Parker Posey

Parker Christian Posey (born November 8, 1968) is an American actress and musician. She frequently works with Christopher Guest and has appeared in several of his mockumentaries, such as Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), For Your Consideration (2006), and Mascots (2016). Posey is the recipient of a Golden Globe Award nomination, a Satellite Award nomination and two Independent Spirit Award nominations.

Parker Posey
Parker Posey by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Posey at the 2018 WonderCon
Parker Christian Posey

(1968-11-08) November 8, 1968 (age 52)
EducationState University of New York, Purchase (BFA)
  • Actress
  • musician
Years active1991–present

Posey made her film debut in Joey Breaker (1993). Following small roles in Coneheads and the cult classic Dazed and Confused (also 1993), she was labeled "Queen of the Indies"[1] for starring in a succession of independent films throughout the 1990s, such as Sleep with Me (1994), Frisk, Party Girl, The Doom Generation, Kicking and Screaming (all 1995), The Daytrippers (1996), Henry Fool, The House of Yes and Clockwatchers (all 1997). Her other notable film appearances include You've Got Mail (1998), Scream 3 (2000), Josie and the Pussycats (2001), Personal Velocity, The Sweetest Thing (both 2002), Blade: Trinity (2004), Superman Returns, Fay Grim (both 2006), Broken English (2007), The Eye (2008), Spring Breakdown (2009), Inside Out (2011), Irrational Man (2015), Café Society (2016) and Columbus (2017).

Outside of film, Posey starred in the television movie Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay (2002) and has guest-starred on numerous series, such as Futurama (2000), The Simpsons (2000), Will & Grace (2001), Boston Legal (2006), Parks and Recreation (2011), The Good Wife (2011–12), Louie (2012), Inside Amy Schumer (2014), and Search Party (2016). Since 2018 she has starred as Dr. Smith on the Netflix series Lost in Space.

Early lifeEdit

Posey was born November 8, 1968, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Lynda (née Patton),[2][3] a chef, and Chris Posey, owner of a car dealership. She has a twin brother, Christopher. After Posey's birth, her family lived in Monroe, Louisiana for 11 years.[4] They later moved to Laurel, Mississippi, where her mother worked as a chef and culinary instructor for the Viking Range Corporation in Greenwood, and her father operated a car dealership. Posey was raised Catholic.[5]



Posey attended the State University of New York at Purchase, where she studied drama and roomed with actresses Sherry Stringfield[6] and Orlagh Cassidy.

Posey got her first break in television with the role of Tess Shelby on the daytime soap opera As the World Turns. Posey's first major role in a feature film was in Dazed and Confused (1993) with Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, and Jason London.[7] The film received favorable reviews from critics and has been identified as a cult classic.

In 1994, she appeared in Hal Hartley's short film Opera No. 1, with Adrienne Shelley. Throughout the late 1990s, Posey co-starred in 32 independent films and was nicknamed "Queen of the Indies".[1] These films include Personal Velocity, Basquiat, Clockwatchers, The Daytrippers, Party Girl and The House of Yes. In particular, she received positive reviews for The House of Yes, for her role as a delusional woman in love with her own brother.[8][9] In an interview in January 2012, Parker said that the unofficial title has sometimes been a hindrance:

I'm trying to work in studio movies, but they won't hire me. I get feedback from my agent saying, 'She's too much of an indie queen.' And then on the other side, my name doesn't get the financing to do a movie over $1 million. And I'm called 'the indie queen.' So it's really a challenging path because I know so much about the indie side of the business. Because I grew up in it ... But it's different times. And this stuff gets projected onto me. People are like, 'You're here [at the Sundance film festival] every year, you do so many indie movies.' And I'm like, 'No, I did Broken English five years ago.'[10]

She has co-starred in Christopher Guest's films, including five of his mock documentaries, the first being Waiting for Guffman in 1996. In 1998, Posey appeared in Hartley's film Henry Fool, and the big budget studio film You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Posey exiting the premiere of the film Mascots at the Toronto International Film Festival

In 2000, she starred in Guest's third mock documentary Best in Show, and in the big budget horror film Scream 3. Critical reaction to Posey's performance in the latter film was highly positive, and earned her an MTV Movie Award nomination. However, she lost to Adam Sandler, who won it for his performance in Big Daddy. The next year she played the antagonist in Josie and the Pussycats. From 2001 to 2002, she appeared in a supporting role in the popular NBC sitcom Will & Grace.

In 2003, she starred in Guest's A Mighty Wind. The next year she appeared in Sisters of Mercy, Laws of Attraction, and Blade: Trinity. Posey then co-starred in the 2005 film Adam & Steve.[11]

In 2006, Posey appeared in Superman Returns as Kitty Kowalski, Lex Luthor's ditzy sidekick,[7] a character based on Eve Teschmacher from the 1978 film Superman. Posey was the only actress considered for the role.[12][13] Superman Returns was a box office success.[14] The film was also successful at the 33rd Saturn Awards, Posey, a few fellow cast members, and the visual effects department were all nominated.[15] Later the same year she played the title character in Fay Grim, the sequel to Henry Fool, and appeared in For Your Consideration.

In 2007, Posey was cast in the lead role on the TV series The Return of Jezebel James.[16] The show was originally given 13 episodes, but the show was cut to seven episodes in anticipation of a pending scriptwriters’ strike.[17][18] It premiered on the Fox television network in 2008 as a mid-season replacement. However, the show was officially canceled after the third episode aired due to unacceptably low ratings.[19] She starred in Zoe Cassavetes' 2007 film Broken English.[20]Broken English screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.[21] It was also entered into the 29th Moscow International Film Festival.[22] The film was nominated at the 23rd Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Screenplay and Posey was nominated for Best Female Lead.[23] She was set to co-star in John Waters' film Fruitcake with Johnny Knoxville. The film was to be set in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.[24] However, Waters announced that he has canceled Fruitcake, saying "I can't get it made ... I thought it would do well, but it's not. In this economy, I'm going to have to do a puppet show."[25]

In 2012, Posey starred in four episodes of the third season of Louie as Liz, Louis C.K.'s love interest. She received positive reviews for her stint on the show. The website Vulture stated "Posey is superb in a brilliantly written role."[26] Lindsay Bahr of Entertainment Weekly said "Posey used her arsenal of talent and the material written and directed by C.K. to bring Liz to life".[27] Andy Greenwald of GrantLand felt Posey was "funny, engaging, and breathless", and went on to call Posey "one of the most gifted actors alive".[28] Later the same year she was honored with the Excellence in Acting Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival.

Posey appeared in Ned Rifle, the third and final film in Hartley's Henry Fool trilogy, again reprising her role of Fay Grim.[29] On November 6, 2013, Hartley launched a fundraising campaign through Kickstarter to produce the film, netting a total of $384,000. Posey, Liam Aiken, James Urbaniak, and Thomas Jay Ryan, as well as some crew members, appeared in several videos promoting the campaign.[30] The film premiered on September 7, 2014, at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.[31] It was also screened in the Panorama section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival on February 6, 2015.[32]

In July 2014, it was announced that Posey had signed on to co-star in Woody Allen's mystery drama Irrational Man with Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone and Jamie Blackley.[33] The film had its world premiere on May 16, 2015, at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[34][35] In July 2015, Parker revealed that before being cast in the film, she had considered quitting acting, as she feared that she "saw the independent film movement go away from me ... it's a world market now. They're made from real star power. Whoever's hot at the moment." When Allen cast her, she cried, as "the independent film way of working is something that was in my bones. It's like being a part of a punk band but no one's singing punk rock anymore. Only a few bands are able to play, and Woody Allen is one of them. That's why I cried. It was a relief."[36]

In 2018, she appeared as Dr. Smith in Lost in Space, the Netflix remake of the 1965 TV series.[37]

Audio fictionEdit

In late 2019, Posey starred in an audio fiction podcast called Hunted, where she plays the part of U.S. Deputy Marshal tracking four escaped convicts from a federal maximum-security correctional facility. The eight-episode show is produced by Wolf Entertainment and Endeavor Audio.[38]

Stage and musicEdit

Posey appeared on Broadway in 2000, playing alongside Matthew Broderick in Elaine May's "Taller Than a Dwarf," which was directed by Alan Arkin. She later appeared off Broadway alongside Ethan Hawke and Bobby Cannavale in David Rabe's Hurlyburly in 2005, and then originated the role of Pony Jones in Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses in 2012.

She learned to play the mandolin to prepare for her role in A Mighty Wind (2003),[7] a film in which she also sang. She provided vocals on several of her ex-boyfriend Ryan Adams' records. She also played the mandolin on The Dandy Warhols track "I Am Sound" from their Welcome to the Monkey House LP.[39]


You're on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir is Parker Posey's first book. The memoir is centred around the idea that its reader is sitting next to Posey on an airplane, and the product is a mixture of anecdotes from her career, random observations, various stories about her life, and home-made photo collages.[40] The book, although largely comedic in tone due to her acting experience, covers many dark topics from her personal life and the film industry.[41] The book received critical acclaim. Vogue wrote "Excellent...a celebration of peculiarity." According to Elle magazine, the memoir is "A humour-packed, irreverent, eccentric book packed with personal stories, whimsical how-tos and recipes, as well as collages made by her."[40] Esquire wrote "Posey is a natural storyteller; performing, in any way really, is mostly about sharing stories. And she's gathered some good ones for her memoir, which also perfectly encapsulates the delightful weirdo you assume she is just by watching her play different people on screen."[42]

Personal lifeEdit

Posey has lived in both Greenwich Village and the East Village.[43]

She briefly stopped living in the United States beginning in early 1998.[44] In a 2000 interview with she reflected, "I just dropped out. I went all over - Morocco, Australia, Sweden, Finland, France. I was gone for, God, like a year and a half."[45]



Posey in May 2007
Year Title Role Notes
1993 Coneheads Stephanie
1993 Joey Breaker Irene Kildare
1993 The Wake Beachgoer Uncredited
1993 Description of a Struggle Wanda
1993 Dazed and Confused Darla Marks
1994 Mixed Nuts Rollerblader
1994 Amateur Girl Squatter
1994 Opera No. 1 Fairy # 1 Short film
1994 Iris Short film
1994 Final Combination Denise
1994 Sleep with Me Athena
1995 Party Girl Mary
1995 An Eviction Notice Short film
1995 Drunks Debbie
1995 Flirt Emily
1995 The Doom Generation Brandi
1995 Kicking and Screaming Miami
1996 Frisk Fergie
1996 subUrbia Erica
1996 Basquiat Mary Boone
1997 The House of Yes "Jackie-O" Pascal Sundance Film Festival Award for Special Recognition
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1997 The Daytrippers Jo Malone
1997 Waiting for Guffman Libby Mae Brown
1997 Clockwatchers Margaret Burre
1998 Henry Fool Fay Grim
1998 What Rats Won't Do Mirella Burton
1998 You've Got Mail Patricia Eden
1998 The Misadventures of Margaret Margaret Nathan
1999 Dinner at Fred's Celia
1999 The Venice Project Myra
1999 Gunshy Short film
2000 Scream 3 Jennifer Jolie Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
2000 Best in Show Meg Swan
2001 The Anniversary Party Judy Adams
2001 Josie and the Pussycats Fiona
2002 The Sweetest Thing Judy Webb
2002 Personal Velocity Greta Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress (2nd place)
2003 A Mighty Wind Sissy Knox Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2003 The Event Nick
2004 Blade: Trinity Danica Talos
2004 The Sisters of Mercy Short film
2004 Laws of Attraction Serena Jamison
2005 Adam & Steve Rhonda
2006 For Your Consideration Callie Webb Nominated—Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2006 Fay Grim Fay Grim
2006 The OH in Ohio Priscilla Chase
2006 Superman Returns Kitty Kowalski Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
2007 Broken English Nora Wilder Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female
2008 The Eye Helen Wells Nominated - Fright Meter Awards for Best Supporting Actress
2009 Spring Breakdown Becky St. Germaine Direct-to-DVD
2010 Happy Tears Jayne
2011 Inside Out Claire Small
2011 The Love Guide Angelica Lovecraft
2012 Price Check Susan Felders
2013 Highland Park Shirley Paine
2013 Hair Brained Shelia Pettifog
2013 And Now a Word From Our Sponsor Karen Hillridge
2014 Grace of Monaco Madge Tivey-Faucon
2014 Ned Rifle Fay Grim
2015 Irrational Man Rita Richards
2016 Café Society Rad
2016 The Architect Drew
2016 Mascots Cindi Babineaux
2017 Columbus Eleanor
2018 The Con Is On Gina
2019 Elsewhere Marie
TBA Disappointment Blvd. Filming


Year Film Role Notes
1991 First Love, Fatal Love Television film
1992 As the World Turns Tess Shelby Episode: "December 24, 1992"
1993 Tales of the City Connie Bradshaw 4 episodes
1993 Tracey Ullman Takes on New York Libby TV Special
1998 More Tales of the City Connie Bradshaw Episode: "1.1"
2000 Futurama Umbriel Voice; episode: "The Deep South"
2000 The Simpsons Becky Voice; episode: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge"
2001 Further Tales of the City Connie Bradshaw 3 episodes
2001 Will & Grace Dorleen 2 episodes
2002 Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay Jinger Heath Television film
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2004 Frankenstein Detective Carson O'Conner Television film
2006 Boston Legal Marlene Stanger 4 episodes
2008 The Return of Jezebel James Sarah Tompkins 7 episodes
2009 Bored to Death Michelle Whiting Episode: "The Case of the Stolen Skateboard"
2011 Parks and Recreation Lindsay Carlisle Shay Episode: "Eagleton"
2011 The Big C Poppy Kowalski 3 episodes
2011–2012 The Good Wife Vanessa Gold 3 episodes
2012 Hemingway & Gellhorn Mary Welsh Hemingway Television film
2012 Louie Liz 4 episodes
2012 New Girl Casey Episode: "Re-Launch"
2014 Inside Amy Schumer Parker Posey Episode: "Allergic to Nuts"
2015 Portlandia Herself Episode: "Fashion"
2015 Granite Flats Alice White 8 episodes
2015 Drunk History Mary Phelps Jacob Episode: "Inventors"
2016 Skylanders Academy Dreamcatcher Voice; episode: "Dream Girls"
2016 Search Party Brick 3 episodes
2018–present Lost in Space June Harris / Dr. Smith Main role; 20 episodes
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress in Streaming Presentation (2019)
2018 Robot Chicken Lenny Busker / Angela / Sphinx Voice; episode: "Gimme That Chocolate Milk"
2020 High Fidelity Noreen Parker Episode: "Uptown"


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  2. ^ "Obituaries for Friday, March 28, 2008 Archived March 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine March 28, 2008, Leader Call
  3. ^ "Now, We're Just Parker Posey's Parents - Humor Keeps Actress's Popularity In Perspective" Archived July 17, 2015, at the Wayback Machine July 2006, Jackson Mississippi Clarion-Ledger
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  5. ^ "Index magazine interview". Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  6. ^ Smith, Chris (October 6, 1997). "Ring Around the Posey". New York Magazine: 42.
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  17. ^ "Fox Renews 'Death' Vows, Picks up Sextet". The Futon Critic.
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  20. ^ Scheck, Frank (June 25, 2007). "Parker Posey just the fix for "Broken English"". Archived from the original on September 24, 2012.
  21. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (January 2012). "Parker Posey on the Glory Days of Sundance and the Perils of Modern-Day Indie Filmmaking". Vulture.
  22. ^ "29th Moscow International Film Festival (2007)". MIFF. Archived from the original on April 21, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  23. ^ Kay, Jeremy (November 7, 2007). "Haynes, Schnabel, Reitman films lead Independent Spirit nominations". Screen International.
  24. ^ Lawson, Liz (May 9, 2008). "Parker Posey, Johnny Knoxville join Waters' Fruitcake". Paste Magazine. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  25. ^ "Waters' Kids Movie Scrapped". IMDb. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  26. ^ What to Stream Now. ""Parker Posey Has Revealed the Even Greater Show Hiding Within Louie", July 27, 2012". Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  27. ^ Bahr, Lindsey (June 26, 2013). ""EW speaks with Posey about her theories on Liz and the brilliance of Louis C.K.", June 26, 2013". Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  28. ^ "Parker Posey Talks About Her Role on Louie, the Fine Line Between Sad and Funny, and What Louis C.K. Looks Like in a Dress «". July 27, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  29. ^ McNary, Dave (March 13, 2014). "Aubrey Plaza Joins Hal Hartley's 'Ned Rifle' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
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  32. ^ "Panorama 2015: Probing the Past to Shape the Future". Berlinale. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  33. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 24, 2014). "Parker Posey and Jamie Blackley Join Woody Allen's Next Film". Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  34. ^ Scott Foundas (May 6, 2015). "Irrational Man Review: Woody And Joaquin Plot The Perfect Murder". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  35. ^ Maane Khatchatourian (April 11, 2015). "[PHOTO] Emma Stone in Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man'". Variety. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  36. ^ Kevin Fallon (July 17, 2015). "Why Parker Posey Almost Quit Acting: 'I Saw the Independent Film Movement Go Away From Me'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  37. ^ Petski, Denise (November 22, 2016). "'Lost In Space': Parker Posey Joins Netflix Series Remake". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  38. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 22, 2019). "Parker Posey Stars in 'Hunted,' First Podcast From Dick Wolf and Endeavor Audio (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  39. ^ "Dandy Warhols - Welcome to the Monkey House CD". CD Universe. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  40. ^ a b Parker Posey - You're on an Airplane - Little, Brown Book Group. February 5, 2019.
  41. ^ "Someone Needs to Give Parker Posey Her Own Show". Vogue. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  42. ^ "Make Way for Her", Make Way for Her: And Other Stories, The University Press of Kentucky, 2018, pp. 155–166, doi:10.2307/j.ctt1x76h5x.11, ISBN 9780813175133
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  44. ^
  45. ^

External linksEdit