Parker Stevenson spent almost half a century working in Hollywood, but his first challenge was picking the name he would become known as. When Richard Parker first started acting his name was already used by a famous actor registered with the Screen Actors Guild. He thought about using Richard Stevenson, but that name too was already taken. So, he settled on Parker Stevenson, as he is now known, and has openly stated he prefers.
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Richard Stevenson Parker Jr. was born on the 4th 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 five years of age completely by accident, when his mother took him to one of her filming sessions – Parker was spotted, and it resulted in him appearing in two small television roles.
Although Parker’s father married a performer, he did not approve of the lifestyle his wife and son where persuing. The family moved to Rye, New York. Stevenson was cast in a few small school plays, but he wanted to make his father proud, and had no intention of carrying on his pursuit of acting – he instead wanted to study architecture.
Stevenson started at Brooks School and then attended Rye Country Day School. After matriculating in 1971, he was accepted to study architecture at Princeton University in New Jersey.
However, after university instead of pursuing architecture Stevenson decided to go try show business. In 1977 he received his big break when he got the part of Frank Hardy in ‘The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries’, a very popular television series, and stayed on for two years appearing in thirty-five episodes.
In 1983 he appeared in “Stroker Ace”, an action comedy film directed by Hal Needham, in which Parker played character Aubrey James.
In the same year he was cast in “Shooting Stars” and “The Love Boat” series, then CBSs ‘Falcon Crest’ asked Stevenson to play Joel McCarthy for eleven episodes in 1984. From here Parker’s career continued to pick up momentum. In 1985 he played Nick Larabee in the television movie ‘Rockhopper’, at the same time as he was appearing in multiple other series such as ‘Murder, She Wrote’, ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ and ‘Stiches’.
In 1986, Stevenson appeared along side his wife at the time Kirstie Alley, as he played Billy Hazard in the miniseries “North and South: Book 11.” In 1989 Stevenson became apart of the iconic series “Baywatch”, when he joined the original cast to play Craig Pomeroy. Not only did he appear in twenty-eight episodes, but Parker made his directing debut in nine of the series episodes.
However, Stevenson went straight back into 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 had clearly got bitten by the directing bug, because he also directed a few episodes of the series.
After a ten-year break from feature films, Stevenson played Jack Sherbourne in ‘Not of This Earth.’ He wasn’t yet satisfied with his clearly impressive resume, and so he added voice actor to the list in 2000, when he voiced the character Paxton Powers in an episode of ‘Batman Beyond’.
Stevenson went on to appear in many more series and films over the next 18 years, well over 50 films and TV series – most recently he played Brandon Mckellan in the film “Mistrust’ in 2018.
Apart from his career in Hollywood Parker is a very active photographer, and there is an official website and studio on which his works are displayed. Parker’s interest in photography began when he was fourteen years old, when he worked part-time taking photos at weddings, at which he admits that he wasn’t very good, feeling somewhat awkward and intrusive. In his spare time while studying at Princeton, he focused on architecture and landscape photography, as well as doing some headshots and portraits for extra money.
Parkers love for photography has not faded over the years, and continues to be a very active – when asked what inspires him to take photos, he said “If you see something and feel your breath kind of catch, shoot it because there’s something there.”
In September of 2018 Parker married chef Lisa Schoen in Los Olivos, California at the Demetria Vineyards, before jetting off to Israel to enjoy their honeymoon. The couple met living next to each other, when Lisa went over to Parker and asked to borrow a large pot. As thanks she returned the pot full of “The best chicken soup I’ve ever had”, confirming the age-old thought 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 dating writer Carol Connors. Stevenson was most famously married to actress Kirstie Alley for fourteen years, during which in 1992 they adopted son William, and in 1994 daughter Lillie. The couple had previously tried to get pregnant, but after Alley experienced a miscarriage and a stillbirth the couple decided to try adoption.
The couple’s divorce in 1997 was highly publicized, with Stevenson being rumoured to have walked away from the marriage with $6 million, when he had only asked for $75,000 in alimony from Alley. The couple split all their assets in the divorce, and continue to share custody of their two now adult children.
Net worth/ Salary
If you have ever wondered how much this Hollywood heavy weight has made over the years, you won’t find much information, but it is known that he has achieved great success as an actor, director and photographer. Sources state that Stevenson’s net worth is an estimated $10 million, as of early 2020. Parkers great success was through hard work and dedication working his way from the ground up to join many great actors and actresses that make up a large part of Hollywood’s history.
Parker is 6ft (1.8m) tall and weighs 155lbs (70kgs). Once known as a heart throb, Stevenson’s blonde hair may have faded, but his blue eyes and signature toothy grin remain.