Actress and author Lara Parker has passed away peacefully at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 84. She was best known for her role as Angelique Bouchard Collins on the soap opera Dark Shadows. She reprised the role in House of Dark Shadows (1970) Night of Dark Shadows (1971), and the reboot Dark Shadows (2012)
Mrs. Parker also wrote four novels set in the fictional world of Dark Shadows: Angelique’s Descent, The Salem Branch, Wolf Moon Rising, and Heiress of Collinwood. She was the reader of the audiobook versions of all but Heiress of Collinswood.
The character of Angelique was the witch who cursed Barnabas Collins, condemning him to eternal unlife as a vampire. Originally, Josette’s lady’s maid, she had a brief fling with Barnabas, but was spurned by him to marry the gently-born (and presumably well-dowered) Josette DuPres. Hell having no fury like a woman scorned, Angelique hexed Josette, making her fall in love with someone else, and placed the Curse of the Bat on Barnabas, making him a vampire.
Actress Lara Parker was born Mary Lamar Rickey October 27, 1938 in Knoxville, Tennessee. She grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. She was married twice and had three children. Like actor Mark Goddard, after she retired from acting, she went back to college, then began a second career as a teacher. She taught high school English.
Lara Parker appeared in 269 of Dark Shadows‘ 1,225 episodes. Her best known movie roles were probably Margo in Save the Tiger (1973) and Kelly in Race with the Devil (1970). Her final film performance will be in The Great Nick D, which is currently in post-production. The Great Nick D will feature two of her Dark Shadows co-stars, David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott.
From 1959 to 1974 she was married to Tom Parker. They had two sons, Rick and Andy. Rick is a record producer, married to singer-songwriter Miranda Lee Richards. Andy is a contractor. In 1980 she remarried former child actor Jimmy Hawkins (Tagg Oakley in the Annie Oakley TV show, and George Bailey’s son Tommy in It’s a Wonderful Life (1956). He grew up to be a building contractor. He and Lara Parker had one daughter, set designer Caitlin Hawkins.
Lara Parker was a talented, educated lady. She attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York and Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in Speech and Drama from the University of Iowa, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She acted on stage and screen, performing on and off Broadway.
We at SciFi.Radio offer our condolences to her widower, her children, her students, and her fans.
Her friend and co-star, Kathryn Leigh Scott posted on Facebook:
“I have sad news . . . my beautiful, beloved friend Lara Parker passed away Thursday, October 12. I’m heartbroken, as all of us are who knew and loved her,”She graced our lives with her beauty and talent, and we are all richer for having had her in our lives. Family meant more than anything to Lara, and they have wanted these few days since her passing to themselves. Rest in peace, my cherished friend.”
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.