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.
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.
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.