Sarah Jessica Parker (born March 25, 1965) is an American film, television, and theater actress and producer. She is best known for her leading role as Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO television series Sex and the City (1998–2004), for which she won four Golden Globe Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Emmy Awards. She played the same role in the 2008 feature film based on the show, Sex and the City: The Movie, and in its sequel, Sex and the City 2, which opened on May 26, 2010. Parker has also appeared in many other films, including Footloose (1984), L.A. Story (1991), Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), Hocus Pocus (1993), Mars Attacks! (1996), The Family Stone (2005), Failure to Launch (2006), Smart People (2008), and Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009). Sarah Jessica Parker was born in Nelsonville, Ohio, the daughter of Barbara Parker (née Keck), a nursery school operator and teacher, and Stephen Parker, an entrepreneur and journalist.
She was one of a total of eight children from her parents' marriage and her mother's second marriage (her full siblings include actors Timothy Britten Parker and Pippin Parker). After her parents' divorce, her mother married Paul Forste, a truck driver and account executive who was a part of Parker's life from an early age. Parker's father, a native of Brooklyn, was of Eastern European Jewish background; his family's original surname was "Bar-Kahn" ("son of Kohen"). Parker's mother was of English and German descent; through her mother, Parker is descended from Esther Elwell, one of the accused during the Salem witch trials. Parker has identified culturally and ethnically with her father's religion, Judaism, although she has had no religious training. She has said that even while her family lived in Cincinnati, her mother emulated a New York lifestyle. As a young girl, Parker trained in singing and ballet, and was soon cast in the Broadway revival of William Archibald's The Innocents. Her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and then to Dobbs Ferry, New York, near New York City, so that she could get specialized training. There, her mother and stepfather helped Parker develop her career as a child actress. In 1977, the family moved to the newly-opened planned community on Roosevelt Island, in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, and later to Manhattan.
The family later moved to Englewood, New Jersey, where Parker attended Dwight Morrow High School. Parker attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, the School of American Ballet in New York City, Dwight Morrow High School in New Jersey, and the Professional Children's School, Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, California. Parker and four siblings appeared in a production of The Sound of Music at the outdoor Municipal Theatre (Muny) in St. Louis, Missouri. She was selected for a role in the new 1977–81 Broadway musical Annie: first in the small role of "July" and then succeeding Andrea McArdle and Shelley Bruce in the lead role of the Depression-era orphan, beginning March 1979. Parker held the role for a year. In 1982, Parker was cast as the co-lead of the CBS sitcom Square Pegs. The show lasted just one season, but Parker's performance, as a shy teen who showed hidden depths, was critically well-received. In the three years that followed, she was cast in four films: the most significant being Footloose in 1984 and 1984's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, co-starring Helen Hunt. In 1986, Parker appeared in the cult classic Flight of the Navigator, a Disney science fiction film. By the early 1990s, Parker's career was gaining momentum.
In 1991, she appeared in a supporting role in the romantic comedy L.A. Story; both the movie and her performance garnered positive reviews. The following year, she landed a starring role in the well-received film Honeymoon in Vegas, co-starring Nicolas Cage. Her 1993 role in the film Hocus Pocus was a higher grosser at the box office but received negative reviews. Also in 1993, she starred as a police diver opposite Bruce Willis in the film Striking Distance. The following year, she appeared opposite Johnny Depp in the critically acclaimed movie Ed Wood as Wood's girlfriend Dolores Fuller. The film Miami Rhapsody, in 1995, was a romantic comedy in which she had a leading role. In 1996, she appeared in another Tim Burton-directed movie, Mars Attacks!, as well as in The First Wives Club and The Substance of Fire, in which she reprised her 1991 stage role. In 1997, she appeared as Francesca Lanfield, a washed-up former child actress, in the comedy Till There Was You. The script for an HBO drama/comedy series titled Sex and the City was sent to Parker. The show's creator, Darren Star, wanted her for his project. Despite some doubts about being cast in a long-term television series, Parker agreed to star. After five nominations, in 2004, Parker won an Emmy Award for her lead role. Parker said in 2006 that she "will never do a television show again".
After Sex and the City ended in 2004, rumors of a film version circulated. It was revealed that a script had been completed for such a project. At the time, Parker said such a film would likely never be made. Two years later, preparations were resumed, and the film was released on May 30, 2008. A sequel to the movie, Sex and the City 2, was released in 2010. In March 2005, Parker’s contract with the Gap ended, and was replaced with then 17-year old British soul singer Joss Stone. A rising star at the time, Stone’s replacing of Parker was a puzzling move to the public. The company then stated that “While Gap will always seek partnerships with celebrities, musicians and rising stars, we don’t have any future plans to sign a single person to a multi-season deal like the unique and special relationship we enjoyed with Sarah Jessica”. Parker released her own perfume in 2005, called "Lovely". In March 2007, Parker announced the launch of her own fashion line, "Bitten", in partnership with discount clothing chain Steve & Barry's. The line, featuring clothing items and accessories under $20, launched on June 7, 2007, exclusively at Steve and Barry's. In July 2007, following the success of "Lovely," Parker released her second fragrance "Covet." In 2007, Parker was a guest on Project Runway for the second challenge. In 2008, Covet Pure Bloom was released as continuous series of Covet.
In February 2009, as part of the "Lovely" collection, Parker launched a series of three new fragrances called "Dawn", "Endless" and "Twilight". On May 19, 1997, she married actor Matthew Broderick, to whom she was introduced by one of her brothers at the Naked Angels theater company, where they both performed. The couple married in a civil ceremony in a historic synagogue on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. The couple's son, James Wilkie Broderick, was born on October 28, 2002. He was named after Broderick's father, the actor James Joseph Broderick, and writer Wilkie Collins. Parker and Broderick's surrogate mother delivered their twin daughters, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge, on June 22, 2009. Their middle names of "Elwell" and "Hodge" are from Parker's mother's family. As of 2009, she lives in New York City with her husband, son, and daughters. They also spend considerable time at their second home near Kilcar, a village in County Donegal, Ireland, where Broderick spent summers as a child. Parker is a prominent member of the Hollywood's Women's Political Committee. She is UNICEF's Representative for the Performing Arts; in 2006, she traveled to Liberia as a UNICEF celebrity ambassador. She said, "It's a place that gets little or no attention, so we're going to try and bring some attention to it". She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the United States. Parker appeared in the premiere episode of the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? on March 5, 2010, where she discovered she had ancestors in the California Gold Rush of 1849-50 and in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
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