Nicole Ari Parker

Nicole Ari Parker Kodjoe (born October 7, 1970) is an American actress and model. She made her screen debut with a leading role in the critically acclaimed independent film The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (1995) and went on to appear in Boogie Nights (1997), directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

Nicole Ari Parker
Parker in December 2010
Born (1970-10-07) October 7, 1970 (age 51)
Alma materNew York University
OccupationActress, model
Years active1991–present
Spouse(s)Boris Kodjoe (m. 2005)

Parker has starred in a number of movies, including Blue Streak (1999), Remember the Titans (2000), Brown Sugar (2002), Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (2008), Black Dynamite (2009), and Almost Christmas (2016). On television, Parker played the leading role of attorney Teri Joseph (later Carter) in the Showtime drama series Soul Food (2000–04), for which she received five NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series nominations. She also starred in the short-lived UPN romantic comedy Second Time Around (2004–05) and the ABC drama Time After Time (2017). In 2017, she joined the cast of Fox's prime-time soap opera Empire playing Giselle Barker. She currently appears as a recurring character in Chicago P.D. as Deputy Superintendent Samantha Miller and in And Just Like That... as Lisa Todd Wexley.

Early yearsEdit

Parker was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the only child of her divorced parents, health care professional Susan Parker and dentist Donald Parker.[1] After briefly attending a Montessori school, Parker entered Roland Park Country School, where she stayed through high school.[2] At the age of 17, she won Best Actress in the state of Maryland's high school theater competition. She became a member of The Washington Ballet Company before earning an acting degree in 1993 from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.[3]


Early in her career she appeared in several critically acclaimed independent films, including The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love, Boogie Nights, 200 Cigarettes, and the 1999 Sundance Film Festival winner The Adventures of Sebastian Cole.

After a string of odd jobs (including scooping ice cream), bit roles, and low-wage theater work, Parker was offered her breakthrough role on Soul Food. In several episodes of the series, she was able to show her singing abilities, which also served her well in roles as singers on an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and in the movie Divas.

Parker also had a lead role in the 1998 film Exiled: A Law & Order Movie. She worked alongside Martin Lawrence in two of his films: Blue Streak and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. On Broadway she played Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Parker was lead actress in the 2013 NBC drama pilot Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, and later had a recurring role on Revolution. In 2014, she starred as a series regular in the first season of the TNT crime drama Murder in the First, opposite Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson.[4]

In 2017, she joined the popular and award-winning Fox series Empire, playing Giselle Barker in a recurring role during the fourth season. She has been promoted to a series regular for the fifth season.[5][6]

Personal lifeEdit

Parker eloped with actor Joseph Falasca in March 2001. Their marriage lasted only eight months; they divorced later that year.[citation needed] She married her Soul Food co-star Boris Kodjoe on May 21, 2005, in Gundelfingen, Germany. She gave birth to their first child, Sophie, on March 5, 2005. Sophie has spina bifida, which was diagnosed at birth.[7] Parker gave birth to their son Nicolas in October 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The family attends the Cascade United Methodist Church when in Atlanta.[8]

Parker is an active member of the Democratic Party.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Other Women's Children Marcelle TV Movie
1995 The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love Evie Roy
Stonewall Female Draft Officer
Divas Stephanie TV Movie
1996 Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault Wanda TV Movie
1997 The End of Violence Ade
Boogie Nights Becky Barnett
1998 Spark Nina
The Adventures of Sebastian Cole Jenny
Exiled: A Law & Order Movie Georgeanne Taylor TV Movie
1999 200 Cigarettes Bridget
Mute Love Mavis
Mind Prey Weather Karkinnon TV Movie
Mirar Mirror Denise Scott Short
Loving Jezebel Frances
Harlem Aria Clarisse
A Map of the World Sherry
Blue Streak Melissa Green
2000 Dancing in September Tomasina 'Tommy' Crawford
Remember the Titans Carol Boone
2002 Brown Sugar Reese Marie Wiggam Ellis
2005 King's Ransom Angela Drake
2008 Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins Lucinda Allen
Never Better Allison TV Movie
2009 Black Dynamite Mahogany Black
Imagine That Trish
Pastor Brown Tonya Copeland Brown
2011 35 and Ticking Zenobia
Big Mike Grace Peterson TV Movie
2013 Repentance Sophie Sanchez
Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives Paula TV Movie
2016 Almost Christmas Sonya Meyers
2017 Downsized Ebony TV Movie
2018 How It Ends Paula Sutherland


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Subway Stories Sharon Episode: "Honey-Getter"
1999–2000 Cosby Rebecca Recurring Cast: Season 4
2000 The Wonderful World of Disney Christine Claiborne Episode: "The Loretta Claiborne Story"
2000–04 Soul Food Teri Joseph Main Cast
2002 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Lillie Ivers Episode: "Primum Non Nocere"
2003 The System Linda Evans Main Cast
2004 All of Us Traci Garrison Episode: "Playdate"
2004–05 Second Time Around Ryan Muse Main Cast
2010 The Deep End Susan Oppenheim Main Cast
2013 Revolution Secretary Justine Allenford Recurring Cast: Season 2
2013–15 Real Husbands of Hollywood Herself Recurring Cast: Season 1–4
2014 Murder in the First District Attorney Jacqueline Perez Recurring Cast: Season 1
2015 The Boris & Nicole Show Herself/Co-host TV Series
2015–16 Rosewood Kat Crawford Recurring Cast: Season 1[10]
2017 Time After Time Vanessa Anders Main Cast
2017–20 Empire Giselle Barker Recurring Cast: Season 4, Main Cast: Season 5–6
2018 I'm Dying Up Here Gloria Recurring Cast: Season 2
The Romanoffs Cheryl Gowans Episode: "Bright and High Circle"
2019 Lip Sync Battle Herself Episode: "Boris Kodjoe vs. Nicole Ari Parker"
2020–21 Chicago P.D. Deputy Superintendent Samantha Miller Recurring Cast: Season 89[11]
2021–present And Just Like That... Lisa Todd Wexley Main Cast


Awards and nominations for acting
Year Association Category Work Result
1998 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture Boogie Nights Nominated
2001 Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Remember the Titans Nominated
2001 Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Soul Food Nominated
2002 Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Soul Food Nominated
2003 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Brown Sugar Nominated
2003 Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Soul Food Nominated
2004 Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Soul Food Nominated
2005 Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Soul Food Nominated


  1. ^ Kam Williams (2004). "Nicole Reflects on Real Life Role As Mommy-to-Be". Archived from the original on 2011-01-29. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  2. ^ Sragow, Michael (12 June 2009). "City-bred Actress' Role In Kids' Film Reflects Grown-up Realities". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  3. ^ Sragow, Michael (12 June 2009). "Nicole Ari Parker's role in kids' movie reflects grown-up realities". The Baltimore Sun.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Lesley Goldberg (January 22, 2014). "TNT's 'Murder in the First' Adds 'Revolution' Alum". The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (25 June 2018). "'Empire': Nicole Ari Parker Upped To Series Regular For Season 5 Of Fox Drama". Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  6. ^ Swift, Andy (25 June 2018). "Empire Promotes Nicole Ari Parker to Series Regular for Season 5". Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  7. ^ Boris and Nicole Open Up About Sophie's Spina Bifida, Celebrity Babies Blog, 15 January 2009.
  8. ^ Rhone, Nedra; and Gracie Bonds Staples. "In Atlanta’s churches, prayers for president-elect", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9 November 2008.
  9. ^ Hawkins, B. Denise (September 6, 2012). "Youth Summit Brings Democratic National Convention Spirit to Johnson C. Smith". Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 20, 2015). "Nicole Ari Parker To Recur On Fox's Rosewood". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  11. ^ "Chicago P.D. Season 8: Premiere Date, Spoilers, and Everything else We Know".

External linksEdit