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Fess Parker dies

Davy Crockett actor-turned-winemaker Fess Parker has died at his home in California’s Santa Ynez Valley at the age of 85.

Texas-born Parker was credited with helping to put Santa Barbara on the world wine map after setting up The Fess Parker Winery with his family, including son Eli and daughter Ashley, in 1989.

The winery, known for its Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, also featured in the hit movie Sideways.

Parker earned huge fame as Davy Crockett, the coonskin hat-wearing ‘King of the Wild Frontier’ in a series of Disney television specials in the 1950s.

He also enjoyed further television success in the 1960s as another famous frontiersman, Daniel Boone.

In the 1970s, Parker turned his hand to real estate, in a series of projects including The Fess Parker Doubletree Resort on Santa Barbara’s waterfront in 1985.

A long-time friend of Ronald Reagan, Parker once considered running for public office and was reportedly offered the post of US Ambassador to Australia by Reagan – which he declined.

Fess and Marcella Parker celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January this year.

Fess, who had been ill for some time, died of natural causes on 18 March, his wife’s 84th birthday.

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Written by Richard Woodard

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