As the World Turns has opted to recast the role of Dallas Griffin marking the second time the show has done so this calendar year. Many fans, however, will find more drama surrounding the personal life of the new Dallas than they will in the character's life -- the NY-based actor was involved in a fatal hit-and-run in 2006.
Daytime newcomer Wolé Parks assumes the role of Dallas Griffin
next month. Parks becomes the third actor to hold down the role of Dallas in just the last 12 months.
Parks is not only a newcomer to the soaps, but to acting as well. His previous acting credits include a guest starring role on the primetime series Law & Order. In 2002, Parks also appeared as Brett in the sixth season of MTV's soap-like series Undressed.
With Parks addition to the cast comes the dimissal of the previous Dallas, Kenneth Franklin. Franklin was brought aboard by As the World Turns in February 2007
when the writers decided to "age" the character of Dallas. Franklin succeeded Duane McLaughlin
in the role of Dallas. McLaughlin originated the role of Dallas in June 2006.
While Parks may have little in the way of dramatic television experience, his personal life has been filled with far more drama than anyone would want. On January 23rd, 2006, Parks was involved in a hit-and-run accident that resulted in the death of a Hannah Engle, a 25-year-old New York University grad student. At the time of the accident, Parks was driving with a suspended license. The Harlem-based actor reportedly jumped out of his 2001 Hyundai and fled the scene, leaving his wallet behind in the car. Engle was later taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where she died about 2:00am.
About five hours later, Parks turned himself in at the 94th Precinct station house in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Attorney Marcia Seckler said her client was "in shock" when he left the scene of the accident.
The then-23-year-old actor was arraigned on charges of leaving the scene of an accident, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and aggravated, unlicensed operation in the third degree. Parks entered a not guilty plea and was subsequently released on $5,000 bail.
Parks lost his license in 2005 when he was convicted of driving while intoxicated. Parks' license was reinstated in October 2005 after he successfully completed a DWI program -- only to have it revoked again in December 2005 when he failed to pay a fine.
On July 13, 2006, Parks was sentenced to one year's probation and ordered to do 250 hours of community service. Parks was also ordered to receive counseling, which included an alcohol program.
Dallas had previously appeared as a recurring role, however, it seems that this role could be upped to contact status in the future. A spokesperson for As the World Turns states, "We don't comment on actor contract status. We are excited to have [Wolé] and to see Dallas's upcoming story."
Parks' first airdate is Wednesday, November 14th.