Making his professional stage bow in 1922, he appeared in London's West End three years later and by the advent of sound could be found on film. Not surprisingly he fitted the support mold perfectly with his raspy, well-bred tones and stuffed-shirt personality, but by the late 40s he was actually toying with post-war character stardom with top-billed roles.
An air of almost smug disdain would hang over his characters like a grey cloud. Yet he could end up being a ray of sunshine with that cloud. Stage or screen, comedy or drama, playing butler or Lord Commander.
Parker took an avid interest in performing following his discharge from World War I military service.
He was a top West End star as a dramatic actor before he played comedy. His career as a comedian was launched by Laurence Olivier, who starred him in 'Golden Arrow', and was the only person until then who thought he had potential for comedy.