Parker was born in Nelsonville, Ohio to Stephen Parker,
American businessman, and Barbara. Her parents divorced early on
in Parker's life and her mother remarried Paul Forste, a truck
driver. Parker grew up with her mother, stepfather and seven
siblings. As a young girl, she trained in singing and ballet,
soon being cast in the Broadway production of The Innocents. Her
family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and then to Dobbs Ferry, New
York, near New York City, where Parker was developing 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 proper; her
parents later moved to Englewood, New Jersey where she attended
Dwight Morrow High School.
Sarah Jessica Parker attended the American Ballet School and the Professional Children's School, and later Dwight Morrow High School. She and four siblings appeared in a revival of The Sound of Music, and Parker went on to 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 as the plucky Depression-era orphan, for a year beginning March 6, 1979.
In 1982, Sarah Parker was cast in the co-lead role of the CBS-TV sitcom Square Pegs. The show lasted only one season before being cancelled by the network, but Parker's performance was critically well received. In the two years that followed, she was cast in four films - the most significant of those being Footloose in 1984. Also that year, she become romantically involved with actor Robert Downey Jr., whom she met on the set of Firstborn and with whom she lived through 1991; during their relationship, Downey, Jr. had a drug problem, and Parker has commented that she thought that she was "the person holding him together".
By the early 1990s, Sarah Jessica 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 some positive reviews. The following year she landed an important starring role in the well-received film, Honeymoon in Vegas, co-starring Nicolas Cage. Her 1993 starring role in the film Hocus Pocus was a higher grosser at the box office but received negative reviews. She next appeared opposite Johnny Depp in the critically acclaimed movie Ed Wood. The film Miami Rhapsody, in 1995, saw her back on familiar territory with more romantic comedy material and a leading role. She appeared in another Tim Burton-directed movie, Mars Attacks!, which was one of her five film roles in 1996.
After a quiet 1997, the script for an HBO drama/comedy series titled S-- and the City had been sent to Parker and the show's creator Darren Star was determined that she be cast in his project. Despite some early doubts about being cast in a long-term television series, Parker agreed to star.
The first season of the show proved to be an instant success, elevating Parker to a higher status. Despite the shows increasingly raunchy storylines, Sarah Jessica Parker retained the strict no-nudity clause of her contract throughout the show's six-season run. In 2004, Parker won an Emmy award for her lead role (after five consecutive losses). Many gambling and betting establishments stopped taking bets on her Emmy victory, because it was so widely predicted that she would win. Parker has since stated that she will "never do a television show again", although she will co-executive produce a new HBO series based on Washingtonienne, but will not star in it. After S-- and the City ended in 2004, rumors of a film version circulated and it has since been revealed that a script had been completed for such a project. However, Parker has commented that it will likely never be made. In addition to work in movie and television, she is also a respected stage actor, having appeared in well-reviewed lead roles in the off-Broadway play Sylvia, alongside husband Matthew Broderick in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and the Tony Award-nominated Once Upon A Matress, as Princess Winifred the Woebegone.
In December 2005, Sarah Jessica Parker appeared in her first theatrical film in several years, The Family Stone; she received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress - Comedy for the role. Her next film, the romantic comedy Failure to Launch, co-starring Matthew McConaughey, was released on March 10, 2006 and opened at #1 in the North American box office, grossing slightly over $24 million, despite mediocre reviews. Parker's work as a Producer continues, with the independent film Spinning Into Butter, based on the Rebecca Gilman play scheduled for a 2006 release which she will also star in. Her latest confirmed project is Slammer, a prison-themed musical comedy to be directed by Adam Shankman and released in 2007. The role as imprisoned publicist who stages an all-inmate musical will give Parker the opportunity to revisit her musical roots which have yet to be explored in her film and television work.
Parker has become very influential in the world of fashion; she is considered one of the more stylish celebrities and has been recognized as "Best Dressed" in certain magazines. She has become a fashion designer's dream, as one of the world's most stylish and adored women. In 2000, she hosted the MTV Movie Awards and appeared in no less than 15 different costumes throughout the show.
Sarah Jessica has also become the face of many of the world's biggest fashion brands through her work in a variety of advertising campaigns. In August 2003, Parker signed a highly lucrative deal with Nutrisse Hair Products to appear in television and print advertising. In 2004, she fronted an international campaign by GAP but her contract with the clothing giant was suddenly terminated in Spring of 2005 in favor of british soul singer Joss Stone. A friend of Parker commented to the press that "Sarah's spring campaign for Gap has only just started and she feels the announcement of her replacement in the same week that the new ads are appearing is a bit of a snub". In addition to her advertising work, Parker released her own fragrance in 2005 called Lovely. According to industry experts, it has become one of the most successful celebrity driven scents available.
As Sarah Jessica Parker career continued to blossom into the 1990s, she met journalist John Kennedy Jr. and dated him for several months. She was also romantically linked to singer/songwriter Joshua Kadison in the early 90's, who described their tumultuous relationship and their cat 'Moses' in the song "Jessie"; from the album "Painted Desert Serenade". In May 1997, she married actor Matthew Broderick, to whom she was introduced by her brother. The couple were married in a civil ceremony in a historic synagogue that is no longer used as a house of worship; both Parker and Broderick consider themselves "culturally Jewish". Parker and Broderick's first child, James Wilke Broderick, was born on October 28, 2002. They spend a considerable amount of time at their holiday home in County Donegal, Ireland. Parker is a prominent member of the Hollywood's Women's Political Committee and is UNICEF's Representative for the Performing Arts; in the course of 2006, she will travel to Liberia as a Unicef celebrity ambassador, and has commented that "It's a place that gets little or no attention, so we're going to try and bring some attention to it."As of 2006, she lives in New York City with her husband and son.
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