Days’ Frank Parker Dead at 79, Remembered for Playing Grandpa Shawn
Image: Paul Skipper, Aaron Montgomery/JPI
Days of our Lives vet will be remembered fondly.
Frank Russell Parker, who portrayed Grandpa Shawn Brady on Days of our Lives, passed away on Sunday September 16, at the age of 79, due to complications from Parkinson’s disease and Dementia. Parker was born July 1, 1939, and raised in both Lansdown and Darby, small towns outside of Pennsylvania, and spent time with his grandmother in upstate New York as a child, where he learned to love the outdoors. His career began in a box factory, though he returned to school and majored in theatre arts at Carnegie Tech in 1962. After graduation, Parker moved to Culver City where he met Nola Donelle Rajcok. The couple married in 1981 and had three daughters, Candace and fraternal twins, Danielle and Lindsay. Candace passed away at a young age in 1998 and Parker remarried Mary Jean Dunning Garofalo in 2005.
While pursuing his acting career, Parker drove taxi and worked as a bartender until he found work in television working on series such as Gomer Pyle, Never Too Young, Lost in Space, Daktari, Hogan’s Heroes, Mission: Impossible, Little House on the Prairie, amongst several others, and took roles in popular soap operas such as CBS’ Young and the Restless and on the ABC soap, General Hospital, as Irishman Paddy Kelly. It was the role on GH that led him to his well-known part playing patriarch Shawn Brady on Days of our Lives, from 1983 until 2008 when he retired from acting.
The actor’s obituary stated, “A rosary will be held on Wednesday Sept. 26, at 7:00 PM at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, 350 Stinson Ave., Vacaville, CA 95688. Funeral service will be held in Los Angeles, CA at a later date. In Frank’s honor, donations may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at the above address.”
Parker is survived by his wife, Mary and his daughters, Danielle Buckles and Lindsay Parker, as well as numerous family and friends. Soaps.com sends our condolences to everyone whose lives were touched by Frank Parker.
Wally Kurth, who plays Justin Kiriakis, took to Twitter to acknowledge Parker’s passing by saying, “This is sad news. I so enjoyed spending time with this man. He was a natural actor. Very believable – with a twinkle in his eye that matched his Irish brogue. RIP Frank.”
Mary Beth Evans (Kayla Brady Johnson) posted a photo of Parker on Instagram and wrote, “Best pop ever! Rest in peace Frank Parker #popbrady”
Stephen Nichols (Steve Johnson) made a statement on Instagram that reads, “Rest In Peace Frank Parker Good man Good actor. Best TV pop in law So full of Blarney and Joy! Much love on your Journey. #days.”
James Reynolds (Abe Carver) posted, “#FrankParker, #PaBrady loved to sing and with a smile would burst into song. RIP Frank! @nbcdays @DaysofourLives #TheBradys #Days @FremontCTheatre #YR #GH”
Eileen Davidson (Kristen DiMera, Susan Banks) stated, “I loved working with Frank Parker. What a good man and a terrific actor. RIP .”
Sheri Anderson (Days writer) said, “Writing for Frank Parker was always a pleasure. Such a lovely, talented man. His character was the ideal blue collar father and husband. And his wit and encouragement were unmatchable. His love for his family, through all their traumas, went unrivaled. We were blessed to have him as part of @nbcdays history. RIP, Frank. #DaysofourLives #ShawnBrady #FrankParker.”