The entertainment world has lost a beloved figure with Lara Parker’s passing. She made an indelible mark on viewers as Angelique Bouchard Collins in the long-running, cult favorite “Dark Shadows.” She had an amazing career spanning television, literature, and fan love.
Her portrayal of Angelique captivated audiences and made her an entertainment icon. This article pays tribute to Lara Parker, exploring her exceptional career, her link to “Dark Shadows,” and her lasting impact on fans.
Lara Parker Cause of Death
On October 12, 2023, the world bid farewell to the iconic Lara Parker as she peacefully passed away in her sleep in Los Angeles, following a valiant battle with cancer. Her death was announced by producer Jim Pierson of Dan Curtis Productions, on behalf of Parker’s family.
Lara Parker is survived by her second husband, Jim Hawkins, her daughter Caitlin, sons Rick and Andy, their wives Miranda and Celia, and her grandson Wesley.
Lara Parker Timeless Witch’s Legacy
Lara Parker, at the tender age of 28, etched her name into the annals of television history when she was cast as the bewitching and malevolent Angelique in the supernatural soap opera “Dark Shadows.” The series, produced by Dan Curtis, was known for its gothic allure but took a drastic turn towards the horror genre with her arrival.
In 1967, Parker joined the show, portraying a seemingly unassuming servant girl who swiftly revealed her mystical powers, including spell-casting, incantations, and even turning adversaries into feline companions. As the show delved into a six-month story arc set in 1795 to explore the origins of vampire Barnabas Collins, it was Parker who breathed life into the character of the witch who had cursed him. With her striking green eyes and compelling performance, Parker became an instant sensation, rivaling the popularity of Barnabas himself.
Notably, she appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and left a memorable mark by playfully “biting” the host on the neck with specially-made vampire fangs, solidifying her status as a pop culture phenomenon.
Lara Parker Versatile Career
While Parker’s legacy will forever be intertwined with “Dark Shadows,” she lent her talents to various roles within the series, often embodying different aliases of the enigmatic Angelique. Her dynamic performances, including a stint as a vampire and the deceptive Cassandra Blair, further endeared her to fans, who eagerly anticipated her returns to wreak havoc on the Collins family.
Leaving the New York City set of “Dark Shadows” for Los Angeles in 1972 with her husband and two sons, Parker had aspirations of breaking into Hollywood. Despite her popularity in the soap opera world, she found the transition challenging, discovering that Hollywood was less receptive to actors from the soap genre.
Parker managed to secure guest roles in numerous TV series, including “Kung Fu,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Police Woman,” and “The Rockford Files.” Her brief return to the supernatural came with a role in “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” in 1975, but it was marked by a less-than-pleasant experience due to the rudeness of star Darren McGavin, who underestimated her ability to play a witch.
Lara Parker Return to Shadows
Parker gradually withdrew from acting in the 1980s and early ’90s. However, her connection with “Dark Shadows” remained strong. In a surprising twist, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, both admirers of the original series, invited Parker, along with Kathryn Leigh Scott, Jonathan Frid, and David Selby, to make cameo appearances in the 2012 big-screen adaptation of “Dark Shadows.” The original cast’s brief appearance in the film left them less than enamored with its humorous take on the source material.
In her later years, Parker delved into writing and teaching, contributing four Dark Shadows-related novels to her repertoire. Her novels, such as “Angelique’s Descent” and “The Salem Branch,” resonated with fans of the series and enthusiasts of the romance and horror genres alike.
Lara Parker Lifelong Connection
Throughout her life, Parker maintained close relationships with her co-stars, attending Dark Shadows conventions, audio dramas, and virtual reunions with her fellow cast members. Her contributions to the enduring legacy of “Dark Shadows” were celebrated, and her impact on the show’s fandom was immeasurable.
The world will forever remember Lara Parker as the enchanting Angelique, whose timeless legacy continues to cast its spell over fans and admirers of the supernatural soap opera. While her journey had its challenges, her indomitable spirit and captivating performances will remain etched in the hearts of those who had the privilege of witnessing her artistry.
Rest in Peace, Lara Parker, an eternal icon of the shadows.