Sarah Jessica Parker became a worldwide superstar following her role as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, which today is seen as a cult classic. But in fact, Parker had at that point already been acting for decades, as she went into the business in her early teenage years.
Today, the 56-year-old is happily married, has children, and has a very successful career. But what makes her life very inspiring and impressive is that she started from nothing.
So how did Sarah Jessica Parker get to the point where she is today? This is all you need to know about her!
Sarah Jessica Parker might be an uber-celebrity today, but when she grew up, having money to buy things wasn’t even an option.
Born on March 25, 1965, in Nelsonville, Ohio, Sarah Jessica Parker was the youngest of eight. She had three siblings and four half-siblings. When she was very young, Parker’s parents divorced.
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 told the Daily Mail. “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.”
Even though no children should live in poverty, it still happens. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of many who didn’t choose that start in her life. But when looking back, she says that she doesn’t regret it at all. On the contrary, Parker is grateful for her childhood since it gave her a 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.
“That is a great concern to me. I almost wish we could create a false universe for him – I know this is going to be misinterpreted across the world, but I think there is something good about not having much.”
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 singing.¨
At eight years of age, Parker got her first lead in a production of The Little Match Girl.
“I asked my mother if I could audition. So I went downtown to WLW-TV, which is our local NBC station, and stood in line and auditioned,” she said in an appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio.
“And I was eventually cast as The Little Match Girl, and, I think it shot, it was a sum total of five days, and I was paid $500. And the only rule was that they get me out in time to get to my ballet class.”
Soon, people working in the business discovered her, and in 1976 she got her first Broadway role in The Innocents.
From there, Sarah Jessica Parker’s career grew. Barbara and the family moved to New Jersey to support Parker’s acting career. It didn’t take long before she made a lot of money, and she became the family’s primary breadwinner.
Sarah Jessica Parker 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.