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Fess Williams

Biography

Williams came from–and fathered–a music family; his sibling Rudolph was a saxophonist and clarinetist, his sons Rudy and Phil had been both saxophonists, and his little girl Estella was a pianist and vocalist. He was also bassist Charles Mingus’s uncle. Williams began on violin. He went to Tuskegee in his teenagers and examined with Main N. Clark-Smith, learning many musical instruments but settling finally on clarinet. He transferred to Cincinnati in 1914 and performed saxophone in an area music group. He also led his very own group for quite some time before shifting to Chicago around 1923. He transferred to NY a year afterwards and led rings in Albany with the Rosemont Ballroom in NEW YORK. He was in home from 1926-8 on the Savoy Ballroom in NYC, leading his very own music group, The Royal Flush Orchestra. He documented with the music group on sax, clarinet, and vocals for the Okeh label. Williams still left his very own group’s leadership within the hands others for a while and visited Chicago, where he briefly had taken over Dave Peyton’s music group. He came back to NY in 1929 and continuing to lead rings there through the entire ’30s. Williams retired from music full-time and proceeded to go into property, occasionally performing along with his very own group within the middle Atlantic expresses. He offered as the official within the musician’s union, Regional 802 in NY, after he ceased getting active being a performer; he still left that post in 1964. Williams’s pension was interrupted in 1962 by his nephew Mingus, who apparently featured Williams like a visitor performer at his infamous City Hall concert that Oct. The album caused by that notoriously chaotic event didn’t include recorded proof Williams’s involvement. Mingus might have been having problems using the union; it has been implied by a minimum of among the bassist’s biographers that Williams’s appearance might have been section of some mutual back again scratching arrangement.

Quick Facts


Full Name Fess Williams
Died December 17, 1975, New York City, New York, United States
Nationality American
Music Groups Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra
Albums Crazy Clarinets & Raucus Reeds, Pre-Victors: The Complete Set 1925-1927


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 Acting mentor and friend of Darby Hinton.
2 In order for Buddy Ebsen to offer him dance lessons, he exchanged guitar lessons with Parker.
3 Owns and operates a winery: Fess Parker Winery P.O. Box 908 6200 Foxen Canyon Rd. Los Olivos, CA 93441-9999 (800) 841-1104 [1997]
4 Attended the funeral of longtime best friend, Buddy Ebsen, when the actor passed away in 2003.
5 Best remembered by the public for his starring role as the title character in Daniel Boone (1964).
6 Met Buddy Ebsen when the two were under contract at Disney in 1954.
7 Was the only actor to appear in every episode of Daniel Boone (1964).
8 Interviewed about the beginnings of his career and his "Davy Crockett" experiences in the book "Wild Wild Westerners" by Tom Weaver (BearManor, 2012).
9 Fess Parker had eleven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
10 Wanted to be cast opposite Marilyn Monroe in "Bus Stop" but could not overcome Walt Disney's disapproval.
11 He was a major supporter of the Republican Party and once considered running for the senate in Nevada. He was a close friend of President Ronald Reagan, who in 1985 asked him to become his ambassador to Australia.
12 Longtime friend of Ronald Reagan.
13 Passed away on his wife's 82nd birthday.
14 Appeared as an uncredited extra in Man on a Tightrope (1953). He is seen for a few seconds near the end of the movie as a U.S. GI sitting in a jeep guarding the border.
15 Has two children, Fess Elisha III (Fess Parker) and Ashley Allen Rinehart.
16 Parker talks about the beginnings of his career and the movie Them! (1954) in the book "A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde" (McFarland, 2010) by Tom Weaver.
17 Best remembered by the public as Disney's Davy Crockett.
18 To one generation of television fans he will always be Davy Crockett. To the next generation he will be the one and only Daniel Boone.
19 Song "King of the Wild Frontier" was Number 1 on the "Hit Parade" for 16 weeks. Parker was paid $150. (source: interview with Fess Parker in the SF Chronicle, "Datebook" ("Pink") section, November 12, 2006).
20 Walt Disney would not let Parker out of his contract, so he had to turn down a part in The Searchers (1956).
21 At the time he was famous in France for his Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone roles, French distributors found they had to rename him - on posters, in TV programmers...etc. - for the French audience/ Public, into "Fier" Parker. One must know that "fesse(s)", in French, means "buttocks, bottom", whereas "fier" means "proud" ; a more becoming name for someone embodying American "Heroes"...
22 Retired from Hollywood in 1973; among his successful California businesses are an ocean-front resort in Santa Barbara; a 21-room inn in Los Olivos; and an award-winning winery.
23 Discovered by Adolphe Menjou who was a guest artist at the University of Texas while Fess was a student. Menjou helped him with formal introductions when he first got to Hollywood.
24 Parker was named a Disney Legend in 1991.
25 Played college football at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX in the 1940s before transferring to the University of Texas-Austin.
26 Graduate of The University of Texas at Austin - BA '50


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Fess Parker Show 1974 TV Short Fess Hamilton
Climb an Angry Mountain 1972 TV Movie Sheriff Elisha Cooper
Daniel Boone 1964-1970 TV Series Daniel Boone
The Red Skelton Hour 1970 TV Series Davy Crockett
Smoky 1966 Clint Barkley
Daniel Boone: Frontier Trail Rider 1966 Daniel Boone
Burke's Law 1964 TV Series Herman Sitwell
Destry 1964 TV Series Clarence Jones
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour 1963 TV Series Sheriff Ben Wister
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1962-1963 TV Series Sen. Eugene Smith / Senator Eugene Smith
Hell Is for Heroes 1962 Sgt. Pike
Death Valley Days 1954-1962 TV Series Reverend Joel Todd / Curt Morrison
General Electric Theater 1960 TV Series Jonathan West
The Jayhawkers! 1959 Cam Bleeker
Alias Jesse James 1959 Davy Crockett (uncredited)
The Hangman 1959 Sheriff Buck Weston
Schlitz Playhouse 1958 TV Series
The Light in the Forest 1958 Del Hardy
Playhouse 90 1958 TV Series Pvt. Linus Powell
Old Yeller 1957 Jim Coates
Westward Ho, the Wagons! 1956 John 'Doc' Grayson
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color 1954-1956 TV Series Davy Crockett / John 'Doc' Grayson
The Great Locomotive Chase 1956 James J. Andrews
City Detective 1955 TV Series Tony
Battle Cry 1955 Pvt. Speedy
The Bounty Hunter 1954 Wild Cowboy at Finale (uncredited)
My Little Margie 1954 TV Series The All American
Them! 1954 Alan Crotty
Annie Oakley 1954 TV Series Les Clinton - The Texas Sandman / Tom Conrad - Newspaper Publisher
Dragonfly Squadron 1954 Texas Lieutenant (uncredited)
Stories of the Century 1954 TV Series Grat Dalton
Dragnet 1954 TV Series Officer Harkness
Thunder Over the Plains 1953 Kirby
Island in the Sky 1953 Fitch's Co-Pilot (uncredited)
The Kid from Left Field 1953 McDougal
Take Me to Town 1953 Long John (uncredited)
Man on a Tightrope 1953 Checkpoint Soldier (uncredited)
Springfield Rifle 1952 Jim Randolph (uncredited)
Untamed Frontier 1952 Clem McCloud
No Room for the Groom 1952 Cousin Ben (uncredited)
Harvey 1950 Leslie--Chauffeur (voice, uncredited)

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Mr. Robot 2016 TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Disney Family Album 1985 TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode
Back to the Future 1985 performer: "THE BALLAD OF DAVY CROCKETT" 1954
Daniel Boone 1964-1970 TV Series performer - 4 episodes
The Danny Kaye Show 1965 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Westward Ho, the Wagons! 1956 lyrics: "I'm Lonely My Darlin'" / performer: "The Ballad of John Colter", "Wringle Wrangle"
The Great Locomotive Chase 1956 performer: "Dixie", "Tenting On The Old Camp Ground", "Pappy Was A Railroad Man", "Roll Jordan Roll", "A Rebel I Will I Be Until I Died"
Dateline: Disneyland 1955 TV Special documentary performer: "Bang! Went Old Betsy"

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Daniel Boone 1968-1970 TV Series 5 episodes

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Daniel Boone 1968 TV Series producer - 1 episode

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
'Old Yeller': Remembering a Classic 2002 Video documentary short special thanks
A Conversation with Fess Parker 2001 Video documentary short thanks
Walt: The Man Behind the Myth 2001 TV Movie documentary grateful acknowledgment

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Pioneers of Television 2011 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself / Daniel Boone from Daniel Boone
James May's Road Trip 2007 TV Series documentary Himself
Directed by Norman Foster 2006 Video documentary short Himself
CBS News Sunday Morning 2005 TV Series documentary Himself
Alamo Mania 2004 TV Movie documentary Himself
'Old Yeller': Remembering a Classic 2002 Video documentary short Himself
A Conversation with Fess Parker 2001 Video documentary short Himself
Disney Through the Decades 2001 Video documentary short Host - 1950's
The De la Peña Diary 2000 Video documentary Himself
Best Doggone Dog in the West: The Making of Walt Disney's 'Old Yeller' 1997 Video documentary short Himself - Host
The Wonderful World of Disney: 40 Years of Television Magic 1994 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Disney Family Album 1985 TV Series documentary Himself / Davy Crockett
All-Star Party for 'Dutch' Reagan 1985 TV Special Himself
NBC Salutes the 25th Anniversary of the Wonderful World of Disney 1978 TV Movie documentary Himself
Hollywood's Talking 1973 TV Series Himself
The Dean Martin Show 1969-1972 TV Series Himself
The Grand Opening of Walt Disney World 1971 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Andy Williams Show 1971 TV Series Himself
Della 1969 TV Series Himself
Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters 1969 TV Series Himself
The Joey Bishop Show 1969 TV Series Himself
Today 1964-1969 TV Series Himself
The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show 1968 TV Series Himself
The Jonathan Winters Show 1968 TV Series Himself - Guest
The London Palladium Show 1966 TV Series Himself
The Danny Kaye Show 1965 TV Series Himself
What's This Song? 1964-1965 TV Series Himself - Guest / Himself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1964 TV Series Himself
Here's Hollywood 1961 TV Series Himself
Startime 1959 TV Series Himself
The Juke Box Jury 1956-1959 TV Series Himself
The 31st Annual Academy Awards 1959 TV Special Himself - Audience Member
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color 1954-1957 TV Series Himself / James J Andrews
The Ed Sullivan Show 1956-1957 TV Series Himself
Disneyland, U.S.A. 1956 Documentary short Himself - as Davy Crockett
The George Gobel Show 1956 TV Series Himself
The Tin Pan Alley Show 1956 TV Series Himself
The 28th Annual Academy Awards 1956 TV Special Himself - Audience Member
Dateline: Disneyland 1955 TV Special documentary Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards 2010 TV Special Himself - Memorial Tribute
Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years 2005 Documentary short Himself / Davy Crockett (uncredited)
Biography 1994 TV Series documentary Davy Crockett in 'Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier'
Disney Sing-Along-Songs: Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah 1986 Video short Davy Crockett
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color 1961-1980 TV Series Jim Coates / Del Hardy / James J. Andrews / ...
Davy Crockett and the River Pirates 1956 Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier 1955 Davy Crockett

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1986 Golden Boot Golden Boot Awards

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1955 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Most Outstanding New Personality


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#Quote
1 I left the business after 22 years. It was time to leave Hollywood. I came along at a time when I'm starting out with Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Sterling Hayden and Gregory Peck. Who needed a guy running around in a coonskin cap?
2 I guess you could call me plain. I don't go in for show. There isn't anything I want too much, except to be a good actor.
3 There have been several turning points in my life, but the most important one came the day I stepped before the cameras as Davy Crockett. The way I look at things, a man's life story isn't his alone, but it belongs to a lot of people who have influenced him and done things for him that he can never repay.


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