Parker Stevenson Turns 65: From Hardy Boy To Sexy Senior Citizen
Parker Stevenson has turned 65-years-old. Stevenson was born on June 4, 1952, in Philadelphia as Richard Stevenson Parker Jr., and 25 years later shot to fame as a star as teen detective Frank Hardy on ABC’s The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. The Hardy Boys, which also starred Shaun Cassidy, made Parker a bona fide TV heartthrob.
While Parker Stevenson is best known as a Hardy Boy, these days he’s far from a senior citizen—even at age 65. Parker still works as an actor and operates the photography studio Shadow Works, where he specializes in headshots, portraits, and landscape photography.
While he is not extremely active on social media, many fans took to Twitter and Facebook to wish Parker Stevenson a Happy 65th birthday in the hopes that he would see their messages. The actor later posted a thank you message to his fans on Facebook, admitting he was pleasantly surprised when he checked his page.
“[Thank you] all for the wonderful B’day wishes,” Parker wrote. “As you all probably know I don’t check in here very often so tonight when I did I was surprised and grateful for all the kind words… they completed a wonderful day… ty all.”
According to Stevenson’s IMDB page, his first acting credit came in 1972 with a starring role in the movie A Separate Peace. In 1974, Parker appeared in the popular western drama Gunsmoke, and two years later starred opposite Sam Elliott in the movie Lifeguard. Parker landed a guest spot on The Streets of San Francisco before nabbing the starring role in the Hardy Boys in 1977. Stevenson went on to do the obligatory Love Boat cameos in the early 1980s and in 1984, he scored a role on the cast of Falcon Crest as Joel McCarthy, before hitting the beaches of Baywatch as Craig Pomeroy in 1988. Some of Parker’s other big roles include a stint on Melrose Place, and in recent years he has logged credits on the 2016 TV movies Hidden Truth and The Perfect Daughter.
Parker Stevenson also found time to get an Ivy League education at Princeton University, and he made headlines for his high-profile marriage to actress Kirstie Alley. Parker was married to Kirstie from 1983 to 1997 and they have two children together, William True and Lillie Price.
In 1991, Alley made headlines for her Emmy Awards speech when she thanked her husband Parker for giving her “the big one every night for the last eight years.”
While his marriage to the Cheers star didn’t last, in a 2013 interview with Smashing magazine, Stevenson talked about his lifelong love of photography, revealing that he first started it as a hobby at age 14.
“I’m still acting, but I’m definitely focused on this,” Parker said of his photography career. “I get up in the morning and edit. I get up in the morning and make calls to line up shoots. This is really where my focus is, but I have not stopped acting. I love acting. But you’re a cog in the wheel. You’re just a part of the overall picture.”
Stevenson revealed that he sometimes wondered if he should have focused entirely on his photography than acting in his younger years.
“I do wonder if I should have been shooting all along instead of acting,” Stevenson said of his Hardy Boys heyday. “You can’t go back, but I had come out of Princeton not quite ready to commit to architecture and was going to NYU business school when I got offered The Hardy Boys. I thought, ‘Oh, okay. I’ll go do this for a bit.’ That really sent me off on that path. I had already done three features and 120 commercials and had worked a lot, but that really kind of set me going forward more purposefully in acting.”
In an interview with Classic Film TV Café, Parker revealed that he was offered the role on The Hardy Boys just as he was graduating from the architecture program at Princeton and that he “needed a job.”
Stevenson is best known for The Hardy Boys, Baywatch and Melrose Place, but he said his favorite TV role was actually on the short-lived 1988 ABC series, Probe.
“It ran a year,” Parker said, “I loved the show. It was Isaac Asimov’s Probe, so it had really trippy interesting stories. It was up against The Cosby Show or something, so it struggled in the ratings. It was the closest to me in terms of how I think and what I’m like in real life.”
Stevenson also revealed that he always wanted a career where he could keep working and trying new things and working with new people.
I wanted a Jimmy Stewart career, not a huge, hot, short career,” Stevenson revealed.
Last year, Parker Stevenson told Hollywood Chicago he never really understood his teen idol persona.
“I never thought of myself as being that good-looking,” Parker admitted. “I was an actor, people saw me on television, and then they start to think you’re good looking because of that presentation. I was no better looking before the show, than after – and before the TV show I couldn’t get a date to save my life. So what changed? Did I suddenly become more good looking? No. I got lucky, I got a TV show. ”
[Featured Image by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Open Road Films/AP Images]