Parker Stevenson worked in Hollywood for nearly half a century, but his first challenge was choosing the name by which he would be known. When Richard Parker first started acting, his name was already used by a famous actor who was registered with the Screen Actors Guild. He thought about using Richard Stevenson, but that name too was already in use. So he chose Parker Stevenson, as he is now known, and has openly said he prefers.
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Richard Stevenson Parker Jr. was born on the 4e June 1952, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, one of two sons born to Sarah Meade and Richard Stevenson Parker Sr.
His father worked as a money manager and investment advisor, and his mother was a Broadway actress and the face of numerous commercials. He found his way into acting at the age of five completely by accident, when his mother took him to one of her film sessions – Parker was spotted and it resulted in him appearing in two small television roles.
Although Parker’s father married an artist, he did not approve of the lifestyle of his wife and son. The family moved to Rye, New York. Stevenson was cast in a few minor school plays, but he wanted to make his father proud and had no intention of pursuing his acting – he wanted to study architecture instead.
Stevenson started at Brooks School and then went to Rye Country Day School. After graduating in 1971, he was accepted to study architecture at Princeton University in New Jersey.
However, after college instead of pursuing architecture, Stevenson decided to try show business. His big break came in 1977 when he landed the part of Frank Hardy in ‘The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries’, a very popular television series, and he continued to appear in thirty-five episodes for two years.
In 1983, he appeared in “Stroker Ace”, an action comedy directed by Hal Needham, in which Parker played the character Aubrey James.
In the same year, he was cast on the series ‘Shooting Stars’ and ‘The Love Boat’, after which CBS’s ‘Falcon Crest’ asked Stevenson in 1984 to play Joel McCarthy for 11 episodes. From here, Parker’s career continued to gain momentum. In 1985 he played Nick Larabee in the television movie ‘Rockhopper’, along with his appearance in several other series such as ‘Murder, She Wrote’, ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ and ‘Stiches’.
In 1986, Stevenson appeared alongside his then-wife Kirstie Alley, playing Billy Hazard in the miniseries “North and South: Book 11.” In 1989, Stevenson was part of the iconic “Baywatch” series, when he joined the original cast to play Craig Pomeroy. Not only did he appear in twenty-eight episodes, but Parker made his directorial debut in nine episodes of the series.
However, Stevenson immediately went back to acting with roles in “Flesh ‘n’ Blood” and “Caddie Woodlawn”. In 1993, he joined the second season of the TV series “Melrose Place” as the recurring character Steve McMillan. He was clearly bitten by the directorial bug, as he also directed a few episodes of the series.
After a ten-year hiatus from feature films, Stevenson played Jack Sherbourne in ‘Not of This Earth’. Still not satisfied with his obviously impressive resume, he added voice actor to the list in 2000, when he voiced the character Paxton Powers on an episode of “Batman Beyond.”
Stevenson appeared in many more series and movies, over 50 movies and TV series over the next 18 years – most recently he played Brandon Mckellan in the 2018 movie ‘Mistrust’.
In addition to his Hollywood career, Parker is a very active photographer, and there is an official website and studio where his works are displayed. Parker’s interest in photography began when he was fourteen years old, when he worked part-time shooting weddings, admitting he wasn’t very good, feeling a little awkward and intrusive. In his spare time, while studying at Princeton, he devoted himself to architectural and landscape photography and also shot headshots and portraits for extra money.
Parker’s love of photography has not faded over the years and is still very active. When asked what inspires him to take pictures, he said, “If you see something and your breath starts to catch on, shoot it because there’s something there.”
In September 2018, Parker married chef Lisa Schoen in Los Olivos, California at the Demetria Vineyards, before heading to Israel to enjoy their honeymoon. The couple met while living next door, when Lisa went to Parker and asked to borrow a large pot. In return, she returned the jar full of “The best chicken soup I’ve ever had,” confirming the age-old belief that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
In 1980, Stevenson was linked to actress Morgan Fairchild, followed a year later by a relationship with writer Carol Connors. Stevenson was married to actress Kirstie Alley for 14 years, adopting son William in 1992 and daughter Lillie in 1994. The couple had previously tried to conceive, but after Alley suffered a miscarriage and stillbirth, the couple decided to try adoption.
The couple’s divorce in 1997 was widely publicized, with Stevenson rumored to have left the marriage with $6 million, while asking only $75,000 in alimony from Alley. The couple split all of their assets in the divorce and continue to share custody of their two now grown children.
If you have ever wondered how much this Hollywood heavyweight has made over the years, you will not find much information, but he is known to have achieved great success as an actor, director and photographer. Sources state that Stevenson’s net value is an estimated $10 million, as of early 2020. Parker’s great success was through hard work and dedication working his way up from the ground up to join many great actors and actresses who have made up much of Hollywood history.
Parker is 1.8 m tall and weighs 70 kg. Once known as a heart palpitation, Stevenson’s blonde hair may have faded, but his blue eyes and trademark wide grin remain.