Best Known For
Parker Stevenson is best known for his role as Frank Hardy in The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.
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Born into an affluent family on June 4, 1952, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Parker Stevenson grew up in Rye, New York, and attended Princeton University. With his preppy good looks, he landed his first major role in 1972's A Separate Peace. It was his role as Frank Hardy in The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, however, that catapulted him to teen heartthrob status. Though he struggled against being typecast, he continued to appear in films and television shows,
"Now when people compliment me, it's flattering. Before it wasn't; I felt you could've taken any two kids, stuck them in the show and cranked out the same effect."
"I started in show business doing commercials. If my mother hadn't been doing it, I might not have thought about it."
"I had reservations about being in the series even before I did it. I felt I would have to fight my way out of it… After the series ended all I got was calls for Hardy Boys kind of stuff."
most notably on Baywatch. Stevenson was married to actress Kirstie Alley for 14 years.
Actor Parker Stevenson was born Richard Stevenson Parker on June 4, 1952, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Rye, New York, an affluent suburb of New York City. Born into a wealthy family listed in the Social Register, his father, Richard Stevenson, was an investment advisor, and his mother, Sarah Meade, was an actress who had appeared on Broadway and acted mostly in commercials. Although by late adolescence Stevenson had matured into a heartthrob with handsome, all-American good looks, he claims that he was a hideous child. "I was a horrendously ugly kid," he remembered. "My mother had given me a crew cut. I had huge buckteeth because I'd sucked my thumb when I was little. My ears stuck out three inches from my head. My eyes were so close together I looked cross-eyed."
In addition to the bad haircut, Stevenson also got the acting bug from his mother. He appeared in his first commercial, a spot for Clearasil, at the age of 14 and continued to appear in commercials throughout his teenage years. "I started in show business doing commercials," Stevenson recalled. "If my mother hadn't been doing it, I might not have thought about it."
Stevenson attended the Brooks School, an elite preparatory school near Boston. In addition to excelling as a student, he acted sporadically in commercials and filmed his first movie during his senior year. A Separate Peace, the film adaptation of John Knowles' popular novel, came out in 1972, shortly after Stevenson's graduation, and established him as an up-and-coming young actor.
Stevenson attended Princeton University to study architecture while continuing to pursue acting on the side. In 1974, he took a year off from college to play the leading role in the television movie Our Time. Two years later, he gained further exposure for playing a young heartthrob in the film Lifeguard. Stevenson graduated from Princeton later that year and, as he put it, "decided it would be nice to make a living at what I was already doing for fun—acting."
Thanks in large part to his preppy good looks, Stevenson landed the role of Frank Hardy in The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries in 1977, playing the older and wiser of the famed amateur detective duo. Almost overnight the show catapulted Stevenson to a level of celebrity he found overwhelming and somewhat uncomfortable.
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