Molly Parker biography

Molly Parker

Date of Birth: June 30, 1972

Molly Parker was raised on a farm in picturesque Pitt Meadows, B.C., where her parents owned a retail seafood store and reveled in their kids, giving them unconditional support in whatever they wanted to do. At three, Molly started ballet and until she was 17, danced three times a week. Her schools included the Royal Winnipeg Ballet of Canada. At 14, she discovered her other passion: acting. Beginning with the usual fare - high school plays and drama club, by the time she was 15, her uncle, an actor, took her to his agency. She seldom worked at first, staying on only because going to auditions was fun. But over the next few years, she began to get small roles in television series and movies of the week, including American TV shows shot in Vancouver.

After high school, Molly cashed in her acting scholarships and bursaries and took a three-year course with Mel Austin Tuck at Vancouver's Gastown Actors' Studio. On the side, she took supplementary voice and singing lessons and began landing guest roles on TV series such as Neon Rider, Outer Limits and The Highlander.

When a cinematographer friend approached her about auditioning for a role in a new low-budget feature film he was working on, it set off a chain of events that changed her career. The film was Kissed, about a woman who is a necrophiliac. Intrigued, she agreed to meet with the director, Lynne Stopkewich. The two hit it off immediately and Molly read the script and was fascinated by the part. Accepting the role, she faced the daunting task of finding common ground with a person most of us would dismiss as sick.

Opening in 1996 at the Toronto Film Festival, Kissed earned a special jury citation and was picked up for distribution by Samuel Goldwyn Ltd. in the United States. Within days of its first showings, the actress was fielding offers from Hollywood agents. Molly landed on the cover of Variety, was snapped up by the powerful William Morris Agency in Los Angeles and won a best-actress Genie. 

Her performance in Kissed also attracted the attention of Egg Pictures, Jodie Foster's L.A. based production outfit, which led to a lead role in Waking The Dead, which Foster executive-produced. The dramatic love story from writer-director Keith Gordon co-starred Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly and Janet McTeer. Molly also filmed Sunshine with Ralph Fiennes, a drama about three generations of a Jewish family before the Holocaust; Ladies Room and The Five Senses.

In addition, Molly landed a recurring role on CBC's Twitch City, a quirky six-part sitcom created by Toronto writer-actor Don McKellar, following by a regular role on the HBO-TV series Deadwood, a western filmed in California.

The Canadian star has had continued success on the small screen over the past few years, earning a recurring role as Abby McDeere on The Firm, and as Jackie Sharp on the Emmy winning Netflix series House of Cards.

More recently she was seen on the Amazon Video series Goliath, as well as in the sci-fi flick Darwin (2016), the mystery thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax (2016), the political drama American Pastoral (2016), and the quirky drama Weirdos (2017), for which she received a Canadian Screen Award nomination.

Molly married director/writer/producer Matt Bissonnette in 20002, but the marriage ended in divorce in 2012. The two have a son, William Strummer Bissonette, born October 13, 2006.

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