Who Is Sarah Jessica Parker?
Actor Sarah Jessica Parker appeared on TV’s Square Pegs before moving on to films, starring in Ed Wood (1994), The First Wives Club (1996) and, later, The Family Stone (2005) and Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009). She achieved major success playing Carrie Bradshaw in the comedy series Sex and the City, starting in the late 1990s, which revolutionized depictions of female sexuality. Along with working as a producer on the Sex and the City movies, Parker starred on the HBO series Divorce from 2016 to 2019.
Early Life and Career
Actor and producer Sarah Jessica Parker was born on March 25, 1965, in Nelsonville, Ohio. The fourth of eight children, Parker grew up in relative poverty. After her parents divorced, she was raised by her mother, a school teacher, and her often out-of-work stepfather. She helped support the family at a young age, bringing home paychecks from early dancing and singing gigs.
In 1976, after winning her first Broadway role in The Innocents, her family moved to New Jersey to encourage her career. Alongside four of her siblings, Parker toured for the next few years with The Sound of Music. She received her first major break when she was chosen to take over the title role of Annie on Broadway from 1979 to 1980.
Schooled at the American Ballet Theater and the New York Professional Children's School along the way, Parker started to gain national attention in the early 1980s. She made her film debut in 1979 with Rich Kids, co-starring John Lithgow, Trini Alvarado and Olympia Dukakis.
Movies, TV Shows and Theater
In 1982, Parker became known to TV audiences as the endearing geek in her starring role in the sitcom Square Pegs. Shortly after, she received further celebrity with her supporting role in the 1984 hit Footloose. The following year, Parker starred alongside a very young Helen Hunt in Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Her success in both films paved the way for steady work, both on the big screen and on TV with such shows as Equal Justice, through the rest of the decade.
'L.A. Story' and 'Ed Wood'
In the early 1990s, Parker made the challenging segue from teen to adult roles, appearing alongside Steve Martin in L.A. Story (1991), then earning both critical and cult credibility as Nicolas Cage's fiancée in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992). She also played the wife of schlockmeister Ed Wood in Tim Burton's celebrated 1994 film Ed Wood.
'The First Wives Club'
The mid-1990s saw Parker in a handful of middle-of-the-road supporting roles, including Miami Rhapsody (1995), The First Wives Club and Mars Attacks! (both released in 1996). Her work on stage was better received, including Sylvia, for which she earned a Drama Desk Award nomination.
'Sex and the City'
In 1998, Parker landed the starring role of New York sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw on the TV series Sex and the City. The Manhattan-centric show chronicled the lives of four friends and became a huge hit among both critics and viewers. Parker won multiple Golden Globe awards for her work on the show in the early 2000s, earning her both steady employment and praise from the fashion world. The series was made into an original film by the same name in 2008, and its success led to a sequel in 2010.
On the small screen, Parker made several guest appearances on the hit musical series Glee. In 2016, she served as the executive producer and starred in the comedy series Divorce. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Frances Dufresne, an executive recruiter who is going through a divorce from her husband of 17 years, played by Thomas Haden Church. The show, which ran for three seasons, also featured Molly Shannon and Talia Balsam.
While carving out her career on television and the big screen, Parker occasionally returned to stage productions, including a mid-1990s revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying that also starred future husband Matthew Broderick. More than 20 years later, Parker and Broderick signed on to play three different couples in Neil Simon's Plaza Suite, though audiences were forced to wait to see the lovebirds in action after the coronavirus shuttered Broadway productions in early 2020.
Fashion Icon & Sarah Jessica Parker Shoes
Thanks to her Sex and the City days, Parker transformed herself into a style icon with immense commercial appeal. In 2003, she became the spokesperson for Garnier hair products. The following year, she signed a $38 million deal with the Gap and became the Council of Fashion Designers of America's "Fashion Icon of the Year." In 2005, Parker debuted her first perfume, Lovely. She later added Covet to her fragrance line, which she sells through her company SJP Beauty. Parker also has her own line of shoes, launched in 2014, called the SJP Collection.
Husband and Children
Following high-profile relationships with Robert Downey Jr. and John F. Kennedy Jr., Parker married Broderick in 1997. Their son, James Wilke Broderick, named after Matthew's late father, was born in October 2002. In 2009, the couple welcomed twin daughters, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge, via surrogate.
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