Lara Parker, known for her role as the witch Angelique in the ABC gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows,” died in her sleep on Oct. 12 at her home in the Topanga Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles, her daughter confirmed. She was 84.
From 1966 to 1971, the Memphis native starred in “Dark Shadows” as the central antagonist Angelique Bouchard. Set in the fictional setting of Collinsport, Maine, the series follows the town’s founding family, the Collins family. In the show, Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) spurns the besotted Angelique after a brief dalliance with her, unaware that she is a witch.
An angry Angelique vows revenge and curses Barnabas into becoming a vampire, which precipitates a volatile love-hate relationship that lasts over multiple centuries.
Parker’s role as Angelique ended after her character’s death, but she continued appearing in the series in another role as Collins family member Catherine Harridge Collins.
After the end of the daytime serial, Parker starred in other films and television shows, including the film “Save the Tiger” (1973), drama television series “Jessica Novak” (1981) and two “Doctor Mabuse” films in 2013 and 2014.
A graduate from Antioch University with a master’s in creative writing, Parker also wrote fiction expanding upon the “Dark Shadows” world. She published four books: “Dark Shadows: Angelique’s Legacy” (1998), “Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch” (2006), “Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising” (2013) and “Dark Shadows: Heiress of Collinwood” (2016). Parker later made a cameo in the 2012 film “Dark Shadows,” a remake of the original TV series starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas and Eva Green as Angelique.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 2013, Parker expressed that she had only played the “heroine” before her role as Angelique. She had approached Angelique the same way, only to be told by co-star Frid that she needed to “stop crying” and “be the villain.”
“That made me realize I had a really good character to play who could be ruthless and strong and resilient,” said Parker.
Parker is survived by her second husband, Jim Hawkins; children Caitlin, Rick and Andy; and a grandson.