Lara Parker, Renowned ‘Dark Shadows’ Star, Passes Away at 84


The entertainment industry mourns the loss of a remarkable talent, Lara Parker, best known for her enduring role in the eerie soap opera ‘Dark Shadows.’ The actress passed away peacefully in her sleep at her Los Angeles home, just weeks shy of her 85th birthday.

Born Mary Lamar Rickey in Knoxville, Tennessee, Parker was an educated woman who graduated from Vassar College, where she shared a room with Jane Fonda.

She later pursued a Master’s degree in Speech and Drama from the University of Iowa, demonstrating her passion for the performing arts.

Parker’s journey into the world of showbiz was not a conventional one. Married to Tom Parker in 1959, she had two sons and lived a quiet life in Wisconsin.

However, the call of the stage was too strong to ignore. Leaving her family behind, she ventured to New York to try her luck in acting. Her second professional audition led her to the role that would define her career – Angelique Bouchard in ‘Dark Shadows.’

In ‘Dark Shadows,’ Parker portrayed a vindictive witch entangled in a centuries-long love-hate relationship with Jonathan Frid’s character, Barnabas Collins. Her portrayal was so convincing that it left a lasting impression on viewers.

She once recalled how schoolchildren would scream and run away upon seeing her at the subway station, terrified by her on-screen persona.

Parker reprised her role as Angelique Bouchard in the 1971 film ‘Night of Dark Shadows.’ After divorcing her first husband in 1975, she married building contractor Jim Hawkins in 1980.

Despite her success in ‘Dark Shadows,’ Parker’s career was not limited to this role. She made appearances in popular programs such as ‘Kojak,’ ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ and ‘Alice.’

In 2012, when Tim Burton directed the comedy version of ‘Dark Shadows’ starring Johnny Depp, Parker and several of her former co-stars were cast in minor roles. This was a testament to her enduring legacy in the franchise.

Lara Parker’s passing is a significant loss to the entertainment industry. Her portrayal of Angelique Bouchard will forever be remembered as a defining moment in television history. Her talent, dedication, and passion for acting will continue to inspire future generations of performers.