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Molly Parker Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (2)

Born in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Molly Parker, the extremely talented and versatile Canadian actress is best known in the United States for playing the Western widow "Alma Garret" on the cable-TV series Deadwood (2004). Raised on a commune, she described as "a hippie farm" in Pitt Meadows, B.C., Parker got the acting bug when she was 16 years old, after 13 years of ballet training. Parker's uncle was an actor, and his agent took her on as a client, enabling her to launch her career in small roles on Canadian television. She enrolled at Vancouver's Gastown Actors' Studio after she graduated from high school, and continued to act on TV in series and TV-movies while learning her craft at acting school.

Parker began attracting attention when she appeared as the daughter of a lesbian military officer in the TV-movie Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995). She earned a Gemini nomination (the Canadian TV industry's equivalent of the Emmy) for her performance in the TV-movie Paris or Somewhere (1994). However, it was her debut in theatrical films that gave her her big breakthrough, playing a necrophiliac in Lynne Stopkewich's 1996 film Kissed (1996). It was "Kissed" that set Molly's career into overdrive.

A friend got her an audition for the low-budget independent feature film, and she hit if off with the director, who not only cast her, but became her friend. As the character "Sandra Larson", a poetic soul obsessed with death who engages in sexual congress with a corpse, Parker created a sympathetic character in a difficult role. The film garnered her rave revues and she won a Genie Award, the Canadian cinema's Academy Award, for her performance. She parlayed the accolades into a sustained career on film and in TV.

On TV, Parker was part of the cast of CBC-TV's six-part sitcom Twitch City (1998), playing the girlfriend of Don McKellar, which enabled her to showcase her comedic skills. Other memorable TV roles was the female rabbi on Home Box Office's series Six Feet Under (2001) and, of course, the regular role on HBO's Deadwood (2004). She has appeared in many ambitious films, including Jeremy Podeswa's The Five Senses (1999), István Szabó's Sunshine (1999) and Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland (1999). She also re-teamed with director Lynne Stopkewich for Suspicious River (2000).

Parker made waves with another provocative film with sex as its subject, director Wayne Wang's The Center of the World (2001). In the movie, Parker played a San Francisco lap dancer who becomes a paid escort to a Silicon Valley nerd. For her performance, she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. In 2002, she was nominated twice as best supporting actress at the Genies for her roles in the British/Canadian co-production War Bride (2001) and Bruce Sweeney's Last Wedding (2001), winning for her appearance in the latter film.

Parker's reputation as an outstanding actress is based on her assaying of strong, yet flawed, definitely complex women in character-leads and supporting parts in challenging films. Not only does she convey intelligence, but there is an unconscious elegance to her, a true inner beauty that radiates on-screen. She will be gracing the screen, both large and small, with her unique presence for many years to come.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (1)

Matt Bissonnette (2002 - 2012) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (8)

Has a younger brother, Henry Parker.
Played the wife of her future brother-in-law, Joel Bissonnette, in Suspicious River (2000).
Studied ballet from the age of 3 through high school
Expecting first child in October 2006
Gave birth to son William Strummer Bissonette on 13 October 2006 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Co-starred with Callum Keith Rennie in Paris or Somewhere (1994), Twitch City (1998), Suspicious River (2000), Shattered (2010), and The Firm (2012).
Sister-in-law of Joel Bissonnette.
Appears (uncredited) in photographs as Nucky Thompson's late wife in Boardwalk Empire (2010).

Personal Quotes (3)

(2011, on Swingtown (2008)) Now, that's one project I really would've liked to have seen go on, because I loved doing it, and I also felt it was about to get really interesting. We've worked our way through the "to swing or not to swing" blah-blah-blah, and I think if that show would've been allowed to live, what it would've explored was the liberation, for lack of a better word, of both the women and the men. They were coming into their own. At its heart, that's really what that show was about. I think that's where it would've gone. There were ideas that she was going to go to college and end up at the same college as her daughter. There were many things about that show I loved. I'm interested in characters who go through some kind of rebirth, that we get to watch and see unfold. I think television, at its best, allows for that much more than film does. It's a longer format, more plot-heavy and character-based, and it allows for this unfolding of a life. I loved "Swingtown" for that. I thought it could have been wonderful. But y'know, it was just in the wrong place.
(2011, on Deadwood (2004)) We shot on this ranch where they shot High Noon (1952) and some Elvis Presley Western. Gene Autry's ranch. From where I live, I would take the 210, which is this freeway in the foothills above Los Angeles, and it's really, really beautiful, and pretty deserted. By the time you'd get to Santa Clarita, the studio itself was all that was there and, by the last season, we had four or five blocks of Deadwood built. Sometimes, I would go to work at 4 a.m. and it would be dark, and you would walk down the center of the street when nobody was around, and there were these white owls that lived up high in one of the sets, and they would be swooping around. You'd feel transported. And the costumes... our costume designer, Janie Bryant, who went on to do Mad Men (2007), it was her first big thing, and she was young, and so talented, and she made the most incredible costumes for me and for everyone. Plus, the guys were just filthy dirty all the time. The place smelled. We shot it in the summer, and we had real animals there every day. By the third season, that place stank. I was pregnant in the third season, so I have particularly strong memories of it, because when you're pregnant your sense of smell is exaggerated. Awful, just awful. So you could get a sense of being in the lawless place. In a corset.
[2011, on Trigger (2010)] It was a gift; just a gift. It was a profound experience. Hard to talk about, almost, without sounding reductive, because it was amazing, really sad, really moving. On a personal level, it offered me an opportunity to work with my friend, and this woman who I really admired and respected. I knew the whole time we were doing it that these were the last moments I would get to spend with her, so that brought a kind of present to the making of that movie. On a more personal, creative level, because we pushed the movie into production very quickly, knowing Tracy was sick-probably a year earlier than we had anticipated-we shot it in probably nine days, over five consecutive weekends, and it was sort of crazy. I've never made a film quite like that. I hadn't worked on that indie level in a long time. It was so great and so fun to be unconcerned with the outcome, but just to be able to be free. It was a real joy, on many levels.

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