Ellen Parker (actress)
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September 30, 1949 |
Parker is a well regarded New York stage actress; among her credits was the original production of the Wendy Wasserstein play The Heidi Chronicles, as well as Equus, David Hare's Plenty, and the play "Strangers". She also had a role in the film Kramer vs. Kramer.
Parker's first television appearance was in the PBS adaptation of another one of Wasserstein's works, Uncommon Women and Others. Her first major television role was as Ethel Kennedy in the miniseries Kennedy in 1983. Among her other television credits are appearances on Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as The Education of Max Bickford and Ed.
Parker is perhaps best known for her role as Maureen Reardon Bauer on Guiding Light, which she played from 1986 to 1993. She replaced Ellen Dolan in the role of Maureen in 1986, and played the role for seven years. During that time, the show's tentpole character, Bert Bauer, died (as did her portrayer, Charita Bauer), and the character of Maureen became the show's new matriarch.
In 1993, then-executive producer Jill Farren Phelps made a surprising decision to kill the character of Maureen, based on lackluster responses to the character during a focus group session. Parker's performance during her character's death (Maureen died in a car accident after discovered her husband Ed had been unfaithful) earned her a Daytime Emmy Award in 1993. Parker has subsequently returned to the show in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2005 for flashback scenes and moments where Maureen appeared as a spirit. The character's death, and Parker's departure from the show, has proven to be controversial and unpopular. Guiding Light has experienced ratings decline and upheaval for some time, and Parker's departure is often mentioned as an example of what went wrong.
Parker is New York City based and tends to take mostly New York-based roles. Ms. Parker is a graduate of Bard College. She lives there with her husband, a physician. The couple adopted a daughter from China.
Awards and nominations