Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 18th, 2009
Dale Anson Park has died. The Decatur, Illinois native made a career of actually being the “man in the gorilla suit.”
Park is shown here as “Grunt,” the gorilla.
His obituary was published in the Decatur Herald & Review.
DECATUR – Dale Anson Park, 48 of Los Angeles, CA., formerly of Decatur, Illinois, died Monday Jan. 5, 2009 at his home in California. Funeral Services for Dale will be 7 p.m. Saturday Jan. 17, 2009 with visitation one hour before at First Christian Church 3350 N. MacArthur Road, Decatur, IL, 62526 with Rev. Darren Embree officiating. Memorial services and scattering of his remains will be held in California the weekend of January 23rd. Memorials may be made to American Heart Association or the donor’s charity of choice. Tanzyus-Logan Funeral Service and Care is in charge of the arrangements.
Dale was born May 30, 1960 in Decatur the son of Paul Jerome and Geneva “Ellie” Jones Park. He graduated from MacArthur High School and was a member the Drama Club, Speech Club and ran on the track team.
Dale attended college in Gainesville, FL., St. Petersburg, FL., and San Diego, CA. In 1970 he played the role of Grumpy in Snow White at the Little Theater on the Square in Sullivan, IL.
He worked as an extra in many movies including Pirates of the Caribbean II.
He was in several productions in San Diego, CA. In 1997 while visiting his family he was in the production “The Importance of Being Earnest” at Richland College in Decatur. He was a published poet and a member of the Screen Actors Guild owning his own production company “Laughing Budha”.
He also did local commercials and worked in customer services at the Staples Center in L.A.
Surviving is his mother, Geneva Ellie Witts, brother, David Allen (Catherine) Park, sister, Debbie Lee (Jim) Wilson all of Decatur, nieces, Amber (Craig) Pond of Champaign, IL., Kelsey Wilson, Shelby Wilson and Megan Park, step-nephews, Marc and Erik Trueblood, uncle, Edwin (Susie) Jones all of Decatur. He was preceded in death by his father, step-father, Charles (Skip) Witts, uncle, Sad Sam Jones and grandparents, Sam and Lillian Jones, Paul and Wilma Park. Dale was a very beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend and will be deeply missed. Obituary written by family members.
His career as an “Actor” is detailed via the IMDb:
“Mathnet” …. Grunt (1 episode, 1987)
– The Problem of the Missing Monkey (1987) TV episode …. Grunt
Fire and Ice (1983) …. Subhuman
Mistress of the Apes (1979) …. Gorilla Savage
Mr. Too Little (1978) …. Gorilla Man
(For those who know me well, you already understand the deeper level to this item. I grew up in Decatur, and am a 1965 graduate of MacArthur H.S.)