Following her role as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker rose to fame. Parker had begun acting when she was just a teenager.
Today, the 56-year-old is happily married, has children, and has a very successful career. But what was it that made her life so inspiring and impressive?
Let’s find out how Sarah Jessica Parker got to where she is today.
Sarah Jessica Parker might be an uber-celebrity today, but when she grew up, having money to buy things wasn’t even an option.
On March 25, 1965, Sarah was born in Nelsonville, Ohio. She was the youngest of eight, and her parents divorced when she was young.
She was raised by her mother, Barbara, who soon after the divorce remarried a truck driver, Paul Forste. Her stepfather, however, was often out of work, and Barbara, who ran a nursing home, had to take care of the children herself. It was tough.
“The problem with talking about it is that people like to put a Dickensian twist on it as if I were an orphan,” she explained. “There were times when we didn’t have electricity because we didn’t pay the bill on time – we simply didn’t have the money that month – and sometimes we relied on the government for free lunches.”
“But my parents were very clever and industrious; culturally, our lives were very rich, even though, in practical ways, things were kind of a mess.”
Parker has no regrets and is grateful for her childhood since it gave her a strong work ethic.
“I’ve never borrowed a penny from anybody. I think it’s a real privilege to grow up the way I did, and I think my son’s strangely at a disadvantage because he’s a child of affluence, and he doesn’t know what that means,” she explained.
Sarah Jessica Parker wanted to help her mother support the family. From a young age, it was clear that she had a talent for performing, and she brought home paychecks by performing as both a dancer and singer.
At the age of eight, Parker got her first lead role in a production of The Little Match Girl.
In 1976, she was discovered and landed her first Broadway role in The Innocents.
Barbara moved to New Jersey to support Parker’s acting career as she became the family’s primary breadwinner.
Sarah was trained in both singing and ballet. She studied at the American Ballet School and the Professional Children’s School.
In 1979, Sarah Jessica Parker got her big breakthrough on Broadway, starring as the orphan in Annie. From there, Parker attended Dwight Morrow High School, and at the same time, she continued to star in several productions.
Sarah Jessica Parker pursued her acting career full-time when she graduated from high school. In 1982, she got her first big breakthrough on television when she starred in the sitcom Square Pegs. From there, Parker continued to star in several shows and films, and as the 1990s approached, she starred in more and more prominent films.
In 1991, she starred alongside Steve Martin in L.A. Story and the year after in Honeymoon in Vegas alongside Nicolas Cage. In 1994, Parker appeared in Tim Burton’s celebrated film Ed Wood.
After appearing in several other films, Sarah Jessica Parker got the part of a lifetime.
In 1998, the first episode of Sex and the City premiered, with Parker starring as Carrie Bradshaw. The show, which revolves around four friends in New York City, didn’t take long to prove itself as a cult classic.
Sex and the City aired for 98 episodes through 2004, and it turned Sarah Jessica Parker into an uber-celebrity. However, she nearly passed on the opportunity to star on the show.
“Darren Star reached out to me,” she recalled her agent telling her. “He’s written this pilot [“Sex and the City”] and tells me he wrote it with you in mind – you were in his head when he was writing it. I’m going to send it to you. I’ve read it. I think it’s really good. You should meet with him.”
“I said, ‘Really? I feel like I’ve got it all right now, I can do a play, then do a movie, then do a play, then do a movie,” she added. “There’s a lot of flexibility. What could be better? Do I really want to go back to making a television series when I’m maybe held hostage signing a long-term contract?’”
“I met with Darren, and there were a couple of concerns that I had – like I really wasn’t keen on doing nudity and language issues – but [agent] Kevin continued to say to me, ‘This is different. You have never done anything like this before. No one’s ever done a part like this. Do this.’”
Darren Star convinced Parker to do the show, which ended up being a critical decision in her career and later starred in the Sex and the City movie.
Sarah Jessica Parker is very wealthy and has a net worth of around $200 million.
“I want to be clear about what I’m about to say. Relative to the rest of the world, I’m extremely well paid. But I know that almost everybody who works in network television works much less than I do and makes much more. I own the show, so when it’s sold, there’s something in there for me. But I’ll never think I have money because I spent so many years without.
“I’ve been financially responsible for so many people for such a long time – my family – that it’s not enough to have money for myself. And it’s not about luxury. It’s about my mom’s house payments. And my father is about to be laid off on Monday,” she added.
In 1997, she married actor Matthew Broderick, and they have three children together.
The Parker family lives in New York City.
“I have a fantastic husband. Here’s the honeymoon part: I still think he’s the funniest, wittiest, most clever man I’ve ever known. He’s still the person who makes me laugh harder than anybody – and I still want him to laugh at me,” Sarah Jessica Parker told Oprah.
“A few times, I’ve said to him, ‘I’m not getting the big laughs from you today.’ It means something for him to laugh because he’s so bright. He’s from a world my mom held up as really desirable – that Philip Roth, super-literary world. His parents were very much a part of the intellectual art crowd. I think a lot about his career, and I worry about him. This guy’s got four movies coming out, and he’s about to go back in and save a Broadway show [at the time of the interview, he was returning to The Producers]. I think people need to know about that. Few people do what Matthew does.”
Sarah Jessica Parker has been praised for her appearance, especially her skin and glow.
However, whether she’s wearing makeup or not, she will always be a beauty icon.
“I’ve never thought a lot about [my attitude to beauty], to be honest,” she told Vogue. “It’s never been that I’m without vanity – because that would be total malarkey – but I sort of think that time moves along, you buy the things you like, you learn how to put your makeup on the way you feel comfortable, and that feels most like yourself.”