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Mary-Louise Parker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mary-Louise Parker
Mary-Louise Parker by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Parker in 2010
Born (1964-08-02) August 2, 1964 (age 54)
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina School of the Arts
OccupationActress, writer
Years active1988–present
Partner(s)Billy Crudup (1996–2003)

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's 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 the Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Awards 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). 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.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Mary-Louise Parker: Dear Movement Teacher


Some of you know that Mary-Louise wrote this astonishing book. And the whole idea for this visit was born out of one letter that was written in the book. And it's been my dream, and it's now going to be your reality, that Mary-Louise will read that letter to the man to whom she wrote the letter. I give you Mary-Louise Parker and Bob Francesconi. They're honored Dave. [SCREAMS AND CHEERS] I think I-- [LAUGHTER] Jesus. Wow. [SNIFFLES] OK. It's good. It's very long, are you sure? OK. [CLEARS THROAT] All right, it's going to happen, I swear to god. It's happening. Yes it is. [LAUGHTER] [CLEARS THROAT] Okie dokie. [SIGHS] Dear Movement Teacher, any normal person can juggle. You made it clear that, sure, certain people could not, but they were abnormally uncoordinated and would never be actors. I was on the fast track to failure being one of two people in the entire class who could not juggle. I could barely toss. At breakfast the freshmen could be seen juggling biscuits. At lunch the lawn was littered with us juggling packs of Marlboro Lights, while also smoking them. And at night some would exit the showers juggling sticks of deodorant. The hot shots would show off, but most we're hoping just to pass the mandatory juggling exam held each week. I was privy to a lot of gruesome meltdowns on the hill that you didn't know about since teachers rarely wandered there. First year drama students would buckle from the pressure. They'd throw their beanbags into the grass swearing through clenched teeth. Everyone except me and one girl though could keep them in the air for at least a few seconds. My friend P was a proficient juggler, part of the group who could have been plucked off campus and shuttled away to Big Apple Circus. He would join the contingent on the lawn that could juggle while doing somersaults. He could've easily juggled while rebuilding the engine for someone's car. He was, in fact, in all the promo materials for the school-- a photo of him looking gorgeous and juggling while on a unicycle. My friend M was a competent juggler. M didn't go to sleep chasing dreams of you lobbing swords at him until his head flew off. He only went to bed fearing I might have sex with his roommate while he had to pretend to be asleep. [LAUGHTER] Sorry about that, M, I mean, guilty. [LAUGHTER] M meditated a lot because his aunt O had sent him to a Transcendental Meditation teacher. I thought that was weird. He'd sit there on the freezing dorm room floor, eyes closed and drooling a little, for 20 minutes twice a day. Years later, I learned meditation, and it changed me profoundly. I now sit there every day with eyes closed but I hardly ever draw. I'm sorry that-- OK I also had some amount of sex with M's roommate while he was meditating 10 feet away. It was his special time and that was creepy of me. [LAUGHTER] You, as our teacher, must have realized that we did things most college freshman are not expected to do. During voice class we jogged across campus in our blacks, the Spandex uniform we wore as first year drama students. And as we jogged we held a piece of cork between our teeth to relax our jaw muscles. L, our voice teacher, sent us out the door, clapping her hands to establish a rhythm and urging us to flick those fetlocks, flick, flick, flick them! We trotted into other buildings where ballet dancers an opera singers would barely notice us jogging by while chanting spa la la ya ya ya ga ga ga. With the corks, it came out more pha ra ra yul yul yul caw caw caw. For the frontier exercise in acting class we sat with eyes closed, rocking side to side and waiting for the urge to roll or jump into the space and enter our frontier. Landing in a difficult personal memory, we describe our feelings as the teacher walked us through the re-experiencing of it. Frontier involved weeping and shouting unintelligibly, whereas in speech class we articulated plosives and mastered liquid Us so that the word duty became more dyutee than doody. In text class we sat on the floor in leg warmers taking copious notes, while our chain smoking professor broke down the import of the stress in Our Town being on town and not our. My other classes were not the same kind of struggle is yours I did well in Marty's class with frontier and the No Rose Without A Thorn exercise. In dance class I was not bad at the routines set to Eye of the Tiger. [LAUGHTER] We were stuffing in everything we could and generally having the time of our lives, yet the elderly, the infirm could juggle better than me. I sensed you suspecting that my special needs juggling was emblematic of my inability to be neutral. The drama faculty wanted us to find artistic neutrality. If we didn't find it we could be drop kicked all the way home. And my failure to find a neutral suit made you throw up your hands. I tried, but I couldn't even fake it. It's a speed I don't offer on my gear shift. I was not issued the particular toolkit of middle. Gymnastics was also an issue. For those who couldn't swing a handspring by themselves, another student was poised at the spring off point to spot us. When it was my turn the spotter would assume the posture, knowing deep down there would be nothing to spot. My handspring was basically me scurrying down the mat and reaching out with the beginnings of a cartwheel, then squatting and contracting into a ball as though I'd been hit with severe abdominal cramps. [LAUGHTER] Then I'd pop up, arms raised, with an impish expression on my face. I thought impish would suggest the spirit of those Russian girls in the Olympics with micro ponytails who never menstruate. But it only made me look spastic. [LAUGHTER] Gymnastics was a bust, but my low point was the day you were teaching the forward undulation walk. First you had us lie on the ground to relax our back muscles. I intentionally did not lie next to M because I knew he'd try to make me laugh, or he'd have a distracting erection. So I went over by V and C. [LAUGHTER] My class had a real camaraderie. Even our wild parties or mini orgies-- orgy-- was so mild. I think a teacher walked in on it and we actually sent a representative to apologize on behalf of the class. Oh no wait, wait, the teacher was driving the car-- van. It was in the back of a minivan. There was another incident at J and C's house that-- never mind. Anyway, it all had a ring of Swiss Family Robinson and there was no sabotaging. As a result I didn't feel completely isolated when you marched over and snapped at me, this isn't nap time wake up! I wasn't tired or even spacing out. I was trying to let go of the blockage in my lower back, I triple swear. But the thing you could not been expected to understand was that I have, my entire life, given people the wrong signals with my face, which was actually working overtime to find an expression that was neutral and someone who understood how to work an opposition. But I was not the sum of those faces. I was still the face that sometimes infuriated others against my will. I know you thought my lizard was inappropriate during the animal exercise. I really don't recall trying to make my lizard overtly sexual, per se. Regardless, in that moment I said nothing and stood up with the rest of the class. I was across from S and we began undulating, but you were not happy. Walked through the maze of black Danskins, waving your arms and telling us to just please stop. You stood in front of us but facing the mirror. You shook your head giving a Kabuki version of a shrug and then you said, don't you people understand about working in opposition? We did not. I wonder if you still teach that-- where you catch an impulse and throw it to someone after undulating through your center? Forgive me, but I feel like an impulse is not something you can catch. You can catch a ride to Mr. Waffle, you can catch herpes, but an impulse is supposed to spring from you and is mechanically antecedent to a reflex. Because it can be squelched, whereas a reflex is automatic, isn't it? When impulses need curtailing you have to learn impulse control, so can you really see one coming from an outside source in sweat pants and, like, catch it? Wouldn't that be like catching someone's repression? Sorry, did you consider calling it catching a vibe, or even seize that wave? [LAUGHTER] I'm not certain it was useful. Maybe that's why we did it though-- to dive in and not ask why. Maybe that was the point. I can say, in retrospect, that actually to do a move so un-sexy in front of your peers, with or without a cork lodged in your jaw, has to be useful. I'm wondering if I misunderstood the whole thing. It's possible that I exhibited some kind of rejection of it that showed on my face despite my protestations of being the most eager student ever. Wow. OK, so maybe I was not entirely honest about me-- myself. For what it's worth, I think I may get the value of it, however circuitous my arrival at this understanding may be. Yes so it's safe to say I am late in getting it. On that day, though, after admonishing the entire class you turned away from the mirror to face me and said, only to my face, while pointing also at my face, why can't you get this? Why can't you get anything? Cut to me pulling the mid-term evaluation letter from my mailbox that had arts probation stamped across it. The letter basically stated that I needed to fix myself or I would be gone. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I hated that I would have to tell my father, even though I knew you would take my side. I read the evaluation from you that explained why you would suggested that probation. You said that, she asks inappropriate questions that disrupts class. She appears spaced out and bored. The lack of physical energy is alarming. Her use of sexuality is offensive. [LAUGHTER] I was-- [LOUD LAUGHTER] I was so mad. I felt like I was trying to be what you wanted and you were stuck in your categorical rejection of everything I was-- am. I sulked, but not so much that I would be caught caring what you thought of me. I went back to the dorm and sat holding the letter, reading and rereading the notice of my potential expulsion. My friend N came in and asked what was up. And I told him you hated me. I said you were a turd and that you'd written on the evaluation and it was bogus. I showed him the letter. And while still holding it and looking down at it without expression, he asked me, what are you going to do about it? I said, do? We do you mean do? I've done everything I can. What he wrote isn't even an evaluation. And M said, yes it is. That's what he thinks of you and he's the teacher, so what are you going to do about it? I said, but I was trying so hard already. And he said, it doesn't matter what you felt. What are you going to do? The last was a statement and not a question that slapped me so hard I couldn't look in his face. I sat staring at my feet. Whose side are you on, I asked. And he said yours, but you have to understand that he is the teacher. This is his evaluation of you. It's up to you to change his opinion. The shift where I went from resenting him to my awakening that, wow this person is so correct was swift. I realized, yes, this is a naked reality about myself that I have to address, even if part of me is still cranky. It was a relief to see that maybe someone's dislike of me wasn't intractable, and to own up to the fact that a person who just likes me isn't automatically to be dismissed. Because sometimes I am deeply unlikable. Our very next class together, I went in with a different set of priorities and not wearing a backless unitard. I was actively defenseless, as a choice. When my father was at Officer Candidate School he was taken before the officers is for review. It was standard. The soldiers listened while every fellow before them was taken down for an infraction they committed. And each man would respond. My dad started to notice a sameness in tone with each testimony. Commanding officer would say, you did blah de blah, would you like to offer your explanation? And private whoever would say, yes sir, I realized what I did, but this is why and so on. After the 11th or 12th exchange, my dad said he realized that regardless of the excuse they all came across as defensive. And it weakened them. He felt inspired, suddenly, as he stepped before the Lieutenant Colonel who asked him if he'd like to offer an explanation for his misdeeds. My dad said no, sir, I would not. The already orderly room went silent. The Lieutenant Colonel looked up my father and said, what do you mean by that, Private? My dad said, I offer no excuses, sir. I take responsibility and it won't happen again. A few weeks into my new approach, I asked you a question after class. Truthfully I didn't have a question. I just wanted to connect. Anyway, your head tilted as you leaned in to listen. An adjustment of your eyebrows felt the teeniest bit artificial. You were arranging your face to come across as open and interested. I looked down, embarrassed that we were actually communicating. It felt sparked. I was meeting you finally-- me. Sorry, could I ask a quick question? I don't really have a question. Hi. You, sure how can I help? This is my interested face. I'm having trouble with the eyebrows. Me, so when we freeze up in this space after you clap your hands, are we supposed to be aware of anyone else? Honestly I'm so grateful that you just said how can I help that I may cry. You, it's more about the freeze than what follows. Take a scan of yourself to see exactly where you are, which is-- right, right sorry. Shit, shit. Sorry. For what? I didn't mean to interrupt, sorry. Please don't re hate me. You, well you're posing a good question, actually. I see that you are trying and I appreciate the effort. Me, oh good. Your eyebrows are doing that welcoming thing again. Would it be awful if I hugged you? [LAUGHTER] You, but it speaks to a future exercise. For now stay focused on your own instrument. I'm glad we're connecting but I have another class now. Why are you hugging yourself? [LAUGHTER] Me, great, I get it now. Your eyes are really sparkly, but like Santa, I'm not being inappropriate. [LAUGHTER] Good work today. Good work today. Me, thank you so much. I love you so much-- not to be gross, just thanks. After that day your face softened. At the end of the semester I was doing an improvisation with H, and you lit up-- burst out laughing. I'd accomplished something bigger than comedy, and it proved that I needed to change. The person who deserves the credit for that laugh is-- [SIGHS] [CRYING] The person who deserves the credit for that laugh is unequivocally you. Letting someone you don't really like surprise you is evolved. And that would have been impossible if you didn't have the humility I wasn't giving you credit for. I was so caught up in your being wrong about me that I hadn't honestly taken you in. It's so transparent how willing we are to dismiss the intelligence of someone who rejects us. As though that renders them incapable of sound judgment. The last time I saw you, we were backstage after a play I was doing. You were so generous and that made me feel like a million bucks. It would've been so sad if I'd spent all those years and never reintroduced myself. I would have missed out on all your special wisdom, not to mention the thrill of the view up there on the high road. Thank you for being open to another, more workable, draft of me. It affected me profoundly. I still can't juggle. I mean to say that I can't juggle in your way, as certain metaphorical methods I am actually acing on a daily basis. But biscuits or beanbags would be a negative. I confess that during the writing of this piece I snuck up to my son's room and took the juggling sacks off his shelf. I give it a shot. I thought you might like to hear that it wasn't as bad as I thought at first. But then very swiftly it was maybe even worse than I thought. [LAUGHTER] It just doesn't seem to be in the cards. You'd be happy to know that I'm actually working on a certain kind of neutrality. I know, shocking, but I see the value of it now. Thank you so much. OK, what do we do now? Have a chat. What? Talk to Bob. Oh, talk to Bob. I just did! Talk to Mary-Louise. [CLEARS THROAT] OK, so, first of all, I think in some ways some of that kind of sums up what I was trying to say yesterday. And even the reading of it, because I have been reading aloud from my book quite a bit. And I stay away from pieces that I think might be too touchy. But I realize that when I read it's very different from acting and I'm generally very, very nervous to speak in front of people. Not to act, but to speak. But I found that reading I actually quite enjoy because it's not like performing. In any case, I thought coming up here-- because I've been reading aloud and I haven't really-- I've been surprised that for such an emotional person that I've been able to-- except for the audio book reading of my book, I've been able to have some kind of distance from it. But I wasn't able to just then. And so there was something coming up here, just not knowing, it felt very risky. But the girl, I've been thinking about you so much, that I talked to yesterday, was having-- I hope the director isn't in it-- a little bit of problem in rehearsal, whoever you are. Maybe you were a girl, maybe you were a boy. I don't want to out anybody. I've been thinking about you a lot, person. Thinking about being forced to feel something in front of other people and somebody telling you to fake it. There's nothing really worse than telling someone to fake it or someone faking it. And all that it really takes to find something genuine, and to just sit there in your body. And I wanted to tell you that today, wherever you are. So just know that when you get to that place where you've been asked to maybe be artificial, when you're ready to not be artificial, just stand there for a second. And let yourself just stand there, and it will be OK. [CLEARS THROAT] I'm exhausted. [LAUGHTER] Can you hear me? [LAUGHTER] [CLEARS THROAT] I knew this day was coming for quite awhile. And it has caused, in my mind and in my body, a great deal of reflection. I've known these people now for 36 years, most of my time here. I came to this place, North Carolina School of the Arts-- I was a very young man. And I have glimpses of who I was then and who I still am. I'm reminded of a T.S. Elliot quote and I'm going to paraphrase it. In my beginning is my end. And in my end is my beginning. I've been thinking so much about that because you. You set seeds in me, way back when, that are just now blossoming. And many of you are seeing the fruit of that. In the play I happen to be doing-- they mention the golden thread. And the golden thread is that which connects the past to the present to the future. And here is a golden thread. And it is so wonderful to come face to face to myself again. You'll be pleased to know we don't undulate anymore. [LAUGHTER] For some of the reasons you highlighted. [LAUGHTER] And the real reason is my hips went bad. [LAUGHTER] I forgot how to do it. [LAUGHTER] In the founding of this school-- and again I will paraphrase. Governor Terry Sanford wrote that this school must be a heretical. And now that my interpretation of that is, it is unique and it fosters people who are unique. What attracted me to you, and Peter to you, all those years ago, is I saw people involved in their passionate preference. That's a Robert Frost quote which was used in the founding of this school. And used to justify why we need this [? cotapping ?] school on the hill. That is a quote from the legislature. [LAUGHTER] You spoke-- I heard you speak to our students that they must nurture that element within themselves which is a bit rebellious, which is who you are. And one of the biggest lessons that I learned truthfully over the years is that. It just so happens I work with masks and my masks, I really love them when they are rebellious. And you didn't know this when I was a young guy, but you were so unique. Not that she couldn't juggle. Who cares? But that day that-- at least I think I remember the day that you made me laugh so much. We used to do a lot of verbal improvisations. I would never know where Mary-Louise would come from. It was such a breath of fresh air. And that is what is what is charismatic about your work, and so charismatic about Peter's work. They work from who they are and the truth that is within them. I'm so glad to be a part of it. That's probably the most words you're going to hear from me in a long time.


Early life

Parker was born in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The youngest of four children,[1] she is the daughter of Caroline Louise (née Morell) and John Morgan Parker, a judge who served in the U.S. Army.[2][3][4] Her ancestry includes Swedish (from her maternal grandfather), English, Scottish, Irish, German, and Dutch.[5] Because of her father's career, Parker spent parts of her childhood in Tennessee and Texas, as well as in Thailand, Germany, and France.[6][7] 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."[1] 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.[1]

Acting career


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.


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 in 1999
Parker in 1999

Parker's theater career continued when she appeared in Paula Vogel's 1997 critical smash How I Learned to Drive, with David Morse.[8] 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.


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,[9] both for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film.


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.[10]

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."[11]

2007 onwards

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.[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 miniseries 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 PBS documentary 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]

Parker starred in the new play by Simon Stephens, Heisenberg, produced Off-Broadway by the Manhattan Theatre Club. The play, directed by Mark Brokaw, opened on June 2, 2015.[18] The play extended its run, closing on July 11, 2015.[19] 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.[20][21]

Writing career

Since 2007, Parker has contributed articles to Esquire magazine.[22] In November 2015, Scribner Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, published her memoir in letters titled Dear Mr. You.[23]

Personal life

From 1996 to November 2003, Parker dated actor Billy Crudup. Parker was seven months pregnant with their son, William Atticus Parker, born in 2004,[24] when their relationship ended. William's godmother is actress Susan Sarandon.[1]

In December 2006, Parker began dating actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, whom she met on the set of Weeds.[25] On February 12, 2008, Parker and Morgan announced their engagement,[26] only to break up the following April.[27]

In September 2007, Parker adopted a baby girl, Caroline Aberash Parker, from Ethiopia.[28][29]

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.[30]

Parker lives in Brooklyn Heights.[31]



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
2002 Red Dragon Molly Graham
2002 The Quality of Mercy Sarah Richardson
2002 Pipe Dream Toni Edelman
2004 Saved! Lillian Cummings
2004 The Best Thief in the World Sue Zaidman
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 Karsch
2010 Howl Gail Potter
2010 Red Sarah Ross
2013 R.I.P.D. Mildred Proctor
2013 Red 2 Sarah Ross
2013 Christmas in Conway Suzy Mayor
2014 Behaving Badly Lucy Stevens
2014 Jamesy Boy Tracy Burns
2016 Chronically Metropolitan Annabel
2017 Golden Exits Gwendolyn
2018 Red Sparrow Stephanie Boucher


Year Show Role Notes
1988 Too Young the Hero Pearl Spencer Television film
1994 A Place for Annie Linda Marsten Television film
1995 Sugartime Phyllis McGuire Television film
1998 Saint Maybe Lucy Dean Bedloe Television film
1998 Legalese Rica Martin Television film
1999 The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn Dr. Valerie Crane Television film
2000 Cupid & Cate Cate DeAngelo Television film
2001–06 The West Wing Amy Gardner 23 episodes
2002 Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story Bonnie Hanssen Television film
2003 Angels in America Harper Pitt 6 episodes
2004 Miracle Run Corrine Morgan-Thomas Television film
2005 Vinegar Hill Ellen Grier Television film
2005–12 Weeds Nancy Botwin 102 episodes
2007 The Robber Bride Zenia Arden Television film
2014 The Blacklist Naomi Hyland 4 episodes
2017 When We Rise Roma Guy 7 episodes
2017 Billions George Minchak 2 episodes
2017 Mr. Mercedes Janey Patterson 6 episodes


Year Play Role Notes
1989–90 The Art of Success Jane Hogarth
1990–91 Prelude to a Kiss Rita Boyle
1993 Four Dogs and a Bone Brenda
1996 Bus Stop Cherie
1997 How I Learned to Drive Li'l Bit
2000–03 Proof Catherine Llewellyn
2004 Reckless Rachel Fitzsimons
2008 Dead Man's Cell Phone Jean
2009 Hedda Gabler Hedda Tesman
2013 The Snow Geese Elizabeth Gaesling
2015–16 Heisenberg Georgie Burns
2018 The Sound Inside Bella Baird

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1990 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Actress in a Play Prelude to a Kiss Nominated
Tony Awards Best Actress in a Play Nominated
Theatre World Awards N/A Won
2000 Genie Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role The Five Senses Nominated
2001 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Actress in a Play Proof Won
Drama League Awards Distinguished Performance Won
Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding Actress in a Play Won
Tony Awards Best Actress in a Play Won
2002 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series The West Wing Nominated
2003 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2004 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Angels in America Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nominated
2005 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Weeds Won
Tony Awards Best Actress in a Play Reckless Nominated
2006 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Weeds Won
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2007 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actress – Comedy Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie The Robber Bride Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Weeds Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2008 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
People's Choice Awards Choice TV Drama Diva Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
2010 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Red Nominated
Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Weeds Nominated


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  3. ^ "Debra Messing – 5 Women Who Make Us Want to Be a Better Man" November 1, 2000, Esquire
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  5. ^ "Mary-Louise Parker : Biography". IMDb. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
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  7. ^ Mary-Louise Parker Biography (1964–). Film
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  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Parker's 'Hedda Gabler' Takes Her Last Shot March 29" Archived December 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, March 29, 2009
  14. ^ Broadway Plucks Mary-Louise Parker from Weeds Archived August 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. TV Guide.
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  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  20. ^ Clement, Olivia. "'Heisenberg', with Mary-Louise Parker, Is Transferring to Broadway" Playbill, February 2, 2016
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  30. ^ "Fall Season 2013: Episode 3 | In the Mixx". Retrieved April 11, 2016.
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External links

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