Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964) is an American actress and writer.
After making her stage debut as Rita in a Broadway production of Craig Lucas’s Prelude to a Kiss in 1990 (for which she received a Tony Award nomination), Parker came to prominence for film roles in Grand Canyon (1991), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), The Client (1994), Bullets over Broadway (1994), Boys on the Side (1995), The Portrait of a Lady (1996), and The Maker (1997). Among stage and independent film appearances thereafter, Parker received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Catherine Llewellyn in David Auburn’s Proof in 2001, among other accolades. Between 2001 and 2006, she recurred as Amy Gardner on the NBC television series The West Wing, for which she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2002.
After receiving both Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Harper Pitt on the acclaimed HBO television miniseries Angels in America in 2003, Parker went on to enjoy large success as Nancy Botwin, the lead role on the television series Weeds, which ran from 2005 to 2012 and for which she received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series between 2007 and 2009 and received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2006.
Her more recent film appearances have included roles in The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Red (2010), R.I.P.D. (2013), and Red 2 (2013), as well as continued stage and television appearances. Since 2007, Parker has contributed articles for Esquire magazine and published her memoir, Dear Mr. You, in 2015. In 2017, she starred as Roma Guy on the ABC television miniseries When We Rise. In March 2007, Parker played the lead role in the television film The Robber Bride. She then portrayed Zerelda Mimms in the Andrew Dominik film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which opened in cinemas in September 2007. Parker appeared alongside Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, and Garret Dillahunt. In August 2007, Parker continued her role in the third season of Weeds. Parker appeared in 2008’s The Spiderwick Chronicles and in Off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons production in the New York premiere of Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a new play by Sarah Ruhl, alongside Drama Desk Award winner Kathleen Chalfant. She filmed the Donna Vermeer film Les Passages alongside Julie Delpy. Following this, she returned to work on the fifth season of Weeds. Parker took the lead role in the Roundabout Theatre Broadway revival of the play Hedda Gabler, running from January through March 29, 2009. The play garnered a series of negative reviews. Parker starred opposite Bruce Willis in the film Red, an adaptation of the comic book miniseries of the same name. The film was released on October 15, 2010. In 2011, Parker became the host for the tenth season of the PBS documentary series Independent Lens. In 2013 she played roles in both Red 2 and R.I.P.D. She appeared in the Broadway Manhattan Theatre Club production of the play The Snow Geese by Sharr White at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre from October 24 through December 15, 2013. The play was directed by Daniel J. Sullivan and also starred Danny Burstein and Victoria Clark. Parker starred in the new play by Simon Stephens, Heisenberg, produced Off-Broadway by the Manhattan Theatre Club. The play, directed by Mark Brokaw, opened on June 2, 2015. The play extended its run, closing on July 11, 2015. The play transferred to Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with previews starting on September 20, 2016, officially opening on October 13, with Parker and Denis Arndt reprising their roles.