Gerard Parkes Has Died



Fraggle Rock was designed to be universal. The issues and challenges that the Fraggles encountered, with the Doozers, with the Gorgs, or with one another were those that everyone faces, and did not depend on any specific cultural understanding, just a shared humanity. However, knowing that jurisdictions would be put more at ease with a familiar framework in place, the "real world" segments were individualized for broadcast. This meant that, for millions of fans, the human face of Fraggle Rock was the inventor Doc, played by Gerry Parkes.

The Irish Canadian actor died Sunday of natural causes; he had recently turned 90. His filmography is the eclectic assortment often seen of the working Canadian actor, but it was his time as part of the Henson Company magic of the 1980s that made him a household name. His role in the American and Canadian versions of Fraggle Rock was so iconic that he (and Sprocket) reprised the role in A Muppet Family Christmas, thus making him the only person to ever meet all three branches of the Muppet family. His delivery of the line "cold enough to freeze your Winnebago" clearly made an impression on me, considering that it is a regular part of my winter-time vocabulary.

Parkes is a prime example of how a single role can have a huge influence. His name might not have been ready on the lips of those that remember him, but the kindness, the humour and the gentility that he made a part of Doc made the rest of us love him.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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