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 when actress Charita Bauer, who played Bert, died. Maureen then became the show's matriarchal figure. 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. She 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, proved controversial and unpopular.
Parker is New York City based and tends to take mostly New York-based roles. Ms. Parker is a graduate of Bard College. She and her ex- husband Dr. Mack Lipkin, a physician, have one child, a daughter, whom they adopted from China.