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Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964) is an American actress. For her lead role on Showtime's television series Weeds portraying Nancy Botwin, she received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in 2006. Parker has appeared in films and series such as REDRED 2, Fried Green TomatoesBoys on the SideThe West Wing, and Angels in America, for which she received a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Parker is also the recipient of the 2001 Tony Award for Best Actress for the Broadway play Proof.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Parker was born in Fort JacksonSouth Carolina. She is the daughter of Caroline Louise (née Morell) and John Morgan Parker, a judge who served in the U.S. Army.[1][2][3] Her ancestry includes Swedish (from her maternal grandfather), English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, German, and Dutch.[4] Because of her father's career, Parker spent parts of her childhood in Tennessee and Texas, as well as in Thailand, Germany, and France.[5][6] She graduated from Marcos De Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona. Parker majored in drama at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Career[edit]Edit

1980s[edit]Edit

Parker got her start in a role on the soap opera Ryan's Hope. In the late 1980s, Parker moved to New York, where she got a job measuring feet at the ECCO shoe company. After a few minor roles, she made her Broadway debut in a 1990 production of Craig LucasPrelude to a Kiss, playing the lead role of Rita. She moved with the production when it transferred from its origin Off-Broadway. She 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).

1990s[edit]Edit

She starred with Kevin Kline in Grand Canyon (1991); with Kathy BatesMary Stuart Masterson, and Jessica Tandy in Fried Green Tomatoes (1991); with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones in The Client (1994); with John Cusackin Bullets Over Broadway (1994); and with Drew Barrymore and Whoopi Goldberg in Boys on the Side (1995), as a woman with AIDS. Her 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 KidmanViggo MortensenChristian BaleJohn 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 in Paula Vogel's 1997 critical smash How I Learned to Drive, with David Morse.[7] In the late 1990s, she appeared in several independent films, including Let the Devil Wear Black andThe Five Senses.

2001–2003[edit]Edit

On December 7, 2003, HBO aired an epic 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 acloseted lawyer. For her performance, Parker received Golden Globe and Emmy awards[8] for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries.

2004–2006[edit]Edit

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 Craig Lucas' Reckless on Broadway. Parker took the lead role that had been Mia Farrow's on screen. The production, directed by Mark Brokaw, earned Parker another nomination for a Tony Award for Best Actress in 2005.[9]

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. Parker received the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a 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."[10]

2007–present[edit]Edit

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 PittCasey AffleckSam Rockwell and Garret Dillahunt. In August 2007, Parker continued her role in the third season of Weeds.

In August 2007, she posed nude for an ad for the third season of Weeds. In the ad, she appears as Eve in the Garden of Eden, with a snake draped around her body and a cannabis leaf behind her ear.[11]

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 WinnerKathleen Chalfant.[12]

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.[13] The play garnered a series of negative reviews.[14]

Parker starred opposite Bruce Willis in the film RED, an adaptation of the comic book mini-series of the same name. The film was released on October 15, 2010.[15] In 2011, Parker became the host for the tenth season of the PBSdocumentary series Independent Lens.[16] 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.[17]

Personal life[edit]Edit

From 1997 to November 2003, Parker dated actor Billy Crudup, with whom she had a son, William Atticus Parker, born on January 7, 2004 (Crudup had left her two months earlier).[18]

In December 2006, Parker began dating actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, whom she met on the set of Weeds.[19] In March 2007, Parker stated that the relationship was "going great."[20] The two briefly split in June 2007, but later reconciled.[19] On February 12, 2008, Parker and Morgan announced their engagement,[21] only to break up again in April 2008.[22]

In September 2007, Parker adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia, Caroline 'Ash' Aberash Parker.[23][24]

Filmography[edit]Edit

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1989 Signs of Life Charlotte
1989 Longtime Companion Lisa
1991 Fried Green Tomatoes Ruth Jamison
1991 Grand Canyon Dee
1993 Mr. Wonderful Rita
1993 Naked in New York Joanne White
1994 Bullets Over Broadway Ellen
1994 The Client Dianne Sway
1995 Reckless Pooty
1995 Boys on the Side Robin Nickerson
1996 The Portrait of a Lady Henrietta Stackpole
1997 Murder in Mind Caroline Walker
1997 The Maker Officer Emily Peck
1998 Goodbye Lover Peggy Blane
1999 Let the Devil Wear Black Julia Hirsch
1999 The Five Senses Rona Nominated—Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
2002 Red Dragon Molly Graham
2002 The Quality of Mercy Sarah Richardson Award winning short film
2002 Pipe Dream Toni Edelman
2004 Saved! Lillian Cummings
2004 The Best Thief in the World Sue Zaidman
2004 Miracle Run Corrine Morgan-Thomas
2006 Romance & Cigarettes Constance Murder
2007 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Zee James
2008 The Spiderwick Chronicles Helen Grace
2009 Solitary Man Jordan
2010 Howl Gail Potter
2010 RED Sarah Ross Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2013 R.I.P.D. Mildred Proctor
2013 RED 2 Sarah Ross
2013 Christmas in Conway - A Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie Suzy Mayor
Television
Year Show Role Notes
1988 Ryan's Hope
1988 Too Young the Hero Pearl Spencer
1994 A Place for Annie Linda
1995 Sugartime Phyllis McGuire
1998 Saint Maybe Lucy Dean Bedloe
1998 Legalese Rica Martin
1999 The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn Dr. Valerie Crane
2000 Cupid & Cate Cate DeAngelo
2001–2006 The West Wing Amy Gardner Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Drama Series (2002)

Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2003)

2002 Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story Bonnie Hanssen
2003 Angels in America Harper Pitt Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie

Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

2004 Miracle Run Corrine Morgan-Thomas
2005 Vinegar Hill Ellen Grier
2005–2012 Weeds Nancy Botwin Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2006)

Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2005) Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy Series (2007, 2008, 2009) Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2007, 2008, 2009) Nominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama Diva Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2006, 2008) Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2007, 2009)

2007 The Robber Bride Zenia Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series

Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie


Theatre
Year Play Role Notes
1990 Prelude to a Kiss Rita Theatre World Award

Nominated—Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play

1996 Bus Stop Cherie
1997 How I Learned to Drive Li'l Bit
2000 Proof Catherine Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play

Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance

2004 Reckless Rachel Nominated—Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
2008 Dead Man's Cell Phone Jean
2009 Hedda Gabler Hedda Tesman
2013 The Snow Geese Elizabeth Gaesling
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