Parker Posey Biography

Theater Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress, Television Actress, Film Actress, Actress (1968–)
Parker Posey, known as 'Queen of the Indies,' built her career on offbeat characters in indie films. She has also appeared in mainstream films such as 'You’ve Got Mail.'


Actress Parker Posey was born on November 8, 1968, in Baltimore, Maryland. During her senior year of college, she landed a role on As the World Turns. She gained attention with her role in the film Dazed and Confused and went on to build a career appearing in indie films as offbeat characters. Posey also snagged roles in mainstream films such as You’ve Got Mail and Superman Returns.

Early Life

Actress. Born November 8, 1968, in Baltimore, Maryland. With her parents and her twin brother, Chris, Posey moved south early in her childhood, growing up first in Monroe, Louisiana, and later in Laurel, Mississippi. An enthusiasm for ballet led her to contemplate becoming a professional dancer. When she was turned down for the dance program at the North Carolina School of the Arts, a faculty member there suggested she try acting. Posey subsequently applied and was accepted to the drama program at the State University of New York at Purchase.

Acting Debut

In the spring of her senior year, Parker Posey won a role as the devious teenager Tess Shelby on the popular daytime soap opera As the World Turns. She stayed on the show throughout the 1991-92 season. In 1993, she was cast in Nora Ephron’s blockbuster romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan; unfortunately, her scenes as the neighbor of Hanks's character were eventually cut from the film.

Posey first earned notice on the big screen for her outlandish performance in Dazed and Confused (1993)writer-director Richard Linklater’s hilarious tribute to high school life in the 1970s. With the release of the now cult favorite Party Girl (1995), in which she played a New York urban socialite by night and library clerk by day, Posey was well on her way to earning the moniker “Queen of the Indies” for her work in independent cinema.

Career Highlights

Over the next several years, Posey turned in supporting performances in such offbeat projects as Kicking and Screaming (1995), Waiting for Guffman and The Daytrippers (both 1996). In 1997, she starred in no fewer than three much-hyped entries at the Sundance Film Festival, including Clockwatchers, SubUrbia and The House of Yes. While the quality of these independent productions varied, Posey’s sharp, funny portrayals of sometimes bizarre characters earned her a good deal of praise.

In 1998, Ephron remembered Posey when it came time to cast her next Hanks-Ryan pairing, You’ve Got Mail. In her first substantial mainstream film role, Posey brought her sometimes abrasive screen personality to the character of Hanks's narcissistic book editor girlfriend. She returned to Sundance that same year with The Misadventures of Margaret, co-starring Brooke Shields.

Posey took on another high-profile project in 2000, appearing in the ensemble cast of Scream 3, the final installment in the wildly successful teen horror-comedy trilogy directed by Wes Craven. She also made her debut on Broadway, starring opposite Matthew Broderick in a new comedy by Elaine May, Taller Than a Dwarf.

In 2000, Posey co-starred in Best in Show, a film co-written and directed by Christopher Guest of Waiting for Guffman. The following year, she appeared in a live-action film version of the cartoon Josie and the Pussycats.

The erstwhile Indie Queen returned to big-budget fare in 2006 with her role in Superman Returns, and continued to work on projects of varying sizes. She later joined the star-studded cast of Woody Allen's Irrational Man, which was released in 2015.

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