Parker Stevenson Interview

Actor Parker Stevenson today

We haven't heard that much from Parker Stevenson lately. So it's nice to read a recent interview with him I found on www.family.lifegoesstrong.com. He talks about the break he took from acting, about his family and also about upcoming projects.

Parker Stevenson: Exclusive Interview with the Former Hardy Boy
Parker Stevenson (a.k.a. Frank Hardy) talks about balancing his career and fatherhood.
At 59, Parker Stevenson still looks and sounds much the way he did when he played Frank Hardy in "The Hardy Boys" TV show 35 years ago. Today the former teen idol chats with FamilyGoesStrong.com about how he balances his family, his hobbies, and his career. Excerpts:
I posted a "Teen idols from Our Youth" slide show — and, from the beginning, have gotten more clicks on your photos than on anyone else's. Did you know you had so many fans?
No! I've kept a pretty low profile for awhile, so maybe people are just curious.
What do know now that you wish you had known when you were a teen idol (at age 24)?
As exciting as it all was to be working and to be in a series, it's not the be and end all. As extraordinary as it is to be in the middle of that excitement and activity, you're the same person before that happens as you are during it and as you are after. The other things in my life that meant a lot to me — I might have kept as active in them as i was in work.

Do you mean hobbies?

Yes, such as photography. I'm a photographer now. I wish I'd been more active with photography through those years because I love it. It would have filled up my life in a lot of ways.

What do you photograph?

I do different stuff. i do head shots and portraits, and I do editorial stuff, and I do stuff for exhibits.

When is your next exhibit?

I'll have one this winter in Los Angeles. I haven't set the gallery yet, but probably at Bergamot Station here in Los Angeles. It's a collection of galleries and artist spaces.

How did your Princeton education affect the path your life has taken?
Some of the firends I made have lasted my whole life. I  studied architecture, and that sensibility is in everything i do. It's been in my directing. It's in my photography. It just broadens your interests and enriches your experiences going forward. 
What are you busy doing these days, other than taking photographs?
It's a bunch of things now. My kids are on their way now. They're in their late teens [17 and 19]. I'm able to go back to work. I'm helping teach at Lewis Smith's acting academy on the west side of Los Angeles. It's an amazing gruop of students. I shoot a lot, and I'm back auditioning. I do voice-over stuff.

Any voice overs that people will recognize?

I did Callaway golf balls fairly recently. I did a National Geographic series for a year. I've done Apple. I've done Sylvania. I've done Blue Cross.

Do people know it's your voice?
I don't think so.

Your real name is Richard Stevenson Parker. You had to change it because other actors were registered under Richard Parker or Richard Stevenson. Do friends and family call you by your original name or by Parker?
They call me both.

You don't care which name they use?
I really don't. All through school, people knew me as Richard.
Do people also call you Frank Hardy after your character's name on "The Hardy Boys"?
Sometimes they do — especially kids who have seen your series.
Did you read the Hardy Boy books, and did you encourage your two kids to read them?
Yes. Both!
How much do you keep in touch with Shaun Cassidy (a.k.a. Joe Hardy), your brother on "The Hardy Boys" TV show?
I see Shaun about once a year. We have some friends in common. We have kept in touch. We don't talk a lot, but when we see each other, we catch up. I'm very fond of Shaun. 
In "The Hardy Boys," you played a teenager when you were actually 24. Now you're 59 but look younger. What's your secret to always appearing more youthful than you are?
I have a friend who when I compliment him, he says, "I look great, but i have the insides of Elvis!"

But do you work out?

I surf a couple times a week. I live in Venice, so I can surf.
Do you ever watch the old shows — catch a "Baywatch" or a "Hardy Boys" episode? 
I don't really! More with my kids when they were younger.

So are your kids at Princeton?!

They're not at Princeton. They're finishing up high school, and then I'm not sure what they'll do.

Do you go to your Princeton reunions?

Early on I did. But I took a year off while I was at school to do a movie called "Lifeguard," so that split me into different classes. I was supposed to graduate in '75, but I graduated in '76.

Are your kids still mostly with you?

Now they're with their mom [actress Kirstie Alley], or they're traveling. They were with me until just recently. That's why i stopped working. i wanted that time with them.

You were a full-time dad?

Parker Stevenson on
"Falcon Crest" in 1984
Until this past year, I was a full-time dad. They were with their mom, too. But I stayed here and didn't take work out of town because I wanted that time with them. It was great. It was wonderful for me. It was the greatest gift I ever had. Being a dad was by far the most challenging and interesting and rewarding I did. It connects you to your own family and your kids and their potential kids and your legacy and your values. It brings everything together, being a parent.
Any plans to have more kids?
No. It's fun to audition for things and get back into work. I miss work.
You've been divorced [from Alley, his wife from 1983 to 1997) for many years. Any plans to remarry?
Why not?

My attention is just elsewhere now. My attention is more directed to things I haven't had the chance to do while I''ve been with my kids.

Any girlfriends?

I date.

Anything else you'd like your fans to know?

Just that I'm happy and well.

Parker Stevenson in a scene with Kate Vernon, Lorenzo Lamas
and Laura Johnson on "Falcon Crest" in 1984

Parker Stevenson with castmate
Laura Johnson on "Falcon Crest" in 1984

1 comment:

JoAnne LakeField said...

While this interview was held, I was thinking of asking Parker for an audio recording of my blog post.

So.. was he mistaking during the interview posted here!

Any voice overs that people will recognize?
I did Callaway golf balls fairly recently. I did a National Geographic series for a year. I've done Apple. I've done Sylvania. I've done Blue Cross.

Do people know it's your voice?
I don't think so.

You can hear Parker reading the short story here: The Meeting; read by Parker Stevenson, written by JoAnne Lakefield.