Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
Sex and the City
Currently Known For:
Actress, Producer, and Designer
1990s - Present
March 25, 1965
Sex and the City
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“I don’t judge others. I say if you feel good with what you’re doing, let your freak flag fly.” Sarah Jessica Parker is best known for her award-winning role as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City from 1998 to 2004 but that isn’t all she’s been up to in Hollywood since launching her career in the 1970s. She made her Broadway debut at 11 years old in the 1976 revival of The Innocents and later ventured into film with credits in Hocus Pocus (1993), The First Wives Club (!996), and The Family Stone (2005). Recently turning to television on hit series like Glee (2012) and Divorce (2016-Present), let’s take a closer look at the 54-year-old’s career, her feud with costar Kim Cattrall, and her life at home with husband Matthew Broderick and their three kids!
1960s to Stardom
Long before she walked the streets of New York City in sky-high stilettos and haute couture, Sarah Jessica Parker came into this world in small-town Nelsonville, Ohio on March 25, 1965. The daughter of a journalist and teacher, Parker was raised alongside her brother and sister, actors Timothy Britten Parker and Pippin Parker. After her parents divorced in 1969, Parker and her siblings moved in with their mother who remarried a truck driver and account executive. Over the next several years, her mother and stepfather added five more children to the family as they settled down in Cincinnati. “I wouldn’t change any of it, for anything,” Parker said of her childhood. “For the most part, we had everything we needed. Not always, but for the most part.”
Despite living in Cincinnati, Parker’s mother lived a New York lifestyle and exposed Parker and her children to the arts. The family eventually relocated to Dobbs Ferry, New York where Parker took singing and ballet classes at the School of American Ballet and the New York Professional Children’s School. Parker was a natural performer and made her stage debut in a production of The Sound of Music at the Municipal Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1976, her career took a new turn when she won a role in the Broadway revival of The Innocents.
Parker’s career flourished again in 1979 when she landed the starring role in the Broadway production of Annie. After the final curtain, she ventured into television and appeared in the short-lived comedy series, Square Pegs (1982). From there, she made her way to the silver screen with credits in Footloose (1984), Firstborn (1984), Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (1985), and Flight of the Navigator (1986). Throughout the mid-1980s, she returned to television with guest appearances in Hotel (1986), A Year in the Life (1987), American Playhouse (1989), and Twist of Fate (1989).
Even bigger opportunities were in store for Parker in the 1990s thanks to her critically praised performance in L.A. Story (1991). She joined Nicolas Cage in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) and Bette Midler in Hocus Pocus (1993). Throughout the rest of the decade, she worked alongside some of Hollywood’s hottest leading men like Bruce Willis in Striking Distance (1993) and Johnny Depp in Ed Wood (1994). She snagged credits in Mars Attacks! (1996), The First Wives Club (1996), and The Substance of Fire (1996) only to catch the biggest break of her career on television in 1996 when she was cast as Carrie Bradshaw on HBO’s newest romantic comedy drama, Sex and the City.
Initially hesitant to commit to a television series, Parker put her fears aside and made her debut alongside Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon on Sex and the City. Over the show’s six-season run, Parker and her costars became Hollywood’s hottest stars as the show took home seven Emmy Awards, eight Golden Globe Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. Winning an Emmy Award for her work on the series, Parker also became a fashion icon thanks to her character’s impeccable fashion sense.
Life After Sex and the City
Thanks to Sex and the City, the sky was the limit for Parker who continued acting in film with credits in Dudley Do Right (1999), State and Main (2000), and Life Without Dick (2001). After wrapping up Sex and the City in 2004, she joined an ensemble cast in The Family Stone (2005), Matthew McConaughey in Failure to Launch (2006), and Dennis Quaid in Smart People (2008). She made frequent guest appearances on television and ventured into business for herself in 2005 with the debut of her new perfume line, Lovely. Over the next four years, she added four fragrances to the line and even launched her own production company, Pretty Matches.
Parker reprised her role as Bradshaw in several Sex and the City films but not without some drama thanks to her ongoing feud with costar Kim Cattrall. In fact, their feud has eliminated any possibility of the stars reuniting for a Sex and the City 3 as Parker says, “It’s over. We’re not doing it… I’m disappointed. We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story.” So, what does that mean for Parker’s future?
Despite her ongoing and often confusing feud with Cattrall, the 54-year-old Parker refuses to dwell in the past. She released her SJP Collection footwear line in 2014, signed an endorsement deal with Jordache Jeans in 2015, and recently launched her SJP for Hogarth imprint with Crown Publishing Group. Of course, she hasn’t stopped there and continues to act with film credits in All Roads Lead to Rome (2016) and Here and Now (2018). On television, she made a special appearance in Glee (2012) and surprised fans in 2016 when she returned to television as Frances on the new HBO series, Divorce, which earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination.
Still on Divorce today, Parker has plenty to keep her busy in both her career and her life at home. After a seven-year relationship with Robert Downey Jr., Parker found love with actor Matthew Broderick in the late 1990s. They married in 1997 and started a family with the birth of their son, James Wilkie, in 2002. Twin daughters, Marion and Tabitha, were born in 2009 via surrogacy. So, how does she manage three children and a bustling career? “I don’t think anyone can afford to be lazy today,” Parker says. As one of the hardest-working and busiest women in Hollywood, we can’t argue with the Sex and the City star turned businesswoman!