Canadian actress Molly Parker has developed a reputation as a gifted and versatile performer, thanks in part to her willingness to take on challenging, offbeat, and sometimes controversial roles. Born in 1972 in Maple Ridge, British Columbia (a town just outside Vancouver), Parker studied dance before developing an interest in acting. She was in her late teens when she began her screen career, appearing in small roles in television projects and low-budget theatrical films being shown in Vancouver, including three episodes of the TV series Neon Rider, the made-for-TV movie My Son, Johnny, and the lowbrow teen comedy Just One of the Girls.
While Parker soon began winning bigger and better roles (most notably playing Glenn Close's daughter in the acclaimed TV movie Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story), her breakthrough came in 1996, with the independent feature Kissed, in which she plays a young woman fascinated with death whose job at a funeral home leads her to explore her emotional and erotic attraction to the dead. While the film's controversial theme prevented it from gaining a wide release in the United States, it received enthusiastic reviews around the world, and in Canada, Parker's performance earned her a 1997 Genie Award (the Canadian Academy Award) as Best Actress. The acclaim for Kissed certainly improved Parker's standing in the world of independent film, and while she still appeared in the occasional television project (including the TV movie Titanic and the miniseries Intensity), she won showy roles in Bliss and Under Heaven.