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Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina) is an American actress. She has been the recipient of the Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe awards. Her best-known works include Fried Green Tomatoes, Boys on the Side, Proof, The West Wing, Angels in America, and her current role on Showtime's Weeds.
That same year, Parker was noticed by critics worldwide when she appeared in the movie adaptation of another Lucas play, Longtime Companion, one of the first movies to confront AIDS in the public arena.
In 2001, Parker appeared alongside Larry Bryggman in David Auburn's Proof on Broadway, for which she won a Tony award. However, Parker again lost out when the play was made into a film and the role was given to Gwyneth Paltrow. But whatever her theatrical aspirations, she left theater for three years to look for other roles: among them, Red Dragon and Pipe Dream (2002).
In 2004, Parker appeared in the comedy Saved!, and a TV movie called Miracle Run based on the true story of a mother with two autistic sons, as well as appearing in Craig Lucas' Reckless on Broadway. Parker took the lead role that had been Mia Farrow's on screen. The production, directed by Mark Brokaw, was critically acclaimed during its run and earned Parker another nomination for a Tony award for Best Actress in 2005.
In 2005, Parker took on the lead role in the television series Weeds, a Showtime comedy-drama. Parker plays Nancy Botwin, a suburban mother who, following the death of her husband, decides to sell marijuana to make money, while also attempting to maintain her community reputation. She stars alongside Kevin Nealon, Elizabeth Perkins, her Saved! co-star Martin Donovan, and her Angels in America co-star Justin Kirk. The show's first season aired in 2005, with the second airing in 2006. The third season began production in 2007.
In March 2007, Parker played the lead role in the TV film The Robber Bride. Her next film, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, opens in cinemas in October 2007. It is an Andrew Dominik film in which she plays Zerelda Mimms, alongside Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Robert Duvall and Garret Dillahunt. She has also filmed The Spiderwick Chronicles for a 2008 release.
In July 2007, Parker was nominated for two Emmy Awards, one for Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie for playing Zenia Arden in The Robber Bride and the other for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Weeds.
In August 2007, she posed nude for an ad for the third season of Weeds. In the ad, she appears as Eve in the Garden of Eden, with a snake draped around her body and a cannabis leaf behind her ear.
On January 7, 2004, Parker, at age 39, gave birth to her first child, William Atticus Parker. The boy's father is actor Billy Crudup, whom Parker met when they co-starred in a 1996 revival of the William Inge play Bus Stop. After nearly eight years together, the couple split when the actress was seven months pregnant. There were rumors that the breakup was due to an affair between Crudup and his Stage Beauty co-star, Claire Danes.
- 2004 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Angels in America)
- 2006 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy (Weeds)
- 1990 - Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Prelude to a Kiss)
- 2005 - Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Reckless)