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Monday, October 20, 2014

Canadian Actor Gerard Parkes, Doc on "Fraggle Rock," Has Passed Away

Gerard Parkes, the Irish Canadian actor, best known for his roles on the hit children's series "Fraggle Rock" and the American crime movie "The Boondock Saints" has died.

He died Sunday morning in a Toronto retirement home, four days after his 90th birthday, his niece and agent confirmed to CBC News.

Born in Dublin in 1924, Parkes came to Canada and launched his show business career on CBC Radio in the 1950s, before landing roles in TV, film and stage.

Parkes appeared in the 1960s CBC-TV adventure series "The Forest Rangers", and popular children's shows "The Littlest Hobo" and "Shining Time Station".

Winner of a Canadian Film Award for his performance in the 1968 feature film "Isabel", Gerard also won a Dora award for his performance in a 1999 theatre production of "Kiltand several awards for radio dramas.

Despite his lengthy and diverse achievements, Parkes is probably best known for playing "Doc" on Jim Henson's popular TV series "Fraggle Rock".

The grey-haired, bespectacled character, with the dog named Sprocket, was the only human to regularly appear on the 1980s children's program about a colony of colourful creatures who live under Doc's house.

When asked what Parkes would think about being remembered most for acting with puppets, Gerry Jordan, Parkes' agent of 30 years said "he'd love it."

"He had a thrill doing that show," Jordon told CBC News. "We got loads of fan mail from kids and adults around the world."

"He was a magical man and a terrific performer."

Gerard Parkes is survived by his partner of two decades, Sheelagh Norman. 

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