Florida-born Catherine Parks first gained acclaim as runner-up in the 1977 Miss America Pageant and had made her acting debut in Michael Crichton’s 1981 thiller Looker, in which plastic surgeon Albert Finney is suspected of murdering models that he has operated on. Following her role as Vera in Friday the 13th Part 3, Parks would make appearances in such TV shows as Three’s Company, Days of Our Lives and Street Hawk, whilst also providing comical support in the black comedy Weekend at Bernie’s (which also co-starred Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood‘s Terry Kiser).
Catherine Parks reminisces on her work on Friday the 13th Part 3.
How much did you about the Friday the 13th movies when you were offered the part of Vera in Part 3?
I auditioned for the part of Vera and because I was new to Los Angeles at the time I knew nothing of the previous Fridays.
What was it about your character that interested you the most and did she remind you of any character in particular from the previous films?
I had been in Los Angeles only six months and I was happy to working mostly. Friday was one of my first screen credits. I really enjoyed my character and when I watch it now it seems very real to me.
What was your opinion on the script when you first read it and were you apprehensive about working with not only prosthetics but also 3-D?
I was excited to learn something new. The prosthetics were a lot of fun. The script read easily for me.
What kind of preparations did you and the other actors do before filming commenced? Did you spend much time together before the shoot so your friendships were convincing?
Not so much before, but during the filming we really got to know one another and had a real blast! With this film there was lot of time during the scenes to prepare and Steve Miner gave us excellent direction.
How challenging was it to film your death scene, particularly with the 3-D effects?
We had to shoot that particular scene in one take because the prosthetics would be ruined once I hit the water. The water was freezing!
How did it feel to be the first victim to be killed on-screen by the new and improved Jason Voorhees (Richard Brooker)?
I remember having a really nice conversation with Richard and was sympathetic to how uncomfortable his mask was especially during the warmer months. He was very charming. When a film has an icon that people can identify with I believe it helps a lot. I’m grateful that the mask has caught on with the other Fridays as well.
Have you watched any of the Friday the 13th movies since Part 3 and how do you feel about the way in which the series has progressed?
I never imagined that it would, we were told by everyone that Part 3 would be the final series.
How has Friday the 13th Part 3 played a part in your life over the twenty-plus years and are you proud of your place in the series’ history?
I am very proud to be a part of something that has lasted so long. I believe this film has one of the longest running series in film history. I travel all over the country signing autographs at conventions honoring the cast members. I am very happy to be able to meet so many fans. It has been a wonderful experience.