Lana Parker, star of Dark Shadows, dies at 84

Lara Parker
Credit: Variety

Lana Parker has peacefully passed away in her sleep in her Los Angeles home, her Dark Shadows costar Kathryn L. Scott confirmed on Facebook on Monday, as per People.

The Dark Shadows star, who would have turned 85 next week, was born to Mary Lamar Rickey on Oct. 27, 1938, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Scott wrote, ” For more than 50 years, our lives were intertwined through our mutual love of literature, writing, and acting,” adding, “We could not have been more unalike, and therein lay the magic of our enduring friendship. My thoughts are with her family in this sad time of grief and remembrance.”

Via The Hollywood Reporter, reported by People, Parker’s daughter Caitlin Hawkins confirmed her mother’s death.

She landed her role as Angelique in the ABC soap series after moving to New York, where she gave her second-ever professional audition. People reported on her early life, stating that she attended college in New York and roomed with Jane Fonda. Her undergraduate degree was achieved at Southwestern at Memphis (which is now Rhodes College) followed by her master’s degree in drama from the University of Iowa.

Her most celebrated work, Dark Shadows, aired from 1966 to 1971 and followed the founding family of the fictional Maine town, Collinsport. The deceased actress commented about the show in 2022, “We realized [the show] was popular,” adding, “Everywhere we went [the cast was] recognized. There was a huge crowd outside the [Manhattan] studio when we finished in the afternoon of autograph seekers. People would show up, the same people every single day, day after day. They worshipped some of us and would walk us to the subway.”

Parker appeared in a similar movie to Dark Shadows called Night of Dark Shadows in 1971, and the year prior starred in Hi, Mom!, a Brian De Palma film alongside Robert De Niro. People reported, ‘The actress also starred in the 1973 Oscar-winning feature, Save the Tiger, as well as Race with the Devil, alongside her old roommate’s brother, Peter Fonda in 1975. Parker also starred in several TV series, including Jessica Novak, Medical Center, Kojak, The Rockford Files, Police Woman, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Incredible Hulk.’

Later in her career, the talented actress also steered towards writing Dark Shadows: Angelique’s Descent in 1998, and then in 2006, 2013, and 2016, she wrote Dark Shadows: The Salem BranchDark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising, and Dark Shadows: Heiress of Collinwood, respectively.

Parker leaves behind her second husband, Jim Hawkins. Her children, Caitlin, Rick, and Andy; her daughters-in-law Miranda and Celia, and her grandson, Wesley.