A child performer who went on to become an adult actor in one of the more radical transformations in the history of the American entertainment industry, Sarah Jessica Parker has captained both a career and a public image that could be accurately classified under the heading Revenge of the Nerd. As a pubescent actor most famous for her roles in the acclaimed high school-set TV series Square Pegs and in the big screen's Footloose and Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Parker played the skinny girl with frizzy hair who was either the sidekick or underdog; when she wasn't cleaning up after Lori Singer in Footloose, she was battling snotty rich girls for the right to dance on local television in Girls Just Want to Have Fun. However, thanks to perseverance, talent, a fabulous stylist, and an HBO series called Sex and the City, Parker had emerged, by the end of the 1990s, as one of the most glamorous and employable actors around, known as much for the designer frocks she wore to awards ceremonies as for her work on the screen.
Born in Nelsonville, OH, on March 25, 1965, as the fourth of eight siblings, Parker grew up in relative poverty following the divorce of her mother, an elementary school teacher, and her father, an aspiring writer. Raised by her mother and often out-of-work stepfather, she trained as a dancer and singer, bringing home paychecks from a young age. As a fledgling actor, Parker landed her first TV show at the age of eight; in 1976, after winning her first Broadway role in The Innocents, her family moved to New Jersey to encourage her career. Parker worked on the stage for the next few years, touring -- with four of her siblings -- in the national company of The Sound of Music and getting her first major break when she was chosen to take over the title role of Annie on Broadway, from 1979 to 1980.