Lara Parker is interviewed on the radio show "Alchemist's Playground", found online at www.myspace.com/alchemistplayground.
Ms. Parker is perhaps best known as Angelique from Dark Shadows and author of two recent fiction books about Dark Shadows - "Angelque's Descent" and "The Salem Branch" – Ms. Parker has starred in numerous TV series (One Life To Live, Washington Behind Closed Doors), feature films (Race with the Devil and Save the Tiger)
Lara Parker was born Mary Lamar Rickey in Knoxville, Tennessee, and grew up in Memphis. She attended Central High School in Memphis and won a scholarship to Vassar College, where she began a major in Philosophy, which she completed at Southwestern at Memphis, now called Rhodes College, receiving her BA. She attended graduate school at the University of Iowa and completed all course work on a Masters in Speech and Drama. The summer Lara was to write her thesis, she acted at the Millbrook Playhouse in Loch Haven, Pennsylvania, where she did five leading roles in six weeks. Rather than return to Iowa, she decided to try her luck in New York City, and, the second week she was there, she was cast as Angelique the witch in the daytime horror serial "Dark Shadows" (1966), a job she held for five years, culminating in the film, Night of Dark Shadows (1971). While she was in New York, she appeared in a Broadway play, "Woman is My Idea", and two off-Broadway Plays: "Lulu" and "A Gun Play". Lara moved to Los Angeles in 1972 and began working in film and nighttime television, performing many guest roles and occasionally returning to daytime television. After acting, she has been a high school teacher, has written several screenplays and has completed her first novel (see book section below). As of 1999, she lives in California with her husband, Jimmy Hawkins, and daughter.
In 2005, Featured on the Audio Commentary of the DVD version of the cult classic Race with the Devil (1975).
In May, 2006), Lara reprised her "Dark Shadows" (1966) role of "Angelique" in four new CD Dark Shadows audio dramas produced by Big Finish Productions.
Dark Shadows is a Gothic television soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966 to April 2, 1971. The show was created by Dan Curtis, who tells of a dream he had in which a girl takes a long train ride to visit a large mansion. It was considered daring (and unprecedented in daytime television) when ghosts were introduced about six months after it began. The series became hugely popular when, a year into its run, vampire Barnabas Collins, played by Jonathan Frid, appeared. In addition to vampires, Dark Shadows featured werewolves, ghosts, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel, both into the past and into the future, and a parallel universe. A small company of actors each played many roles and, as actors came and went, some characters were played by several actors.
Dark Shadows has the distinction of being the only long-running soap to have every one of its 1225 episodes released for home video, first on VHS and currently in progress on DVD. Dark Shadows was distinguished by its vividly melodramatic performances, atmospheric interiors, memorable story lines and an unusually adventurous music score. Now regarded as somewhat of a camp classic, it continues to enjoy intense cult status among its followers – inspiring annual conventions for nearly a quarter of a century.
Director Tim Burton and pop icon Madonna, as well as authors Anne Rice and Steven King are all on record as fans of the series. As a child Johnny Depp was so obsessed with Barnabas Collins that he wanted to be him. And now he has optioned the rights from Dan Curtis Productions to produce a new feature (and hopefully a series) with a tentative rel;ease date of 2010.
"Songs from the Alchemist's Playground" with hosts Eric G. and Tony Blass broadcasts live every Saturday night at 9 PM PST from the American Radio Network