Gerard Thomas Parkes is an Irish Canadian actor who was born in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to Toronto, Canada in 1956. His acting career has spanned film, radio, television, and the stage. Parkes worked often on CBC radio, beginning in 1959, and shifted into television and film, acting in such diverse series as the 1960s' ecological adventure series The Forest Rangers, children's show The Littlest Hobo, and the detective series Cagney and Lacey. In 1968, Parkes won the first Canadian film award for his portrayal of Uncle Matthew in the movie Isabel. He also received the Andrew Allan Award in 1983 for best radio actor.
Parkes played the role of Doc in the North American version of Fraggle Rock. When he was cast in Fraggle Rock, Parkes was just finishing a regular role as another type of "doc," playing Dr. Edmund Lowe on the Canadian TV series Home Fires. After Fraggle Rock, in addition to returning as Doc in A Muppet Family Christmas, Parkes continued to work in children's television, guest starring as alcoholic photographer Phil on the TVOntario puppet series Today's Special, and appearing regularly on PBS's Shining Time Station as store owner Barton Winslow. In 1996, he portrayed Jonathan Swift in the HBO Original Film Handel's Last Chance. He also appeared on an episode of PBS's Noddy, as Wally the Wanderer in "Noah's Leaving", which aired in 1998. In 1999, he appeared with Willem Dafoe and Billy Connolly in The Boondock Saints. He reprised the role for The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.