Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Larry Parks

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Cause of death  heart attack
Role  Movie actor
Name  Larry Parks
Years active  1941–62
Occupation  Actor, Singer

Larry Parks Larry Parks ImgMob

Full Name  Samuel Klausman Lawrence Parks
Born  December 13, 1914 (1914-12-13) Olathe, Kansas, U.S.
Died  April 13, 1975, Studio City, California, United States
Spouse  Betty Garrett (m. 1944–1975)
Children  Andrew Parks, Garrett Parks
Education  University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Joliet Central High School
Movies  The Jolson Story, Jolson Sings Again, Down to Earth, Freud: The Secret Passion, Love Is Better Than Ever
Similar People  Betty Garrett, Al Jolson, Andrew Parks, Alexander Hall, Alfred E Green

Down To Earth 1947 Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks, Marc Platt

Betty Garrett discusses meeting husband Larry Parks - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG

Larry Parks (December 13, 1914 – April 13, 1975) was an American stage and movie actor. His career arced from bit player and supporting roles to top billing, before his career was virtually ended when he admitted to having once been a member of a Communist party cell, which led to his blacklisting by all Hollywood studios. His best known role was Al Jolson, whom he portrayed in two films: The Jolson Story (1946) and Jolson Sings Again (1949).


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Life and career

Larry Parks LARRY PARKS AS AL JOLSON on Pinterest Parks Biographies

Parks was born Samuel Klausman Lawrence Parks in Olathe, Kansas, the son of Nellie (Klausman) and Frank H. Parks. His family was Jewish. He was raised in Joliet, Illinois, and graduated from Joliet Township High School in 1932. He attended the University of Illinois as a pre-med student, and played in stock companies for a few years before signing a movie contract with Columbia Pictures in 1941.

Supporting player

Larry Parks Larry Parks Biography and Filmography 1914

As did most Columbia contract players, he played supporting roles in higher-budgeted films, and larger roles in B pictures, such as 1942's Atlantic Convoy.

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When Columbia was preparing a screen biography of Al Jolson, many big-name stars were considered for the title role, including James Cagney and Danny Thomas (both of whom turned it down), but resident contractee Larry Parks was reportedly the first actor to be interviewed. Parks impressed the producers and won the role. At the age of 31, his performance in The Jolson Story (1946) earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.


Larry Parks Larry Parks Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Now that Parks was a full-fledged star, Columbia kept him busy in elaborate productions (including a couple of costume epics) until he appeared in the sequel, Jolson Sings Again (1949), which was another huge box office hit. His co-star in the film, Barbara Hale, teamed with him again in the comedy feature Emergency Wedding.

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Parks tried to break his contract with Columbia in 1948, but was unsuccessful.


In 1951, Parks was summoned to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, under threat of being blacklisted in the movie industry, but he begged not to be forced to testify. He eventually did so in tears, only to be blacklisted anyway. Larry Parks eventually gave up the names of his former colleagues to the HUAC. Following his admission before the committee, Columbia Pictures dropped him, and a romantic comedy he made for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was shelved for three years. Parks made only a few more films, but continued to squeeze out a living acting on the stage and doing occasional television programs. He last appeared in a major role in a John Huston film, Freud: The Secret Passion (1962).

Later career

Parks eventually left the film industry and formed a successful construction business, and eventually he and his wife Betty Garrett owned many apartment buildings scattered throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Rather than sell them upon completion, Parks decided to retain ownership and collect rents as a landlord, a decision that proved to be extremely profitable. During this period, the couple occasionally performed in Las Vegas showrooms, summer stock productions, and touring companies of Broadway shows.


Parks married actress Betty Garrett in 1944. Betty Garrett starred in Hollywood films such as On the Town and on television as Archie Bunker's neighbor Irene Lorenzo on All in the Family and as landlady Edna Babish on Laverne and Shirley. Her career also faced turmoil as a result of her marriage to Parks, and the two spent much of the 1950s doing theatre and musical variety shows. Together they had two sons, actor Andrew Parks and composer Garrett Parks. Larry Parks was also godfather to actor Jeff Bridges.

Parks died of a heart attack at the age of 60.


Supporting roles and B movies
  • Mystery Ship (1941), Tommy Baker
  • Harmon of Michigan (1941), Harvey
  • You Belong to Me (1941), Blemish
  • Three Girls About Town (1941), Reporter
  • Sing for Your Supper (1941), Mickey
  • Harvard, Here I Come! (1941), Eddie Spellman
  • Blondie Goes to College (1942), Rusty Bryant
  • Canal Zone (1942), Recruit Kincaid
  • Alias Boston Blackie (1942), Joe Trilby
  • North of the Rockies (1942), Jim Bailey
  • Hello, Annapolis (1942), Paul Herbert
  • Submarine Raider (1942), Sparksie
  • They All Kissed the Bride (1942), Joe Krim
  • Flight Lieutenant (1942), Cadet Sandy Roth
  • Atlantic Convoy (1942), Gregory
  • A Man's World (1942), Chick O'Driscoll
  • The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942), Bill Layden
  • You Were Never Lovelier (1942), Tony
  • Power of the Press (1943), Jerry Purvis
  • Reveille with Beverly (1943), Eddie Ross
  • Redhead from Manhattan (1943), Flirt
  • First Comes Courage (1943), Capt. Langdon
  • Destroyer (1943), Ens. Johnson
  • Is Everybody Happy? (1943), Jerry Stewart
  • The Deerslayer (1943), Jingo-Good
  • The Racket Man (1944), Larry Lake
  • Hey, Rookie (1944), Jim Leighter
  • Jam Session (1944), Actor at Superba Pictures
  • The Black Parachute (1944), Michael Kaligor Lindley
  • Stars on Parade (1944), Danny Davis
  • Sergeant Mike (1944), Pvt. Tom Allen
  • She's a Sweetheart (1944), Rocky Hill
  • Counter-Attack (1945), Kirichenko
  • Renegades (1946), Ben Dembrow (Ben Taylor)
  • A-list stardom
  • The Jolson Story (1946), Al Jolson
  • Down to Earth (1947), Danny Miller
  • The Swordsman (1948), Alexander MacArden
  • The Gallant Blade (1948), Lt. David Picard
  • Jolson Sings Again (1949), Al Jolson
  • Emergency Wedding (1950), Peter Judson Kirk Jr.
  • Love Is Better Than Ever (1952), Jud Parker
  • Post-Blacklist
  • Tiger by the Tail (UK,1955), John Desmond
  • Freud: The Secret Passion (UK, 1962), Dr. Joseph Breuer
  • References

    Larry Parks Wikipedia