Molly Parker
Parker looking to the side
Parker at the 2018 WonderCon
Born (1972-06-30) June 30, 1972 (age 51)
  • Actress
  • writer
  • director
Years active1991–present
SpouseMatt Bissonnette (m. 2002; div. 2016)
AwardsFull list

Molly Parker (born June 30, 1972) is a Canadian actress, writer, and director. She garnered critical attention for her portrayal of a necrophiliac medical student in the controversial drama Kissed (1996). She subsequently starred in the television thriller Intensity (1997) before landing her first major American film role in the drama Waking the Dead (2000). She gained further notice for her role as a Las Vegas escort in the drama The Center of the World (2001), for which she was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead.

In the early 2000s, Parker had lead roles in several films, including Max (2002), Pure (2002), and Nine Lives (2005). Beginning in 2004, she starred as Alma Garret on the HBO Western series Deadwood, appearing in all three seasons. She subsequently appeared in the post-apocalyptic thriller The Road (2009), and the independent drama Trigger (2010). In 2011, she appeared as a recurring guest star in the sixth season of Dexter, before being cast as politician Jacqueline Sharp on the Netflix series House of Cards in 2014. The role earned Parker a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

Her subsequent film roles include the drama American Pastoral (2016) and two Netflix-produced features: the crime drama Small Crimes, and the Stephen King adaptation 1922 (both 2017). She also starred in Errol Morris's docudrama miniseries Wormwood. From 2018 to 2021, she starred as Maureen Robinson in Lost in Space, a Netflix-produced remake of the 1965 TV series.


1972-1990: Early life

Parker was born 30 June 1972[1] in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, a suburb of Vancouver, and spent her childhood on a farm in Pitt Meadows.[2] She has one younger brother, Henry.[3] Parker's parents, whom she has described as "hippies," operated a seafood store.[4] Parker trained in ballet from ages 3 to 17, and spent three years performing with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company.[4]

She began acting in local productions at age 14.[4] Her uncle's agent represented her early in her career, when she had parts in various Canadian television roles before studying with Vancouver's Gastown Actors' Studio.[5]

1991-2001: Early work and breakthrough

In 1993, she had a supporting role in the Corey Haim-led teen comedy Just One of the Girls.[6] She also appeared in the television thriller film The Substitute, in a supporting role.[7] Parker portrayed Alice Ramsey in "The Wrath of Kali" (1995), a fourth-season episode of Highlander: The Series. She played the daughter of Margarethe Cammermeyer, a lesbian military officer, in the television film Serving in Silence (1995), opposite Glenn Close and Judy Davis.[4] She also appeared in a minor role as a nurse in the Western Last of the Dogmen (1995),[8] as well as the Lifetime holiday television film Ebbie (also 1995) playing the niece (and sister) of Susan Lucci's Scrooge character, in a modern retelling of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.[9] She then won a Gemini Award nomination for her performance in the Canadian television film Paris or Somewhere.[10][11] The following year, Parker had her breakthrough portraying a necrophiliac medical student in Lynne Stopkewich's controversial film Kissed (1996).[4] The film saw Parker win the Genie Award for Best Actress that year.[4] Also in 1996, Parker appeared in an episode of the Canadian horror series Poltergeist: The Legacy, as well as Bruce McDonald's independent film Hard Core Logo, in which she portrayed an aspiring actress.[12] In 1997, Parker starred as Chyna Shepard, a kidnap victim, in the television horror-thriller film Intensity, an adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel.[13]

Beginning in 1998, she was cast in the surrealist Canadian sitcom Twitch City, which aired for two seasons.[14] She subsequently appeared as a pregnant woman in Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland (1999), and in the historical drama Sunshine (also 1999), playing a Hungarian Jew during World War II.[4] She also co-starred with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Nastassja Kinski in the Canadian-British thriller film The Intruder, about a woman who murders her husband's lover.[15]

Parker's first major American film was the drama Waking the Dead (2000), in which she co-starred with Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly, playing the socialite girlfriend of a political candidate.[4] The same year, Parker reunited with Lynne Stopkewich for the drama Suspicious River (2000) in which she portrayed a rape victim.[16] For her performance, Parker was nominated for a Leo-Award for Best Actress. She also starred in The War Bride (2001), which earned her a Genie Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The same year, Parker appeared in the low-budget independent film The Center of the World, directed by Wayne Wang, in which she starred as a stripper who accompanies a man (played by Peter Sarsgaard) on a weekend in Las Vegas for $10,000. Parker gained critical notice for the film, earning an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.[17]

2002-2009: Mainstream-success

In 2002, Parker appeared opposite Keira Knightley in the drama film Pure, portraying a mother suffering from heroin addiction.[4] The same year, she had a supporting role in the thriller Max, starring John Cusack and Noah Taylor,[18] and also guest-starred in two episodes of the HBO series Six Feet Under, playing a rabbi. Also in 2002, Parker married her first husband, writer and director Matthew Bissonette,[19] and was one of the executive producers of his debut feature film Looking for Leonard.[20]

Parker starred opposite Christian Slater in the drama The Good Shepherd (2004).[21] Derek Elley of Variety praised the performances, writing: "Slater and Parker make a sharp pair of leads, each handling their dialogue with crisp efficiency."[21] The same year, she starred in the historical drama Iron Jawed Angels, opposite Hilary Swank and Frances O'Connor, which charts the lives of several suffragists, including Alice Paul and Lucy Burns.[22]

Also in 2004, she was cast in the leading role of Alma Garret, a widow in 1870s South Dakota, on the HBO Western series Deadwood. Parker portrayed the role for the series' three seasons, which saw a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Ensemble in 2007.[23] In October 2006, during the airing of Deadwood's final season, Parker gave birth to her first child, a son, William, in Los Angeles.[24] During her tenure on Deadwood, Parker also worked in film, appearing in the drama Nine Lives (2005), an anthology film in which she starred opposite Holly Hunter, Stephen Dillane, and Jason Isaacs in a short about a feuding couple.[25]

The following year, she appeared as a cultist in Neil LaBute's remake of The Wicker Man (2006).[14] She also appeared in a supporting part in the period drama Hollywoodland,[26] and the comedic drama Who Loves the Sun (also 2006), the latter of which was directed by Parker's then-husband, Matthew Bissonnette.[27]

In 2008, Parker starred in the CBS show Swingtown, a 1970s-set relationship drama, which aired for one season. The following year, she guest-starred in one episode of Party Down,[28] and subsequently appeared in a supporting role in the post-apocalyptic thriller The Road, playing a woman trying to survive after an apocalyptic event.[29] In 2009, Parker separated from her husband, Bissonnette and later divorced.[19]

2010-present: Television and other projects

Parker at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival

In 2010, Parker starred in the Canadian police procedural Shattered, which also aired for a single season, and had a lead role in the independent drama Trigger, opposite Tracy Wright, in her final film appearance before her death.[30] The following year, she had a guest-starring role on several episodes of the sixth season of the Showtime series Dexter. Parker followed this with more television work, starring as Abby McDeere on the thriller series The Firm (2012), an adaptation of the John Grisham 1991 novel and its 1993 film adaptation.[31] Parker also appeared as Pauline Pfeiffer, second wife of Ernest Hemingway, in the Philip Kaufman-directed HBO television film Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012), starring opposite Clive Owen (as Hemingway) and Nicole Kidman (as Martha Gellhorn).[32]

In 2014, she appeared as Congresswoman Jacqueline Sharp in the second season of the Netflix series House of Cards. Parker continued in the role in seasons 3 and 4. For her performance in the fourth season, Parker was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. In early 2015, Parker appeared in a Toronto stage production of the Simon Stephens play Harper Regan.[33] Parker was subsequently cast alongside Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, and Aaron Paul in the supernatural thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax (2016), directed by Alexandre Aja.[34] Also in 2016, Parker co-starred in the Amazon Studios legal series Goliath, as well as Bruce McDonald's independent drama film Weirdos, for which she won the Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also had a supporting role as a therapist in Ewan McGregor's American Pastoral, based on the 1997 Philip Roth novel of the same name. In October 2016, Parker divorced her husband, Bissonnete, after a protracted seven-year-separation.[19]

In 2017, Parker appeared in three productions for Netflix: First, she starred opposite Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gary Cole in the crime film Small Crimes (2017), playing a nurse who becomes romantically involved with a former police officer. She also starred in the horror film 1922, a film adaptation of the Stephen King novella of the same name, playing the wife of a farmer in 1920s Nebraska; this was followed with a lead role in Errol Morris's miniseries Wormwood, based on the life of scientist Frank Olson. The same year, Parker made her debut as a director and writer with the short film Birds, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, where it competed for the festival's Short Cuts award.[35]

She co-starred in Josephine Decker's 2018 feature film Madeline's Madeline.[36] Beginning in 2018, Parker appeared as Maureen Robinson in Lost in Space, the Netflix remake of the 1965 TV series.[37][38] Parker reprised her role of Alma Garret for the HBO television film Deadwood: The Movie, released in May 2019. In March 2021, it was announced that she would be playing Mrs. Darling in Disney+'s Peter Pan & Wendy.[39]


Main article: List of Molly Parker performances


Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Molly Parker


  1. ^ "Celebrity birthdays for the week of June 30–July 6". Associated Press News. 24 June 2019. Archived from the original on 20 October 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  2. ^ Schneller, Johanna (14 February 2014). "Hillary Clinton + Lady Macbeth = Molly Parker on House of Cards". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  3. ^ Gee, Dana (10 April 2018). "Molly Parker gets Lost in Space for new Vancouver-shot Netflix series". Vancouver Sun. Vancouver, British Columbia. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Solski 2009, p. 23.
  5. ^ "Molly Parker biodata". Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  6. ^ Everett, Todd (13 September 1993). "Fox Night at the Movies Just One of the Girls". Variety. Archived from the original on 30 April 2019.
  7. ^ Everett, Todd (22 September 1993). "Review: 'Usa World Premiere Movie the Substitute'". Variety. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Molly Parker Filmography". AllMovie. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  9. ^ Heffley, Lynne (4 December 1995). "TV REVIEW : 'Ebbie' a Nice Twist on the Dickens Classic". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Archived from the original on 20 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Special Report: Gemini Nominees: Who's nominated". 12 February 1996. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  11. ^ Pratley 2003, p. 166.
  12. ^ "Molly Parker". Film Review. London: Orpheus Pub. 2003. p. 460. ISSN 0957-1809.
  13. ^ James, Caryn (5 August 1997). "Don't Go in the House! Really, Don't!". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017.
  14. ^ a b Murray, Noel (23 November 2011). "Molly Parker". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 21 October 2019.
  15. ^ Nesselson, Lisa (25 October 1999). "Review: 'The Intruder'". Variety. Archived from the original on 7 June 2019.
  16. ^ Pratley 2003, p. 211.
  17. ^ Munoz, Lorenza (9 January 2002). "Spirit Awards tilt toward true independence". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Archived from the original on 23 July 2017.
  18. ^ Pratley 2003, p. 140.
  19. ^ a b c Furdyk, Brent (29 October 2016). "Molly Parker And Husband File For Divorce – 7 Years After Separating". Entertainment Tonight Canada. Archived from the original on 28 March 2017.
  20. ^ David Spaner, "Molly relishes producing role: Parker behind and in front of the camera for latest film, Looking for Leonard". The Province, 29 November 2002.
  21. ^ a b Elley, Derek (27 September 2004). "The Good Shepherd". Variety. Archived from the original on 21 October 2019.
  22. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (13 February 2004). "TV Weekend; Determined Women, Finding Their Voice". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 15 September 2018.
  23. ^ "13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Archived from the original on 15 July 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  24. ^ Gee, Alison (20 October 2006). "Deadwood's Molly Parker Has a Boy". People. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017.
  25. ^ Wilmington, Michael (28 October 2005). "'Nine Lives' strengthened by overlapping themes". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Archived from the original on 21 October 2019.
  26. ^ McCarthy, Todd (17 August 2006). "Review: 'Hollywoodland'". Variety. Archived from the original on 13 June 2017.
  27. ^ Schaefer, Glenn (6 April 2007). "The jolly miss Molly?". The Province. Vancouver, British Columbia. Retrieved 21 October 2019 – via PressReader.
  28. ^ "Molly Parker Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  29. ^ Scott, A. O. (25 November 2009). "Father and Son Bond in Gloomy Aftermath of Disaster". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 October 2019.
  30. ^ Kirkland, Bruce (30 September 2010). "McDonald's 'Trigger' profound". Toronto Sun. Toronto, Ontario. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.
  31. ^ Seidman, Robert. "Molly Parker ('Deadwood,' 'Swingtown') Joins Cast of NBC's New Legal Drama 'The Firm'". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  32. ^ Wolcott, James (3 June 2012). "No Time for Tulips: On Hemingway & Gellhorn". Vanity Fair.
  33. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (5 January 2015). "Molly Parker to star in Harper Regan for Canadian Stage". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 20 October 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  34. ^ "Oliver Platt, Molly Parker, Barbara Hershey & Aiden Longworth Round Out 'The 9th Life of Louis Drax'". Deadline. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  35. ^ Anderson, Jason (9 August 2017). "TIFF '17's Short Cuts: Big Films in Small Packages". Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019.
  36. ^ Ebiri, Bilge (28 January 2018). ""Madeline's Madeline": The Best Film I Saw at Sundance". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018.
  37. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (28 September 2016). "'Lost In Space': Molly Parker To Star In Netflix Series Remake". Deadline Hollywood.
  38. ^ "Netflix's Lost in Space reboot begins streaming on April 13th". The Verge. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  39. ^ Erao, Math (16 March 2021). "Peter Pan & Wendy Begins Production, Adds Alan Tudyk & More to Cast".