POLITICS

Actor Gerard Parkes, who played Doc on 'Fraggle Rock,' dead at 90

10/20/2014 03:16 EDT | Updated 12/20/2014 05:59 EST
TORONTO - Gerard Parkes, the Irish-Canadian actor who starred in the beloved children's TV show "Fraggle Rock," has died.

His agent, Gerry Jordan, says Parkes died from natural causes in a Toronto retirement home on Sunday just days after his 90th birthday.

Parkes is perhaps best known for playing a kind inventor named Doc in Jim Hensen's live-action puppet show, which aired in the 80s.

He appeared in scores of other Canadian TV shows, including "The Littlest Hobo" and "Shining Time Station" and many early CBC TV programs, as well films including cult U.S. crime drama "The Boondock Saints," and theatrical productions and radio dramas.

In 1968 he was the first person to win best actor in what is now called the Canadian Screen Awards for the feature film "Isabel," and went on to receive several more awards for his work.

Jordan says the Dublin-born Parkes is survived by Sheelagh Norman, his partner of about 20 years.

Though a prolific actor, it was Parkes' role in Hensen's muppet series that won him the admiration of children that continued well after the show's five-season run had ended, his agent of 30-plus years said.

"We would get loads of fan mail always asking for his picture. It was one of those roles that hit a chord with kids and adults," he said in an interview Monday.

"He was a funny man. Many times we would go for lunch and always be interrupted by somebody asking for his autograph," Jordan said. "He loved the attention."