Mary-Louise Parker was born on August 2, 1964 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Mary majored in drama at the North Carolina School of the Arts. After a small role on the soap opera Ryan's Hope and some off-Broadway productions, the actress made her Broadway debut in Prelude to a Kiss in 1990, winning her a Theater World Award and earing her a Tony nomination. Her first big screen attention came with the film adaptation of the play Longtime Companion, one of the first films to deal with the AIDS virus. In 1991, Mary co-starred with Mary Stuart Masterson and Jessica Tandy in the box-office hit Fried Green Tomatoes, which led Mary to roles in such high-profile films as The Client, Bullets Over Broadway and Boys on the Side. In the late 1990s, she returned to the theater and starred in a number of plays. Her role in 2001's Proof won her a Tony award. After losing out on the opportunity to take her role in Proof to the big screen, Mary looked outside of the theater for new projects and took a supporting role in Red Dragon and a recurring guest role on The West Wing, which earned her Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. She won an Emmy for her work in the HBO miniseries Angels in America in 2004. In 2005, Mary signed on for the role that keeps audiences talking about her to this day, 'Nancy Botwin' on the Showtime series Weeds. In her role as a single mom who sells marijuana to make ends meet, Mary has garnered critical acclaim, including an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe award. In addition to her work on Weeds, Mary continues to act on the stage and in 2007 co-starred with Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
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