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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Who is Sarah Jessica Parker?

Who is Sarah Jessica Parker? The acting world knows her as an American film, television, and theater actress and producer. She is best known for her leading role as Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO television series Sex and the City (1998-2004), for which she won four Golden Globe Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Emmy Awards. She played the same role in the 2008 feature film based on the show, Sex and the City: The Movie, and its sequel, Sex and the City 2, which opened on May 26, 2010.

Parker has also appeared in many other films, including Footloose (1984), L.A. Story (1991), Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), Hocus Pocus (1993), Mars Attacks! (1996), The Family Stone (2005), Failure to Launch (2006), Smart People (2008), and Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009).


Sarah Jessica Parker was born March 25, 1965 in Nelsonville, Ohio, the daughter of Barbara (née Keck), a nursery school operator and teacher, and Stephen Parker, an entrepreneur and journalist.[1][2] She was one of a total of eight children from her parents' marriage and her mother's second marriage (her full siblings include actors Timothy Britten Parker and Pippin Parker). After her parents' divorce, her mother married Paul Forste, a truck driver and account executive who was a part of Parker's life from an early age.[3] Parker's mother was of English and German descent, while Parker's father, a native of Brooklyn, was of Eastern European Jewish background; his family's original surname was "Bar-Kahn" ("son of Kohen").[4][2] Parker has identified culturally and ethnically with her father's religion, Judaism, although she had no religious training.[4] She has said that even while her family lived in Cincinnati, her mother emulated a New York lifestyle.[4]

As a young girl, Parker trained in singing and ballet, and was soon cast in the Broadway revival of William Archibald's The Innocents.[5] Her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and then to Dobbs Ferry, New York, near New York City, so that she could get specialized training. There, her mother and stepfather helped Parker develop her career as a child actress. In 1977, the family moved to the newly opened planned community on Roosevelt Island, in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, and later to Manhattan. The family later moved to Englewood, New Jersey, where Parker attended Dwight Morrow High School.[6]

Parker attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, the School of American Ballet in New York, Dwight Morrow High School in New Jersey, and the Professional Children's School, Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, California.

Parker and four siblings appeared in a production of The Sound of Music at the outdoor Municipal Theatre (Muny) in St. Louis, Missouri.[7] She was selected for a role in the new 1977–81 Broadway musical Annie: first in the small role of "July" and then succeeding Andrea McArdle and Shelley Bruce in the lead role of the Depression-era orphan, beginning March 1979. Parker held the role for a year.

In 1982, Parker was cast as the co-lead of the CBS sitcom Square Pegs. The show lasted just one season, but Parker's performance, as a shy teen who showed hidden depths, was critically well-received. In the three years that followed, she was cast in four films: the most significant being Footloose in 1984 and 1984's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, co-starring Helen Hunt. In 1986, Parker appeared in the cult classic Flight of the Navigator, a Disney science fiction film.


By the early 1990s, Parker's career was gaining momentum. In 1991, she appeared in a supporting role in the romantic comedy L.A. Story; both the movie and her performance garnered positive reviews.[5] The following year, she landed an important starring role in the well-received film Honeymoon in Vegas, co-starring Nicolas Cage. Her 1993 role in the film Hocus Pocus was a higher grosser at the box office but received negative reviews. Also in 1993, she starred as a police diver opposite Bruce Willis in film Striking Distance. The following year, she appeared opposite Johnny Depp in the critically acclaimed movie Ed Wood[5] as Wood's girlfriend Dolores Fuller.

The film Miami Rhapsody, in 1995, was a romantic comedy in which she had a leading role. In 1996, she appeared in another Tim Burton-directed movie, Mars Attacks!, as well as in The First Wives Club and The Substance of Fire, in which she reprised her 1991 stage role. In 1997, she appeared as Francesca Lanfield, a washed-up former child actress, in the comedy Till There Was You.


As a young girl, she trained in singing and ballet, soon being cast in the Broadway production of The Innocents. Her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and then to Dobbs Ferry, New York, near New York City, where Parker was developing her career as a child actress. In 1977, the family moved to the newly opened planned community on Roosevelt Island, in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, and later to Manhattan proper; her parents later moved to Englewood, New Jersey where she attended Dwight Morrow High School.[3]
Parker attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts, the School of American Ballet and the Professional Children's School, Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, California, and later Dwight Morrow High School.

She and four siblings appeared in a revival of The Sound of Music, and Parker went on to the new 1977-81 Broadway musical Annie — first in the small role of "July," and then succeeding Andrea McArdle and Shelley Bruce in the lead role of the plucky Depression-era orphan, beginning March 6, 1979. Parker held the role for a year.
In 1982, Parker was cast as the co-lead of the CBS-TV sitcom Square Pegs. The show lasted only one season before being canceled by the network, but Parker's performance, as a shy, misfit teen who showed hidden depths, was critically well-received. In the three years that followed, she was cast in four films — the most significant of those being Footloose in 1984 and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, co-starring Helen Hunt, in 1985.
In 1986, Parker appeared in the cult classic Flight of the Navigator, a Disney science fiction film about a boy, David, who is relativistically transported in time by an alien spacecraft eight years into the future without aging.
By the early 1990s, Parker's career was gaining momentum. In 1991, she appeared in a supporting role in the romantic comedy, L.A. Story; both the movie and her performance garnered positive reviews. The following year she landed an important starring role in the well-received film Honeymoon in Vegas, co-starring Nicolas Cage. Her 1993 role in the film Hocus Pocus was a higher grosser at the box office but received negative reviews. The following year, she appeared opposite Johnny Depp in the critically acclaimed movie Ed Wood.
The film Miami Rhapsody, in 1995, saw her back on familiar territory with more romantic comedy material and a leading role. She appeared in another Tim Burton-directed movie, Mars Attacks!, as well as The First Wives Club and The Substance of Fire, in which she reprised her 1991 stage role, in 1996. In 1997, she appeared as Francesca Lanfield, a washed-up former child actress, in the comedy Til There Was You.

The script for an HBO drama/comedy series titled Sex and the City was sent to Parker. The show's creator, Darren Star, wanted her for his project. Despite some doubts about being cast in a long-term television series, Parker agreed to star.[8]

After five nominations, in 2004, Parker won an Emmy Award for her lead role. Parker said in 2006 that she "will never do a television show again".[9][10]

After Sex and the City ended in 2004, rumors of a film version circulated. It was revealed that a script had been completed for such a project. At the time, Parker said such a film would likely never be made.[11] Two years later, preparations were resumed, and the film was released on May 30, 2008

In addition to work in film and television, Parker has gained respect as a stage actor, having appeared in well-reviewed lead roles in the off-Broadway play Sylvia, alongside future husband Matthew Broderick in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and the Tony Award-nominated Once Upon a Mattress.

In December 2005, Parker appeared in her first film in several years, The Family Stone; she received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress — Comedy for the role. Her next film, the romantic comedy Failure to Launch, co-starring Matthew McConaughey, was released on March 10, 2006 and opened at #1 in the North American box office, grossing slightly over $24 million in its opening weekend,[12] despite mediocre reviews.[13] Parker's work as a producer continued with the independent film Spinning Into Butter (which she also starred in), based on the Rebecca Gilman play. Parker was initially set to star in Vacancy, along with her co-star from The Family Stone, Luke Wilson, but she dropped out in favor of other projects. Kate Beckinsale later won the role.

On July 20, US cable network Bravo announced it had picked up a reality show produced by Parker under the working title American Artist.[14] As a self-described "art enthusiast", Parker will feature artists of any age over 17, with each show having 13 finalists. Parker's inspiration comes from her mother-in-law, whose artwork became noticed only after she died.[15]

Parker is producing a new comedy series for HBO called Washingtonienne. The pilot is currently in production and will air in 2009. The show revolves around the lives of three smart and sophisticated friends, all working for powerful men on Capitol Hill.

Parker participated in the United States version of the hit UK television series Who Do You Think You Are? for NBC, in which celebrities were helped to trace their family trees. The executive producer was Lisa Kudrow, and the series featured Parker, husband Matthew Broderick, Kudrow and others.[16]

A fashion icon, Parker has become very influential in the world of fashion. In 2000, she hosted the MTV Movie Awards, appearing in fourteen different outfits during the show.[17]

She has also become the face of many of the world's biggest fashion brands through her work in a variety of advertising campaigns. In August 2003, Parker signed a lucrative deal with Garnier to appear in TV and print advertising promoting their Nutrisse hair products. In 2004, she fronted an international campaign by Gap, but her contract was terminated in spring 2005 in favor of British soul singer Joss Stone.[18]

Parker released her own perfume in 2005, called "Lovely".[5] In March 2007, Parker announced the launch of her own fashion line, "Bitten",[19] in partnership with discount clothing chain Steve & Barry's.[20] The line, featuring clothing items and accessories under $20, launched on June 7, 2007, exclusively at Steve and Barry's.[21]

In July 2007, following the success of "Lovely," Parker released her second fragrance "Covet." In 2007, Parker was a guest on Project Runway for the second challenge.[22] In 2008, Covet Pure Bloom was released as continuous series of Covet.[23] In February 2009, as part of the "Lovely" collection, Parker launched a series of three new fragrances called "Dawn", "Endless" and "Twilight".[citation needed]

Personal life

On May 19, 1997, she married actor Matthew Broderick, to whom she was introduced to by one of her brothers at the Naked Angels theater company, where they both performed.[25] The couple married in a civil ceremony in an historic synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The couple's son, James Wilke Broderick, was born on October 28, 2002. He was named after Broderick's father, the actor James Joseph Broderick, and writer Wilkie Collins.[26]

Parker and Broderick's surrogate mother delivered their twin daughters, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge, on June 22, 2009. Their middle names of "Elwell" and "Hodge" are from Parker's mother's family.[27]

As of 2009, she lives in New York City with her husband, son, and daughters. The couple frequently attend arts performances. They also spend considerable time at their holiday home near Kilcar, a village in County Donegal, Ireland, where Broderick spent summers as a child.[28]

Parker is a prominent member of the Hollywood's Women's Political Committee. She is UNICEF's Representative for the Performing Arts; in 2006, she traveled to Liberia as a UNICEF celebrity ambassador. She said, "It's a place that gets little or no attention, so we're going to try and bring some attention to it".[29] She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the United States. Parker has defended Israel's actions in trying to protect its people.[4] Parker appeared on the premiere episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on March 5, 2010, where she discovered she had ancestors in the California Gold Rush of 1849-50 and in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.[30]

Later that year, the script for an HBO drama/comedy series titled Sex and the City was sent to Parker; the show's creator, Darren Star, was determined that she be cast in his project. Despite some early doubts about being cast in a long-term television series, Parker agreed to star.[4]
The show proved to be an instant success, raising Parker's profile considerably. Despite the show's increasingly risqué storylines, Parker retained the strict no-nudity clause in her contract throughout the show's six-season run. Parker became a producer for the show starting with its third season. In 2004, Parker won an Emmy award for her lead role (after five consecutive losses). Many gambling and betting establishments stopped taking bets on her Emmy victory, because it was so widely predicted that she would win.[citation needed] Parker stated in 2006 that she "will never do a television show again",[5] although she will co-executive produce a new HBO series based on Washingtonienne, but will not star in it.[6]
After Sex and the City ended in 2004, rumors of a film version circulated and it was revealed that a script had been completed for such a project. However, Parker commented that it would likely never be made.[7] Two years later, however, preparations were resumed, and the film was released throughout the world on May 30, 2008. A sequel is also in early talks for 2009.



In addition to work in movies and television, Parker is also a respected stage actor, having appeared in well-reviewed lead roles in the off-Broadway play Sylvia, alongside husband Matthew Broderick in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and the Tony Award-nominated Once Upon A Mattress, as Princess Winifred the Woebegone.
In December 2005, Parker appeared in her first theatrical film in several years, The Family Stone; she received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress - Comedy for the role. Her next film, the romantic comedy Failure to Launch, co-starring Matthew McConaughey, was released on March 10, 2006 and opened at #1 in the North American box office, grossing slightly over $24 million in its opening weekend,[8] despite mediocre reviews.[9] Parker's work as a producer continues with the independent film Spinning Into Butter, based on the Rebecca Gilman play, which she will also star in. Parker was initially set to star in Vacancy, along with her co-star from The Family Stone, Luke Wilson, but she dropped out in favor of other projects. Kate Beckinsale later won the role.
On July 20, Bravo announced it had picked up a reality show produced by Parker under the working title "American Artist." [10]



Parker was romantically involved with actor Robert Downey Jr. from 1984 until 1991. They met on the set of Firstborn. Downey had a drug problem and this had a significant effect on their relationship; referring to that time in her life, Parker has said: "I believed I was the person holding him together".[16] As her career continued to blossom into the 1990s, she met journalist John Kennedy Jr. and dated him for several months. She was also romantically linked to singer-songwriter Joshua Kadison in the early 1990s, who described their tumultuous relationship and their cat Moses in the song "Jessie" on the album Painted Desert Serenade.




On May 19, 1997, she married actor Matthew Broderick, to whom she was introduced by her brother at the Naked Angels theater company where they both performed.[17] The couple married in a civil ceremony in a historic synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that is no longer used as a house of worship; both Parker and Broderick (who each have one Jewish parent) consider themselves to be "culturally Jewish."[18] Parker has also defended the state of Israel. "I feel defensive when people say, 'How can Israel go in with tanks?'," she says, "What are they supposed to do? Children are being killed by people willing to strap bombs to their bodies and walk into the public market. So Israel's response to this is to protect its people."[2] The couple's first child, son James Wilkie Broderick, was born on October 28, 2002. He was named after Broderick's father, the actor James Broderick. His middle name is that of author Wilkie Collins, an author Broderick and Parker greatly admire.


Parker and Broderick live in New York City and frequent the arts. Parker and Broderick also spend a considerable amount of time at their holiday home in County Donegal, Republic of Ireland where Broderick spent his summers as a child. Parker is a prominent member of the Hollywood's Women's Political Committee and is UNICEF's Representative for the Performing Arts; in 2006, she traveled to Liberia as a UNICEF celebrity ambassador, and has commented that, "It's a place that gets little or no attention, so we're going to try and bring some attention to it."[19] She is currently a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the United States.
As of 2008, she lives in New York City with her husband and son.
E! News confirms that prior to her appearance at the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star, she had her signature mole removed.[20] Regardless of photographic evidence, she denied it had been removed.

Awards
Golden Globes


2005: Nominee: Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy - The Family Stone
2005: Nominee: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy - Sex and the City
2004: Winner: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy - Sex and the City
2003: Nominee: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy - Sex and the City
2002: Winner: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy - Sex and the City
2001: Winner: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy - Sex and the City
2000: Winner: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy - Sex and the City
1999: Nominee: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy - Sex and the City

Emmy Awards

2004: Winner: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2004: Nominee: Outstanding Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2003: Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2003: Nominee: Outstanding Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2002: Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2002: Nominee: Outstanding Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2001: Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2001: Winner: Outstanding Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2000: Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
1999: Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
Screen Actors Guild Awards
2005: Nominee: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2005: Nominee: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2004: Winner: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2003: Nominee: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2002: Nominee: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2002: Winner: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2001: Winner: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2001: Nominee: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City
2000: Nominee: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series - Sex and the City

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1974 The Little Match Girl

The Little Match Girl Cameo; Uncredited
1983 Somewhere Tomorrow

Lori Anderson
1984 Footloose

Rusty
Firstborn Lisa
1985 Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Janey Glenn
1986 Flight of the Navigator

Carolyn McAdams
1991 L.A. Story SanDeE*
1992 In the Best Interest of the Children Callie Cain
1992 Honeymoon in Vegas

Betsy/Donna
1993 Striking Distance

Jo Christman/Det. Emily Harper
Hocus Pocus

Sarah Sanderson
1994 Ed Wood

Dolores Fuller
1995 Miami Rhapsody Gwyn Marcus
1996 Mars Attacks!

Nathalie Lake
If Lucy Fell


Lucy Ackerman
The First Wives Club Shelly Stewart
Extreme Measures

Jodie Trammel
1997 'Til There Was You

Francesca Lanfield
1999 Dudley Do-Right Nell Fenwick
2000 State and Main

Claire Wellesley
2001 Life Without Dick

Colleen Gibson direct-to-video
2005 The Family Stone

Meredith Morton
2006 Strangers with Candy

Peggy Callas
Failure to Launch

Paula
2007 Spinning Into Butter

Sarah Daniels
2008 Smart People

Janet Hartigan
Sex and the City: The Movie

Carrie Bradshaw
2009 Did You Hear About the Morgans? Meryl Morgan
2010 Sex and the City 2

Carrie Bradshaw

TV shows

Year Title Role Notes
1982–1983 Square Pegs Patty Greene season 1
1987–1988 A Year in the Life Kay Erickson A miniseries in 1986 Aired for one season.
1990–1991 Equal Justice Jo Ann Harris two seasons
1999 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Herself TV series, one episode
1998–2004 Sex and the City Carrie Bradshaw Lead role
2010 Who Do You Think You Are? Herself TV series

Producer

Year Title Role Notes
2002–2004 Sex and the City Producer 28 episodes
2008 Sex and the City: The Movie Co-producer




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