilogy (1954–1956), which took over the 1950's popular imagination. In 1964, Parker once again pulled on his buckskins to portray frontiersman Daniel Boone in a series which ran for six years. Post-acting years were spent as a businessman and entrepreneur, establishing grand hotels and an award-winning eponymous winery. On of the best-selling wines produced by the Fess Parker Winery and Vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley is the Frontier Red, "made in the same down-to-earth spirit of the frontiersman who tamed this land." No surprise, the label boasts a picture of Fess Parker/Davy Crockett himself–complete with coonskin cap.