Days of Our Lives Star Frank Parker Dies at 79 From Parkinson's Disease & Dementia Complications
The veteran actor who played Grandpa Shawn Brady on the soap opera for 25 years died on Sept. 16.
The soap opera community is mourning the loss of longtime actor, Frank Parker.
Parker — best known for playing the role of Grandpa Shawn Brady on Days of Our Lives — died on Sept. 16 in Vacaville, California.
The veteran actor passed away due to complications of Parkinson’s disease and dementia, according to his obituary in The Reporter. He was 79.
Parker’s acting career spanned over five decades.
He first broke onto the scene in the 60’s and 70’s, making appearances in film and television — including on soap operas General Hospital and The Young and the Restless — before landing the role as Shawn Brady on Days in 1983.
The actor remained on the daytime drama for 25 years. He retired in 2008 after his character died when he gave up his oxygen mask to save his son during an airplane hijacking.
Around that time, Parker’s health was reportedly beginning to decline which caused him to give up acting for good.
In his obituary, which was also published on Legacy.com, Frank was described as “a people person” who “touched many lives and was loved by everyone.”
“He could light up a room with his singing voice and was known to burst into song at any moment,” his family wrote. “He was a ham and loved the spotlight. Above all, he was the most supportive, generous, kind man and father. Frank loved his family.”
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Parker leaves behind twin daughters, Danielle Dallas and Lindsay Kyle, from his first marriage to Nola Donelle Rajcok. His first-born daughter, Candace Donelle, died in 1998 from a car accident.
The actor is also survived by his second wife, Mary Jean Dunning Garofalo. The couple wed in 2005 and resided in Vacaville up until his death.
Following the news, fans and fellow actors from the daytime drama, including James Reynolds and Stephen Nichols, expressed their condolences to Parker and his family on Twitter.
“Good man Good actor,” wrote Nichols, who played Patch on Days for over 16 years. “Best TV pop in law So full of Blarney and Joy! Much love on your Journey.”
Another Twitter user, who is a self-proclaimed soap fan wrote: “The Days Viewers will be Forever Thankful for his Work on #Days My Condolences and Love go out to his Family, His Friends & Those who Knew Him.”
A rosary in Parker’s honor is planned for this Wednesday, while a funeral service is expected to be held in Los Angeles at a later date.
Days is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday since Nov. 8, 1965.