Mary Louise Parker, 57, is a highly successful actress and Broadway star. First landing a small role on a television series in 1975, Mary’s career really kicked off after her Broadway debut as Rita in Craig Lucas’ Prelude to a Kiss in 1990. From there she went on to star in an impressive list of projects, such as the films Grand Canyon and Fried Green Tomatoes, both from 1991, the hit television series The West Wing, between 2001 and 2006, and the Showtime comedy-drama Weeds, between 2005 and 2012. In addition, she has been cast in 12 Broadway shows, her most recent being 2022’s How I Learned To Drive. Even more impressively, Mary holds two Golden Globes to her name and five nominations, an Emmy, and two Tony Awards.
Despite her illustrious career, Mary said her favorite role is that of Mom. At the 2009 5th Annual Worldwide Orphans benefit gala in New York City, she gushed that “becoming a mom is the best thing that’s happened” to her, per People. Mary has two kids: son William Atticus Crudup, 18, and daughter Caroline Aberash Parker, 15. Read on to learn about her two kids below.
William Atticus Crudup
William is the son of Mary and her ex-boyfriend, actor Billy Crudup. Will was born in 2004 and he is named after his father and Atticus Finch, the civil rights lawyer from the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird. “I just want him to be happy and kind, that’s why I gave him that middle name,” Mary told the Daily Mail in 2007.
Caroline Aberash Parker
Mary adopted Caroline from Ethiopia in 2007, four years after she and Billy split. In a 2009 interview, she said adopting her was an easy decision. “Some people are drawn to do it, and I felt like if I don’t do it now, I’m going to regret it my whole life so I just went ahead and did it,” she told OK! magazine (via People). She also said the transition was no problem for William, who was 5 years old when he met his baby sister. “They’re brother and sister. They’ve always been brother and sister,” she sweetly noted.
Caroline seems to be interested in her mother’s work, as Mary once said she kindly tried to help her when she was writing her debut book, Dear Mr. You. “When I was writing this, my daughter used to watch me hit word count to see how many words I had. And she asked, ‘What are you doing?’ And I said, ‘Checking to see how many words I have.’ ‘How many do you need?’ And I said, ‘Well, I’ll probably end up with this many,’” the award-winning actress recalled to Salon. “And she asked if I had to have that many words. And I said, ‘Yes.’ And I kept writing. And an hour later, she came in. She had pieces of white paper and said, ‘I brought some words for you, Mommy.’”
Both of Mary’s children grew up far away from the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been by their mother’s side. In fact, she revealed in May 2022 that her kids were the driving forces behind her positivity as she waited for Broadway to make its triumphant return following the Covid-19 pandemic. “Sometimes it’s performative for your kids, you have to be a little bit hopeful and try to be creative. We put on plays, my kids and I, and we did [it] with their friends in other places and tried to write things and just connect in whatever way,” she recalled to People. At the time of the interview, she was nominated for a Tony Award for the revival of “How I Learned to Drive”.