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Joseph Gordon-Levitt has signed on to produce and star in New Regency and The Henson Co.’s upcoming feature-film reboot of Fraggle Rock. Here’s Gordon-Levitt on his love for Henson’s creations:
“The first screen personas I ever loved were Henson creations, first on Sesame Street, and then on Fraggle Rock,” Gordon-Levitt says. “Jim Henson’s characters make you laugh and sing, but they’re also layered, surprising, and wise. From Oscar the Grouch, to Yoda, to the Fraggles. I’ve never stopped loving his work, even as a young frisky man, and on into adulthood.”
Every episode of Fraggle Rock (1983-1987) began with a trip through the window of the slightly befuddled tinkerer, “Doc,” under whose work shed lived a world of Fraggles, Doozers, and Gorgs. Alongside his trusty Muppet dog Sprocket, Doc, played by Gerard Parkes, appeared in all 96 episodes of the Jim Henson production.
Mr. Parkes was born in Dublin and moved to Canada in the 1950s to make his mark in acting. Beginning in radio, eventually Mr. Parkes moved to the stage and screen - and had success in both venues. In 1968 he won the a Canadian Film Award as Best Actor for his work in the film Isabel. More than three decades later he won a Dora for his performance in the play Kilt.
For much of his career he played small, but impactful, parts in a variety of television shows and films. He appeared in several episodes of Shining Time Station, and many know him for his other “Doc” role in 1999's The Boondock Saints.
But he loved that his best-known role was on Fraggle Rock. His agent was quoted as saying, “He had a thrill doing that show….It was one of those roles that hit a chord with kids and adults.”
Gerard Parkes died on October 19, 2014 at the age of 90.