Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Lara Parker, Star of Gothic Daytime Serial ‘Dark Shadows,’ Dies at 84

Lara Parker, Star of Gothic Daytime Serial ‘Dark Shadows,’ Dies at 84

Lara Parker, beloved for her portrayal of the witch Angelique Bouchard on the iconic gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, has died. She was 84. Parker’s daughter confirmed that her mother passed on October 12th, Variety reports.

From 1967 to 1971, Lara Parker was a fan favorite as Angelique Bouchard, the central antagonist in Dark Shadows. Set in the fictional town of Collinsport, Maine, the show revolves around the Collins family, the town’s founding family. Her character is responsible for the creation of the most iconic character on the show.

Within the story, Barnabas Collins (played by Jonathan Frid) unknowingly rejects the affectionate advances of Angelique, only to discover later that she possesses powerful witchcraft abilities. An enraged Angelique curses Barnabas, turning him into a vampire, and sparking a tumultuous love-hate relationship spanning centuries. This being a soap opera, eventually, Angelique was killed off. However, Parker was then cast as an ancestor, Catherine Harridge Collins. She returned as Angelique in the TV movie Night of Dark Shadows in 1971.

Lara Parker Played Another Iconic TV Role Before Switching Careers

After the daytime serial ended, Parker continued to showcase her talent in films and TV series. She starred in the critically acclaimed movie Save the Tiger (1973), and portrayed the lead character in the drama series Jessica Novak (1981). She also appeared in two “Doctor Mabuse” films released in 2013 and 2014.

Lara Parker also managed to make another iconic classic TV appearance. She appeared alongside Bill Bixby in the first episode of the 1970s The Incredible Hulk. She portrayed Bruce Banner’s doomed wife. Hulk fans will recall that it’s her death in a car accident that inspires Bixby’s Banner to start the experiments that turn him into the Hulk.

In her later years, Lara Parker became an educator. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University and taught high school English. However, Parker returned to her Dark Shadows roots on several occasions. Starting in 1998, she began to pen novels set in the Dark Shadows universe. Angelique’s Descent kicked off a series of novels. Her fourth and most recent novel was 2016’s  Heiress of Collinwood.

Despite moving on from the TV series Dark Shadows, Parker maintained a connection to it. In 2012, she joined forces with fellow cast members Jonathan Frid, David Selby, and Kathryn Leigh Scott for cameo appearances in Tim Burton’s remake of Dark Shadows. Eva Green portrayed Parker’s character, while Johnny Depp appeared as Barnabas Collins. The foursome of original Dark Shadows can be spotted together during a grand gala scene at Collinwood.

Parker is survived by her second husband, Jim Hawkins, as well as her children Caitlin, Rick, and Andy. She also leaves behind a grandson.