Mary-Louise Parker, who currently heats up Showtime as Nancy Botwin, the drug-dealing mom at the focus at the heart of the acclaimed series “Weeds,” has had an illustrious career on stage, and on screens big and small. With her soulful eyes, delicate figure, and pouty lips, Mary-Louise Parker has earned a devoted following for her beauty alone. However, many Mary-Louise Parker fans are as drawn to her for her uninhibited and expressive presence, her intelligence, and her consistently impressive talent and versatility. From her work on the classic ’70s soap opera “Ryan’s Hope” to award-winning turns on the Broadway stage to her recent success on “Weeds,” Mary-Louise Parker has proved fascinating at every step of the way. These ten facts about the personal life and career of the actress Mary-Louise Parker show just how unique this small-screen siren is.
1. Mary-Louise Parker was on the acting track from an early age. She showed enormous potential, winning stage roles during her teenage years, and gained acceptance at the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts. To nobody’s surprise, she majored in acting.
2. Mary-Louise Parker landed her first major acting role in 1975, when she was cast in the TV soap opera “Ryan’s Hope” fresh out of school.
3. Mary-Louise Parker was romantically linked to actor Billy Crudup (Waking The Dead) for several years. The couple met when they performed opposite each other in a 1996 NYC stage production of William Inge’s “Bus Stop,” and lived together in a Manhattan Apartment until they parted ways in 2003, just before the birth of their child, William Atticus. According to rumors, Crudup had begun seeing the actress Claire Danes on the side, so Parker opted for a split.
4. Her relationship with Crudup wasn’t the first time Mary-Louise Parker had fallen for a co-star. She dated the actor Timothy Hutton for several years. The couple met when played opposite each other in Parker’s 1990 Broadway debut, the Craig Lucas play “Prelude to a Kiss.”
5. Mary-Louise Parker won the 2001 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her work in the drama “Proof.” However, when Hollywood decided to take a jump at adapting the play to the big screen, she lost her role to Gwyneth Paltrow.
6. “Proof” wasn’t the first time Mary-Louise Parker originated a major stage role to critical and popular acclaim, and then got passed over by Hollywood when the role was cast for film. She was considered for the lead in the film of “Prelude To A Kiss” almost a decade earlier, but the studio chose Meg Ryan instead.
7. In 2003, Mary-Louise Parker swept up a Golden Globe and a Best Supporting Actress Emmy award for her portrayal of Harper Pitt in the miniseries “Angels In America,” based on the play by Tony Kushner. In a reversal of the usual pattern, Parker appeared in a major role onscreen that had first been performed by another actress onstage! The role was created on Broadway by Marcia Gay Harden.
8. Mary-Louise Parker has proven very selective about her television roles; she was offered the chance to replace Shannen Doherty on the long-running supernatural series “Charmed,” but turned it down. The part went to actress Rose McGowan, and Mary-Louise Parker went on to take a recurring guest role on “The West Wing” as activist Amy Gardner.
9. Marc Cherry, the creator of the TV smash “Desperate Housewives,” offered Mary-Louise Parker the lead role of Susan on the show. She turned him down, and he chose Teri Hatcher to fill her shoes. In 2006, Mary-Louise Parker beat out all four of the lead actresses on “Desperate Housewives” and took the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a TV Comedy for her work on “Weeds.”
10. Mary-Louise Parker has at least one thing in common with her character on “Weeds.” Parker has publicly stated that she is in favor of legalizing marijuana, adding “I don’t think it’s that controversial.”