Vic Parks – Lou Costello’s Stunt Double

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Vic Parks on tour.

Vic Parks was a car salesman, real estate agent, radio host, farmer, acrobat, vaudeville performer and
Lou Costello’s stunt man. The above booth photos and a series of other small identity pictures, (see below) proudly sit alongside three original studio portraits of Vic in my collection. You can see the other photos on Mugshots and Miscellaneous.

In the set of undated photobooth photos, above, we see Vic posing in a dapper silk tie and scarf. On the back of one image is written “Let me see, I’ve been away about 6 months now! …more…that…” (The second sentence has been mostly obscured by glue.) For a time in the 1930s Vic toured in an acrobatic/dance show, so I imagine these were taken specifically to send home to loved ones while he was away.

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Probably taken in a semi-automatic booth in a photographers studio. Undated; maybe late 1920s.

There are many references to Vic’s relationship with Lou to be found online. One of the more curious is from Stories of the Past.

“January 29, 1959

Have you seen TV and movie star Lou Costello walking down the streets of Calexico lately?

We hate to disillusion you, but chances are it’s Vic Parks, owner of Border Fords. And there is a good reason for the resemblance to Costello. Parks is his stand-in in Hollywood.

Parks has been working with the comedian since 1938. Parks has been in one form of show business or another for many years. He and his wife, Margie, still keep their hand in the entertainment business in Calexico.

Parks continues to double for Costello, traveling to Hollywood or other parts of the country when the shooting of a picture is in progress.”

From the photograph in his obituary article (below), it is easy to see why one may have mistaken him for Mr Costello.

Obituary from the North County Times, 1995. How incredibly alike are they in this photo.

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Vic Parks and George Lamar with The Keene Twins circa 1930. Photo courtesy of Brian Murphy.

Above is a publicity portrait of Vic with Leona and Naomi Krummel (The Keene Twins) and George Lamar, Vic’s vaudeville “tumbling” partner. The troupe were at Fays Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island, from March 4 to March 10, 1933.

Brian Murphy, who has given me permission to use this image, has a wonderful photostream on Flickr that show cases hundreds of wonderful vaudeville images and ephemera from the 1920s, 30s and other eras. His father was a vaudeville performer at the same time as Vic. Please have a look at Brian’s archive.

Remember to go to Mugshots and Miscellaneous to see more images of Vic.

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Small proof photos from a studio portrait sitting.

17 comments
  1. ehpem said:

    How on earth’s name did you get your hands on these? What a great thing to have in your collection – and I am sure very desirable among collectors. Was there luck involved?

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  2. What a fascinating hobby you have here. Thank you for sharing this, I enjoyed the nostalgia very much 🙂

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  3. Lisa said:

    what a find, katherine! i absolutely love the photo booth set – the top left corner one being my favorite. he looks impish and sweet! i didn’t see the resemblance to lou until i saw the obituary clipping – wow.

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    • Thanks Lisa. I think he is cute but that he looks very different in all the photos. He was very short, I believe. Just like Lou.

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  4. David said:

    I had the privilege to know Vic Parks, I just called him Uncle Vic. He was married to my father’s sister, Margie ( Wilson ) Parks. I am so proud to have known him.

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    • That is great to know David. It is such a shame that so much of the family history has been dispersed. I am very fond of Vic, as I feel I know him through the photos I have of him and the information I have been able to find online. I am very happy you found the posting. I have more to add at a later date. Best wishes, Katherine.

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  5. Tiana said:

    Hi I am Vic’s granddaughter and my dad …his son…is right here looking at these with me!! This is crazy that you have found these…we would sure love copies. We could also fill you in on many details that you above mentioned seemed lost about him. Tiana Parks-Williams

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  6. Tiana said:

    PS- The twin closest to him in the group photo is my grandma Naomi who just turned 98 and is the only one still living…the pairs in the photo were each married. Naomi and Vic are my dads parents. : )

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    • That is so cool! Will you be able to show these to her? I am so happy about this!!! I have sent you an email.

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  7. do you know if vic parks is his real name?,,,,one of lou Costello’s cousins is married to a john parks and they have been trying to figure out if they are some how related,,,,thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  8. do you know if vic parks is his real name?,,,,,one of lou Costello’s cousins is married to a john parks and they have been trying to figure out if they might be related

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your comment. To my knowledge Vic Parks is his real name. I have a lot of identified photos in my collection and they are all under that name.

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