To kids of the '50s, Fess Parker was Disney's Davy Crockett, but for the kids of the late '60s, Fess Parker was Daniel Boone.
I think Parker's Daniel Boone might have been my first crush, and I learned of his passing today with a heavy heart.
In addition to creating two iconic frontier characters, Parker's film career included the Disney films THE GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE (1956), WESTWARD HO THE WAGONS! (1956), and OLD YELLER (1957). He was named a Disney Legend in 1991. Five years ago he was honored with a tribute window in Disneyland's Frontierland.
Parker was also a savvy businessman with substantial real estate holdings; he owned hotels and a winery, and by all accounts he was a heck of a nice guy.
Parker and his wife just celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in January. They have two children and eleven grandchildren.
Parker is pictured here with his DANIEL BOONE TV family, Patricia Blair, Darby Hinton, and Veronica Cartwright.
Thanks for the memories, Mr. Parker. You'll be missed.
Update: A photo tribute has been posted at MiceAge chronicling Parker's history at Disneyland. The official Disney Parks Blog also has a nice tribute.
Friday Update: A tribute by Leonard Maltin.