Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker


8/2/1964, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, USA

Birth Name



Also Known As

Mary Louise Parker
  • Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin on We...
  • Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin on We...
  • Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin, Just...
  • Alexander Gould as Shane Botwin, Hunter ...
out of 10
User Rating
350 votes



Parker was born in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and remains the youngest child of an Army brat family. She grew up in places such as Arizona, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Germany and France while her father served in the US Army. She became interested in acting in high school…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Parker has Ophidiophobia or a fear of snakes.

    • She is a contributing writer for Esquire magazine.

    • Mary-Louise met her former flame Billy Crudup when the two appeared in the play "Bus Stop" in 1996.

    • In 1975, Mary-Louise landed her first professional acting role when she appeared on Ryan's Hope.

    • Mary-Louise's role on The West Wing was originally only supposed to be for one episode, but it turned into 23.

    • In early 2008, Mary-Louise was briefly engaged to her Weeds co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but they broke up a few months later. She briefly dated Academy Award winning actor Timothy Hutton.

    • The cast of Weeds teases Mary-Louise because even though she plays a pot dealer on the show, she has never smoked it in real life.

    • In 2008, Mary-Louise appeared in the play "Dead Man's Cellphone" after a four year absence from theater.

    • In the late 80's, Mary-Louise moved to New York and got a job measuring feet. She also worked as a waitress, telemarketer, and cashier before she made it as an actress.

    • Mary-Louise used to reside in New York City. She has been living in Los Angeles, California.

    • Mary-Louise graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts and majored in Acting. She was once suspended from the school for challenging the school's teachers.

    • Mary-Louise does not want to see the movie version of the Broadway production, Proof because she knows the story inside and out, and isn't interested in an alternate version.

    • Mary-Louise was offered the role of single mom Susan on the hit ABC show Desperate Housewives, but turned down the offer. The role eventually went to Teri Hatcher.

    • Mary-Louise enjoys meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and reading to relax in her free time.

    • She turned down the opportunity to be Shannen Doherty's replacement on Charmed.

    • Mary-Louise Parker organized and produced "Don't Pick the Wrong Fight," a series of public-service announcements promoting tolerance toward Arab-Americans in the wake of September 11.

    • She's part Swedish.

    • Mary-Louise is 5' 8" (1.73 m). She has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes.

    • Mary-Louise won a Golden Globe in competition with the four leading ladies of Desperate Housewives. She isn't the first woman to do beat out four leading ladies of a comedy series. In 1987, Cybill Shepherd won the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, beating out the 4 leading ladies of The Golden Girls.

    • Parker was listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1990" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 42. She placed No.12 among Entertainment Weekly's Comedy Hotties of 2009 (Women).

    • Parker was in the public service announcement for the "ONE" Campaign along with many other Hollywood celebrities.

    • Mary-Louise once dated the lead singer of the Counting Crows, Adam Duritz, who also dated Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox.

    • Parker won $1,000 from fellow West Wing star Janel Maloney when she won her Golden Globe for Angels in America; Janel dared Parker to thank her newborn son for the enhancement of her breasts and profile, which she did.

    • Mary-Louise received "Special Thanks" credits on the Wet Hot American Summer and Pieces of April, two films she wasn't in.

    • The Counting Crows song "Butterfly in Reverse" was written about her.

    • Parker was in the Bonnie Raitt video "You Got It."

    • Mary-Louise won the Tony award for her work on the play Proof, but her role in the film adaptation was given to Gwyneth Paltrow.

    • Awards:
      Emmy Award
      • Nominated for "Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series" for Weeds (2007, 2008, 2009)
      • Nominated for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie" for The Robber Bride (2007)
      • Won "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Mini-series or a Movie" for Angels in America (2004)
      • Nominated for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series" in The West Wing (2002)

      Golden Globe Award
      • Won "Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (Comedy or Musical)" for Weeds (2006)
      • Nominated for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (Comedy or Musical)" for Weeds (2007, 2008, 2009)
      • Won "Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television" for Angels in America (2004)

      Obie Award
      • Won "Best Performance" for How I Learned To Drive (1996)

      People's Choice Award
      • Nominated for "Favorite TV Drama Diva" for Weeds (2009)

      Screen Actors Guild Award
      • Nominated for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" for Weeds (2007, 2009)
      • Nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series" for Weeds (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
      • Nominated for "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries" for Angels in America (2004)
      • Nominated for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" for The West Wing (2003)

    • She received the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Obie Awards for her role in the Broadway play Proof.

    • She received a Tony® Award nomination for her performance in the Broadway play Reckless.

    • She was seven months pregnant with Billy Crudup's child when they spilt in November of 2003. Her son, William Atticus, was born on January 7, 2004. In 2007, she adopted a baby girl from Africa named Caroline Aberash Parker.

  • Quotes

    • Mary-Louise: (After winning her Golden Globe in 2006)I was really surprised. I thought Felicity Huffman would win. I think we're all desperate housewives. My character is just a little bit more desperate than theirs."

    • Mary-Louise: (On her show Weeds) I don't think it's that controversial. I'm really in favor of legalizing marijuana. I thought people would be more offended by [this series] than they are. I'm surprised they weren't.

    • Mary-Louise: (When asked whether she is an easy-going girlfriend) I actually think I'm pretty easy, because I've never been anybody to ask for anything. I've never been able to ask for anything... which... maybe is not very good.

    • Mary-Louise: (On her show Weeds) Dude, I'm naked every time I turn around on the show! I'm, like, "Hey, when do I get to wear clothes?" But I don't think of nudity as being outrageous.

    • Mary-Louise: (On whether she has any vices) I was fairly guileless when I was younger, but when you have two young kids, you have to redirect the monorail. So I'm pretty square.

    • Mary-Louise: (When asked what she would do if one of her kids wanted to be an actor) I would hope they would want to do theater. If one of my kids came to me and said, 'I want to be a movie star,' I would be, like, 'Go to your room.'

    • Mary-Louise: I'm really angry that someone who is a singer, or an athlete, or a politician, or a model -- whatever -- can turn around and [act] and it will be accepted... They can be an actor. No one blinks an eye!

    • Mary-Louise: (remaining tight-lipped on her split from Billy Crudup) I didn't comment on my personal life when everyone thought it was boring and now that it's exciting, I don't comment on it either.

    • Mary-Louise: (on her character on Weeds) My character is not always completely likeable but that's what I like about it. I just think she's somebody who's really repressed and damaged from something horrible that has happened to her, and this is how she's dealing with it.

    • Mary-Louise: I count my blessing every minute I get a chance... How did I get so lucky? I have a wonderful life! A son that I adore, a show that I get to meet people like Snoop Dogg on, that guy is a riot, he is great company.

    • Mary-Louise: I try to see the positive in everyday, to be a negative energy is just so draining on everyone. Pretty soon, no one wants to hang out, if you have too many hang-ups about the rotten parts of your day.

    • Mary-Louise: People say that you shouldn't judge, but I disagree. Without judgement we wouldn't have a set of what is right and what is good.

    • Mary-Louise: I thought I knew what love was, until I had this beautiful baby boy. That love is impenetrable, it is pure. Nothing can touch that. You can tell me things about myself and I may believe you to a point. If you try and tell me something about the way I feel about my son, it won't work. That love is so pure and it is so rare in this world.

    • Mary-Louise: I was devastated when I found out that my boyfriend was leaving me for another woman, I was seven months pregnant, for crying out loud! I was also devastated when I ran out of chocolate milk, things pass, life goes on.

    • Mary-Louise: (on her character on Weeds) If someone would have told me ten years ago, that I would be playing a soccer-mom and a drug dealer, and they would be the same person...I would of thought you were crazy. But here, I am, a soccer mom that deals marijuana to the town each week on television.