Van Dyke Parks (born January 3, 1943) is an American composer, arranger, record producer, instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, author, and actor. Parks is perhaps best known for his collaborations with musician Brian Wilson, and especially for his contributions as lyricist to the Beach Boys' Smile project. Besides numerous collaborations with the Beach Boys, he has worked with such notable performers as Phil Ochs, Haruomi Hosono, The Byrds, Tim Buckley, Little Feat, Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus Wainwright, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Joanna Newsom, Grizzly Bear, Inara George, Silverchair, Kimbra, and Ringo Starr.
In addition to producing other artists, Parks has released several studio albums of his own recordings: Song Cycle, Discover America, Clang of the Yankee Reaper, Jump!, Tokyo Rose, Orange Crate Art, Songs Cycled, and one live album, Moonlighting: Live at the Ash Grove. Parks has also established himself in motion pictures, and over the years has directed, arranged, produced, and composed soundtracks for a great number of theatrical films and television shows. On occasion, he has even taken small acting roles.