Born March 25, 1965 (age 50)
Nelsonville, Ohio, United States
Occupation Actress, producer, designer
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) Matthew Broderick (m. 1997)
Timothy Britten Parker (brother)
Pippin Parker (brother)
Sarah Jessica Parker (born March 25, 1965) is an American actress, producer, and designer. She is best known for her leading role as Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO television series Sex and the City (1998–2004). She was also an executive producer on the show, and won two Emmy Awards, for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2001 and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2004.
Parker made her Broadway debut in 1976 aged 11, in the revival of The Innocents, before going on to star in the title role of the Broadway musical Annie in 1979. She then appeared in the 1984 films Footloose and Firstborn. She returned to Broadway in the 1989 play The Heidi Chronicles.
Her other film roles include L.A. Story (1991), Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), Hocus Pocus (1993), Ed Wood (1994), The First Wives Club (1996), The Family Stone (2005) and Failure to Launch (2006). In addition to her two Emmy wins, she also won four Golden Globe Awards and three Screen Actors Guild Awards for Sex and the City. She reprised her role of Carrie Bradshaw in the films Sex and the City: The Movie (2008) and Sex and the City 2 (2010).
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 German, and some English, descent; through her mother, Parker is descended from Esther Elwell, one of the accused during the Salem witch trials. Parker has identified culturally 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 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 of American Ballet in New York City, the New York Professional Children’s School, the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, and Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, California.
Parker was romantically involved with actor Robert Downey, Jr. from 1984 until 1991. They met on the set of Firstborn. Downey had a drug problem, which affected their relationship. Parker has said, “I believed I was the person holding him together.” She later briefly dated John F. Kennedy Jr. before meeting and eventually marrying Matthew Broderick.
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 in 2002. Parker and Broderick’s twin daughters, Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge, were delivered via surrogate in June 2009. Their middle names of “Elwell” and “Hodge” are from Parker’s mother’s family, which she discovered while researching her ancestry for the first episode of Who Do You Think You Are? 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. According to a March 2013 interview with the Net-a-Porter online magazine The Edit: “Parker runs her own production company, is on the board of The New York City Ballet, is a UNICEF Ambassador and fundraises for New York schools.”
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 involved in the California Gold Rush of 1849–50 and in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.