Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964) is an American actress and writer. After making her stage debut as Rita in a Broadway production of Craig Lucas' Prelude to a Kiss in 1990 (for which she received a Tony Award nomination), Parker came to prominence for film roles in Grand Canyon (1991), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), The Client (1994), Bullets over Broadway (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), The Portrait of a Lady (1996), and The Maker (1997). Among stage and independent film appearances thereafter, Parker received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Catherine Llewellyn in David Auburn's Proof in 2001, among other accolades. Between 2001 and 2006, she recurred as Amy Gardner on the NBC television series The West Wing, for which she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2002. She received both a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Harper Pitt on the acclaimed HBO television miniseries Angels in America in 2003. Parker went on to enjoy large success as Nancy Botwin, the lead role on the television series Weeds, which ran from 2005 to 2012 and for which she received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series between 2007 and 2009 and received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2006. Her later film appearances include roles in The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Red (2010), R.I.P.D. (2013), and Red 2 (2013). Parker returned to Broadway in 2019 to star in The Sound Inside, earning a nomination for the 2020 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. Since 2007, Parker has contributed articles to Esquire magazine and published her memoir, Dear Mr. You, in 2015. In 2017, she starred as Roma Guy on the ABC television miniseries When We Rise. In 2018, she appeared as a political consultant in the show Billions on Showtime.
1980s. Parker got her start in acting with a role on the soap opera Ryan's Hope. In the late 1980s, Parker moved to New York. After a few minor roles, she made her Broadway debut in a production of Craig Lucas' Prelude to a Kiss, playing the lead role of Rita, in 1990. She moved with the production when it transferred from its origin Off-Broadway. Parker won the Clarence Derwent Award for her performance and was nominated for a Tony Award (although she did not play the role when the film was made). In 1989 she was in the film Longtime Companion, a film starring Campbell Scott, Bruce Davison and Dermot Mulroney about the emergence and devastation of the AIDS epidemic. 1990s. Parker starred with Kevin Kline in Grand Canyon (1991); with Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Jessica Tandy in Fried Green Tomatoes (1991); with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in The Client (1994); with John Cusack in Bullets over Broadway (1994); and with Drew Barrymore and Whoopi Goldberg in Boys on the Side (1995), as a woman with AIDS. Parker's next role was in a movie adaptation of another Craig Lucas play, Reckless (1995), alongside Mia Farrow, followed by Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady (1996), which also starred Nicole Kidman, Viggo Mortensen, Christian Bale, John Malkovich and Barbara Hershey. In addition, she appeared alongside Matthew Modine in Tim Hunter's The Maker (1997). Parker's theater career continued when she appeared Off-Broadway in Paula Vogel's 1997 critical smash How I Learned to Drive, with David Morse. She received the 1997 Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Actress, and 1997 Obie Award, Performance for her performance.In the late 1990s, she appeared in several independent films, including Let the Devil Wear Black and The Five Senses. She starred alongside Sidney Poitier in the 1999 movie The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn. 2001–2003. On December 7, 2003, HBO aired a six-and-a-half-hour adaptation of Tony Kushner's acclaimed Broadway play Angels in America, directed by Mike Nichols. Parker played Harper Pitt, the Mormon, Valium-addicted wife of a closeted lawyer. For her performance, Parker received the Golden Globe Award and Primetime Emmy Award, both for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film. 2004–2006. In 2004, Parker appeared in the comedy Saved! and a television film called Miracle Run, based on the true story of a mother of two sons with autism, as well as appearing in the lead role in Craig Lucas' Reckless on Broadway. The production, directed by Mark Brokaw, earned Parker another nomination for a Tony Award for Best Actress in 2005.In November 2005, Parker was the subject of a career exhibition at Boston University, where memorabilia from her career were donated to the University's library. In 2006, Parker received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, for her lead role in Weeds. In that category, she defeated the four leads of Desperate Housewives. She dedicated the award to the late John Spencer, known for his work as Leo McGarry on The West Wing. After receiving the award, Parker stated: "I'm really in favor of legalizing marijuana. I don't think it's that controversial." 2007 to present. In March 2007, Parker played the lead role in the television film The Robber Bride. She then portrayed Zerelda Mimms in the Andrew Dominik film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which opened in cinemas in September 2007. Parker appeared alongside Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, and Garret Dillahunt. In August 2007, Parker continued her role in the third season of Weeds. Parker appeared in 2008's The Spiderwick Chronicles and in Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons production in the New York premiere of Dead Man's Cell Phone, a new play by Sarah Ruhl, alongside Drama Desk Award winner Kathleen Chalfant.She filmed the Donna Vermeer film Les Passages alongside Julie Delpy. Following this, she returned to work on the fifth season of Weeds. Parker took the lead role in the Roundabout Theatre Broadway revival of the play Hedda Gabler, running from January through March 29, 2009. The play garnered a series of negative reviews.Parker starred opposite Bruce Willis in the film Red, an adaptation of the comic book miniseries of the same name. The film was released on October 15, 2010. In 2011, Parker became the host for the tenth season of the PBS documentary series Independent Lens. In 2013 she played roles in both Red 2 and R.I.P.D. She appeared in the Broadway Manhattan Theatre Club production of the play The Snow Geese by Sharr White at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre from October 24 through December 15, 2013. The play was directed by Daniel J. Sullivan and also starred Danny Burstein and Victoria Clark.Parker starred in the play by Simon Stephens, Heisenberg, produced Off-Broadway by the Manhattan Theatre Club. The play, directed by Mark Brokaw, opened on June 2, 2015. The play extended its run, closing on July 11, 2015. The play transferred to Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with previews starting on September 20, 2016, officially opening on October 13, with Parker and Denis Arndt reprising their roles.She starred on Broadway in the Adam Rapp play The Sound Inside at Studio 54 starting on September 14, 2019 in previews, officially on October 17. She performed in the world premiere of the play in June to July 2018 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. In October 2020, she received a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for the Broadway run.She will appear in the Broadway revival by the Manhattan Theatre Club of How I Learned to Drive, which was supposed to open at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 27, 2020 in previews. David Morse would co-star with direction by Mark Brokaw. This production would unite Parker, Morse and Brokaw from the original 1997 production. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic this production was postponed to Manhattan Theater Club's 2020-21 season.
From 1996 to November 2003, Parker dated actor Billy Crudup. Parker was seven months pregnant with their son, William Atticus Parker, born in 2004, when Crudup ended their relationship by leaving Parker for actress Claire Danes. William's godmother is actress Susan Sarandon.In December 2006, Parker began dating actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, whom she met on the set of Weeds. On February 12, 2008, Parker and Morgan announced their engagement, only to break up the following April.In September 2007, Parker adopted a baby girl, Caroline Aberash Parker, from Ethiopia.In 2013, Parker was honored for her work with Hope North, an organization that works in the educating and healing of young victims in Uganda's civil war. The actress began her involvement with the organization after meeting a former victim of Uganda's civil war.Parker lives in Brooklyn Heights.Parker practices transcendental meditation. She says: "I'd always heard about Transcendental Meditation, and I thought, maybe that's the way back in for me. I learned TM and it changed everything". She also participates in a charity dinner for veteran victims of post-traumatic stress disorder organized by the David Lynch Foundation with Tom Hanks.
Parker was born in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She is the youngest of four children, born to Caroline Louise (née Morell) and John Morgan Parker, a judge who served in the U.S. Army. Her ancestry includes Swedish (from her maternal grandfather), English, Scottish, Irish, German, and Dutch. Because of her father's career, Parker spent parts of her childhood in Tennessee and Texas, as well as in Thailand, Germany, and France. She described her childhood as "profoundly unhappy," further noting that, "My parents did everything they could; I had books, clothes, a home and a warm bed, but I was never happy." She graduated from Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona. Parker majored in drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated in 1986.
Movies & TV shows
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An intersectional narrative of two families in Brooklyn and the unraveling of unspoken unhappiness that occurs when a young foreign girl spending time abroad upsets the balance on both sides.
2 TV shows
When We Rise
The personal and political struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement from its turbulent infan...
The ex-cop was forced to undertake a private crusade to bring the killer to justice before he could strike again after he received a series of lurid letters and emails from a deranged serial killer. S...
A cynical and clever coming of age film about first time novelist Fenton Dillane, who, unannounced returns to New York City to confront his family, his ex-girlfriend and a few lingering childhood fear...
Teenager Rick Stevens is willing to do whatever it takes to win the heart of Nina Pennington. He'll have to deal with his best friend's horny mom, a drug abusing boss and even the mob if he ever hopes...
Based on the true story of teenager James Burns who goes from a suburban street gang to a maximum-security prison cell surrounded by hardened criminals. He turns his life around in prison thanks to th...
3 Movies · 1 TV show
A recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to locate the man who murdered him. The comic is based on a book by Peter M. There was a ...
Christmas in Conway
Duncan Mayor decided the perfect Christmas present for his dying wife was a ride on a real Ferris wheel in their own back yard. It was the perfect place for a wedding proposal when I was a young man. ...
Raymond "Red" Reddington, one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, surrendered at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He claims that he and the FBI share the same goal of bringing down criminals and t...
Retired C.I.A. agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device.
Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts
Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts is a feature-length documentary that takes an in depth look at the life, career and mind of the British comic book writer Warren Ellis. The film combines extensive interv...
It's San Francisco in 1957, and an American masterpiece is put on trial. Howl, the film, recounts this dark moment using three interwoven threads: the tumultuous life events that led a young Allen Gin...
When his peaceful life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent, Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive and uncover his assailants.
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries ...
The Assassination of Jesse James: Death of an Outlaw
Explores the true story of the notorious Jesse James, how the myth developed during his lifetime, and how the legends have persisted over 100 years after his death at the hands of his former friend, R...
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
The 'fastest gun in the West' is rumored to be the outlaw Jesse James. An eager recruit into James' notorious gang, Robert Ford eventually grows jealous of the famed outlaw and, when Robert and his br...
The Robber Bride
Journalist Zenia Arden has disappeared. When her finger turns up on the shores of Lake Ontario next to her blood-soaked car, the police believe they've uncovered a homicide.
2 Movies · 1 TV show
Romance & Cigarettes
Down-and-dirty musical love story set in the world of the working class. Nick is an ironworker who builds and repairs bridges. He's married to Kitty, a dressmaker, a strong and gentle woman with whom ...
A suburban mom is selling weed to support her family after the death of her husband.
A family story about how a daughter-in-law withstands the pressure from her husband's parents.
Single mom Corrine discovers that her twins are autistic. She refuses to give up on their potential, even though it seems that the rest of the world has turned its back on them. Thanks to this incredi...
Teenage Mary Cummings, who has "been Born Again her whole life," is about to enter her senior year at American Eagle Christian High School near Baltimore with her Fundamentalist Christian friends Hila...
The Best Thief In The World
Izzy, the youngest son of a troubled New York family, takes a shine to breaking into people's apartments as a way to get attention.
1 TV show
Angels in America
Set in 1985, the miniseries has at its core the story of two couples whose relationships dissolve amidst the backdrop of Reagan era politics, the spreading AIDS epidemic, and a rapidly changing social...
Former FBI Agent Will Graham, who was once almost killed by the savage Hannibal 'The Cannibal' Lecter, now has no choice but to face him again, as it seems Lecter is the only one who can help Graham t...
Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story
True story about the cat and mouse game between the FBI trying to find a Soviet mole in their ranks and Robert Hanssen, one of the top FBI agents and said mole
A lonely plumber poses as a movie director to meet women, and the writer whose script he's stolen builds on his ruse to get her movie made.
The Simple Life Of Noah Dearborn
A 91 years old carpenter, who is still in completely good health, has to fight developers who are trying to force him to sell his land.
Cupid & Cate
Cate has a small boutique where she sells vintage clothes. She is dating some snob whose mother thinks that Cate is a second-class citizen because of her line of work. Harry meets Cate and they fall i...
2 Movies · 1 TV show
The West Wing
The West Wing provides a glimpse into presidential politics in the nation's capital, as it tells the stories of the members of a fictional presidential administration. The characters that are interest...
Let the Devil Wear Black
A man comes face-to-face with personal treachery after suspecting that his father may have been murdered.
The Five Senses
Three sets of tenants in a live/work building have daily lives and/or current stories acutely involving one or more of the five senses.
Police investigate when a man having an affair with his brother's wife disappears suddenly.
When a sexy actress is charged with murder, a charming celebrity lawyer uses trickery to defend her against the press as well as the prosecution
A lonely teen troubled by a past family tragedy is suspicious of his sister-in-law, believing she is being unfaithful. His confrontation with his brother sets off a series of tragic events.
Josh is a high school guy who lives with adoptive parents and is involved in little crimes with his friends (including young lesbian Bella). Suddenly his elder brother Walter comes out of the blue (he...
Murder in Mind
The L.A. police find two bodies in a fancy house and suspect the wife of one victim. Dr. Ellis, a hypnotherapist, takes her back in time; with the police listening, a pattern of spousal abuse emerges....
The Portrait of a Lady
Ms. Isabel Archer isn't afraid to challenge societal norms. Impressed by her free spirit, her kindhearted cousin writes her into his fatally ill father's will. Suddenly rich and independent, Isabelle ...
Boys on the Side
Jane, a nightclub singer, responded to a personal ad from Robin, a real estate agent with AIDS, seeking a cross-country travel partner after breaking up with her girlfriend. On their journey from New ...
On Christmas Eve, a relentlessly cheerful woman escapes from the killers hired by her husband, and embarks on a series of strange encounters.
The true story of a love affair between mob boss Sam Giancana and singer Phyllis McGuire.
Mark Sway sees the suicide of a prominent Louisiana lawyer, whose current client is Barry Muldano, a Mafia hit-man. Mark is told where the body of a Senator is buried before Jerome shoots himself. Bot...
Bullets Over Broadway
After young playwright, David Shayne obtains funding for his play from gangster Nick Valenti, Nick's girlfriend Olive miraculously lands the role of a psychiatrist—but not only is she a bimbo who coul...
A Place for Annie
Baby Annie is HIV positive and has been left in the clinic by her drug addicted mother. To prevent that she's deported to a home where they'd just wait for her to die, nurse Susan takes charge of Anni...
Naked in New York
Naked in New York begins in the car of grown up Jake, he is talking to us about his girlfriend, Joanne, and to whom you can turn to for help while facing life. From there it flashes back to his memor...
Electrician Gus gets the chance to fulfill a childhood dream by buying an old bowling-alley with some of his friends.
Grand Canyon revolved around six residents from different backgrounds whose lives intertwine in modern-day Los Angeles. At the center of the film is the unlikely friendship of two men from different r...
Fried Green Tomatoes
The story of Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison, two young women who experienced hardship and love in Whistle Stop, Alabama in the 1920s, is told to Evelyn Couch by an outgoing old woman named Ninny.
During the summer of 1981, a group of friends in New York are completely unprepared for the onslaught of AIDS. What starts as a rumor about a mysterious "gay cancer" soon turns into a major crisis as,...
Signs of Life
The closing of a small shipbuilder in New England places stresses on the people involved.
1 TV show
Hallmark Hall of Fame
Hallmark Hall of Fame is an anthology program on American television, sponsored by Hallmark Cards, a Kansas City based greeting card company. The longest-running primetime series in the history of tel...
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mary-Louise_Parker", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.