Davy Crockett actor dies at 85Submitted by meekandmild on Thu, 03/18/2010 - 16:57
LOS ANGELES – Actor Fess Parker, who became every baby boomer's idol in the 1950s and launched a craze for coonskin caps as television's Davy Crockett, died Thursday of natural causes. He was 85.
Family spokeswoman Sao Anash said Parker, who was also TV's Daniel Boone and later a major California winemaker and developer, died at his Santa Ynez Valley home. His death comes on the 84th birthday of his wife of 50 years, Marcella.
"She's a wreck," Anash said, adding Parker was coherent and speaking with family just minutes before his death. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
The first installment of "Davy Crockett," with Buddy Ebsen as Crockett's sidekick, debuted in December 1954 as part of the "Disneyland" TV show.
Parker was a longtime friend of Ronald Reagan, whose Western White House was not far from the Parker vineyards. Reagan sent Parker to Australia in 1985 to represent him during an event, and when Parker returned he was asked by White House aide Michael Deaver if he was interested in being ambassador to that country.