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Mary-Louise Parker
Mary-Louise Parker (2008).jpg
Mary-Louise Parker, 2008
Born August 2, 1964 (1964-08-02) (age 56)
Years active 1975–present

Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964) is an American television and movie actress.

Early life

Parker was born in 1964 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Her mother was Swedish and her father was a judge and served in the United States Army. They lived in Thailand where she attended the International School Bangkok. Parker studied drama at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her first job in television was a small part on the soap opera Ryan's Hope in 1975. In the late 1980s, she moved to New York, where she got a job measuring feet at ECCO (a shoe shop). After a few small roles, she had her first part in a Broadway play in 1990. The play was called Prelude to a Kiss and she played the main character called Rita. She won the Clarence Derwent Award for this play and was nominated for a Tony Award. Parker dated her co-star Timothy Hutton for a short time.

That same year, Parker was noticed by critics when she appeared in a movie called Longtime Companion. It was one of the first movies about AIDS. After that, she acted in 1991's Grand Canyon, which also starred Mary McDonnell, Danny Glover, Alfre Woodard and Kevin Kline. Parker's next film was Fried Green Tomatoes, with Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kathy Bates and Cicely Tyson.


  • 1990: Longtime Companion as Lisa
  • 1991: Grand Canyon as Dee
  • 1991: Fried Green Tomatoes as Ruth Jamison
  • 1993: Mr. Wonderful as Rita
  • 1994: The Client as Dianne Sway
  • 1994: Bullets Over Broadway as Ellen
  • 1995: Boys on the Side
  • 1996: The Portrait of a Lady as Henrietta Stackpole
  • 1998: Goodbye Lover as Peggy Blane
  • 1999: Let the Devil Wear Black as Julia Hirsch
  • 2002: Red Dragon as Molly Graham
  • 2004: Saved! as Lillian
  • 2005: Romance & Cigarettes as Constance
  • 2007: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford as Zee James
  • 2008: The Spiderwick Chronicles as Helen Grace
  • 2009: Solitary Man as Jordan


  • 1975: Ryan's Hope
  • 2001–2006: The West Wing as Amy Gardner (23 episodes)
  • 2003: Angels in America as Harper Pitt (six episodes)
  • 2005–2009: Weeds as Nancy Botwin (61 episodes)
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