Dolphia Parker, mother of the Hollywood actor Dirk Blocker was the wife of the American Korean War veteran and famous actor Dan Blocker. Together with her husband, they raised four children until his death in 1972.
Following the death of her husband, Dolphia went off the radar while her children carried on with their father’s legacy in Hollywood.
Who is Dolphia Parker?
Despite the fact that her husband was one of the iconic actors in the 1980s, details about Dolphia Lee Parker lived a very private life. However, there are reports that suggest she was born on an Oklahoman ranch where her parents bred quarter horses.
While the wife of Dan Blocker was raised on a ranch, her husband was raised in De Kalb Texas by his parents, OraShack Blocker and Mary Arizona Davis.
During his formative years, he attended Texas Military Institute before he later enrolled in Hardin-Simmons University and Sul Ross State University in pursuit of a degree in speech and drama.
Dolpina Parker was an Actress When She Met Dan Blocker
Apparently, was working as an actress in Sul Ross when she met Dan. She was reportedly on the stage crew of the play Arsenic and Old Lace. Her husband on the other hand was just a member of the audience who was called to carry a dead body from the cellar during the play.
Dophia later fell ill and was replaced by another actress, Freda Gibson Powell. Dan was trying to pursue a career in football at that time. He had previously played football at Southern Baptist-affiliated Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene before he was transferred to Sul Ross State Teacher’s College where he would meet his future wife.
After seeing how well he did as an actor, Blocker encouraged him to focus on acting instead of football, which he did.
While her actress career died off, Dan became involved in quite a number of drama productions and appeared in several productions which he also directed. The pair later appeared in a play titled, Fumed Oak.
Dophia Parker Married Dan Blocker Shortly After He Discharged from the Army
Upon his graduation, Dan Blocker and his friend Dennis Reed joined the summer stock circuit. They made their first appearance at Brattle Hall Theatre in Boston before he made his Broadway debut in the production of King Lear in 1950.
Shortly afterward, he got inducted into the Army and spent four months at Camp Polk. He later joined the 179th regiment and spent nine months in Japan serving in the Korean War. While in the army, the actor received a Purple Heart for wounds in combat and also National Defense Service Medal.
He was subsequently discharged from the army on September 23, 1952, and two days later, he married Dolphia. The marriage was sealed by a retired Presbyterian minister, Rev. J. Dando on September 25, 1952, in Carlsbad New Mexico.
The couple then moved to Sul Ross to start their family but things were not so easy for them. Dan had to take a teaching job at a high school in Sonora Texas. After a while, the whole family moved again to California.
She Had Four Children With Her Husband
A year after they married Dolphia and her husband welcomed twin girls Debra Lee and Danna Lynn in 1953. Her sons, David and Dirk were born in 1955 and 1957 respectively.
With her husband’s rising fame, it was reportedly difficult to raise the kids in normalcy. At the mere sight of Dolphia and her children, Dan’s fans would always surround them.
Here are Other Interesting Facts about Dan Blocker’s Wife, Dophia Parker
1. Her Husband Made His Big Break in 1959
In 1959, Dan Blocker gained more prominence after he was cast as Eric Hoss Cartwright on the NBC television series Bonanza. He appeared in 415 episodes of the series. The series was a huge success and it was soon one of America’s favorite western television shows.
He continued to appear in other films and television productions and he would be remembered for his role in his movies such as Come Blow Your Horn and Something for a Lonely Man.
2. Dolphia Parker’s Sons Carried on with Her Husband’s Legacy in Hollywood
Both of Dolphia’s sons have towed a career path similar to that of their father. David Blocker, her first son has produced numerous movies and has earned an Emmy Award. He has almost 20 movie credits to his name. Some of his popular works include Frailty (2001), Into the Wild (2007), and Don King: Only in America (1997).
Her second son, Dirk made his acting debut as a teenager in 1974 in an episode of the medical drama Marcus Welby, M.D. He is also known for his role as Michael Hitchcock on the Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-present).
Dirk Blocker is said to be married to actress Danielle Aubuchon and they have at least two children. While not much is known about her twins, it is said that one of them is an artist.
3. Dolphia’s Husband was an Automobile Fan
The actor was reportedly a huge fan of an automobile that he even owned a 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396. Also, he owned a 1965 Huffaker Genie MK10 race car.
4. Her Husband Died at the Age of 43
Although the exact year she was born is not available, it has been speculated that she married the deceased actor when she was 20. Going by that, since their marriage lasted for almost two decades, it is safe to say she was around 40 years when she lost her husband.
Dan Blocker did not make it to the 14th and final season of the series that made him popular. On May 13, 1972, it was announced that the actor passed shortly after a pulmonary embolism gallbladder surgery at Daniel Freeman Hospital in Los Angeles. It was reported that he went in for the surgery but he developed a blood clot in his lung and died.
His remains were interred in Woodmen Cemetery in De Kalb, Texas beside his family members who preceded him in death.
5. Where is She Now?
There are speculations that despite losing her husband at an early age, Dolphia Parker probably never remarried. She lived her life low-key and raised her children to continue her husband’s legacy.