Mary-Louise ParkerCelebrity

Credits  |  Biography

The one major acting award this skilled actress hasn't won is the Oscar. Adept at playing quirky, smart and oftentimes fragile characters, Parker made her Broadway debut in 1990 as a fearful newlywed who unwittingly switches souls with an old man in Craig… (more)

Birth Name: Mary-Louise Parker

Birth Place: Fort Jackson, SC

Birthday: August 2, 1964, Leo

Profession: Actor

User Rating: (135 ratings)

Your Rating:

Biography

The one major acting award this skilled actress hasn't won is the Oscar. Adept at playing quirky, smart and oftentimes fragile characters, Parker made her Broadway debut in 1990 as a fearful newlywed who unwittingly switches souls with an old man in Craig Lucas' Prelude to a Kiss. The next year she won raves as an abused wife in the Southern-flavored big-screen dramedy Fried Green Tomatoes. From then on, it was all about her TV and stage work, particularly Proof, as a mentally unstable math genius for which she won the 2001 Tony. Although she did appear in a number of films, the powers-that-be didn't regard her as a leading actress. So when Hollywood decided to turn her two signature stage projects into movies, she wasn't invited to the party. (Meg Ryan and Gwyneth Paltrow landed the leads in Prelude to a Kiss and Proof, respectively.) Parker ventured into series television in 2002 with a recurring role on The West Wing and won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her expressive portrait of a Mormon wife in the lauded 2003 miniseries Angels in America. That same year she endured off-screen drama when her longtime boyfriend, Billy Crudup, left her while she was pregnant with their son. She bounced back in 2005 with a lead role on the cable series Weeds, which greatly increased her profile (and likely helped Showtime's subscription base), and landed a boyfriend, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who has appeared on the show as her deceased husband. She adopted a baby girl from Africa named Caroline Aberash Parker in 2007, and one of her most fulfilling off-screen activities is reading with her children. In 2010, she took on a film with Bruce Willis, Red, based on a comic book.

Fast Facts

  • Raised in Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Germany and France (her father served in the U.S. Army).
  • Classmates at the North Carolina School of the Arts included Peter Hedges and Joe Mantello.
  • Listed as one of 12 Promising New Actors of 1990 in Screen World.
  • Her break-out film role was Ruth in Fried Green Tomatoes (1991).
  • Organized and produced "Don't Pick the Wrong Fight," a series of public-service announcements promoting tolerance toward Arab-Americans in the wake of Sept. 11.
  • Explained her preference for the stage over films to the Orange County Press in a 1995 interview: "The writing just isn't as good in movies as it is in the theater. You don't have many Noel Cowards or Oscar Wildes writing film scripts." (She won a Tony for her performance in the mathematical drama, Proof, in 2001.)
  • The 2002 song "Butterfly in Reverse" by the band Counting Crows was written for her.
  • As a new decade approached, her fame from her role on the Showtime drama Weeds grew, and she also reveled in raising an Ethiopian girl, adopted in 2007.
  • In 2010, she became involved in filming a movie with Bruce Willis, Red, based on a comic book.

Awards

  • 2004, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Winner
  • 2008, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2001, Tony — Actress (Play): Winner
  • 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2005, Tony — Actress (Play): Nominee
  • 1999, Genie Awards — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries: Nominee
  • 2008, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2008, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2008, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 1990, Tony — Actress (Play): Nominee
  • 2006, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 2002, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2004, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Winner
  • 2009, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Nominee

Relationships

  • Caroline Aberash Parker — Daughter
  • Charlie Mars — Significant Other
  • Billy Crudup — Ex-significant Other
  • William Atticus Parker — Son
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan — Ex-significant Other

College

  • North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, NC (1986)

Trending TonightSee all »

Shop