Actor Frank Parker, best known to soap fans as Grandpa Shawn Brady on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, has died at the age of 79. He passed on Sept. 16 from complications of Parkinson’s and dementia. In addition to DAYS, Parker has also had small roles on GENERAL HOSPITAL and THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS.
Parker joined the cast of DAYS as Shawn Brady in 1983 and played the role until he retired from acting in 2008. Grandpa Shawn died after giving up his oxygen mask to save his son, Bo Brady, as the airplane they were on was going down.
Throughout the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, Parker’s career spanned numerous primetime series such as LOST IN SPACE, HOGAN’S HEROES, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, S.W.A.T., WONDER WOMAN, CHiPS, QUINCY M.E., and HART TO HART. He also appeared in films including Stay Away, Joe, The Trouble With Girls, and The Concorde… Airport ’79.
“Rest in peace, Frank Parker,” tweeted Stephen Nichols (ex-Steve). “Good man. Good actor. Best TV pop-in-law. So full of Blarney and joy! Much love on your journey.” Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R; ex-Kristen, DAYS) posted: “I loved working with Frank Parker. What a good man and a terrific actor.” And James Reynolds (Abe) shared that their beloved castmate “loved to sing and with a smile, would burst into song.”
Our thoughts are with Parker’s friends and loved ones during this difficult time. In his honor, donations may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 250 Stinson Ave., Vacaville, CA, 95688.
For more on your favorite DAYS stars — past and present — keep reading Soaps In Depth magazine.