Mary-Louise Parker was born on August 2, 1964 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She is the youngest of her siblings.
Parker attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she majored in drama. One of her very first roles was a small part on the daytime drama, Ryan’s Hope
. She moved to New York to find more acting work, nabbing a few parts in theater work where she was fairly successful. Film roles soon followed, and she was cast in Grand Canyon
(1991), and Fried Green Tomatoes
(1991). She continued to work steadily in theater and films throughout the 1990s, beloved by critics, though not a huge household name.
Parker’s first notable television job was a guest part on the NBC drama, The West Wing
, which soon became a recurring role. She was nominated for both an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild award for the role. In 2003 she appeared in the HBO miniseries, Angels in America
, and she earned a Golden Globe and an Emmy award for "Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries" for her work. Most recently, she has been starring in the the drama/comedy series, Weeds
, on Showtime.
Though she has never married, Parker has been linked to some famous men. She dated actor Timothy Hutton
in the early 1990s. She became romantically involved with actor Billy Crudup
in 1996, and gave birth to his son in 2004, though the couple split up during her pregnancy.