Disney legend Fess Parker, 85, has died from natural causes on the day his wife turned 84. The man not only portrayed the legendary title character in Davy Crockett, but Daniel Boone as well. He may have left the world of acting thirty-five years ago but, to his fans, he’ll always be the king of the wild frontier.
After time spent in the Marine Corps, Parker attended the University of Texas on the G.I. Bill, then finished up his studies at the University of Southern California, studying drama. In Hollywood, he landed mostly minor acting roles at first. When Walt Disney was looking for someone to play Davy Crockett, the studio considered big name stars like Buddy Ebsen and Ronald Reagan, before settling on James Arness. Watching Arness’ movie Them! to find out more about him, they became fixated on a minor player in the film, Parker, and tapped him instead to play the role.