Paula Jai Parker
Paula Jai Parker (born August 19, 1969) is an American actress, comedian, director and singer-songwriter. She has a number of iconic roles in films, including Friday (1995), Sprung (1997), Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998), Phone Booth (2002), Hustle & Flow (2005), and Idlewild (2006). Parker is also known for her voice of Trudy Proud in the Disney Channel animated comedy series, The Proud Family (2001-2005).
Paula Jai Parker
|Occupation||Actress, comedian, director, singer-songwriter|
Forrest Martin (m. 2004)
Parker was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but moved to Washington, D.C. in 1987 to study at Howard University. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she moved to New York City and played a number of clubs. From 1992 to 1993, she performed on the FOX comedy program The Apollo Comedy Hour, filmed live at the legendary Apollo Theater, and later was cast member on the short-lived sketch show, Townsend Television.
In 1995, Parker made her film debut in the F. Gary Gray urban comedy Friday. In the same year, she earned a Cable ACE Award for her role in the HBO anthology presentation, Cosmic Slop. Later that year, Parker returned to television in the WB sitcom, The Wayans Bros. opposite Shawn and Marlon Wayans. Throughout the 1990s, she appeared in several short-lived shows, including CBS sitcom The Weird Al Show (1997), and David E. Kelley's ABC comedy-drama, Snoops (1999).
During the 1990s, Parker had supporting roles in a number of films. She has appeared in the 1995 horror anthology Tales from the Hood, Spike Lee's Million Man March drama Get on the Bus (1996), the urban comedy Sprung (1997), Jada Pinkett Smith starring romantic comedy Woo (1997), the Frankie Lymon biography, Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998). In the early 2000s, Parker co-starred in 30 Years to Life, High Crimes, Phone Booth, and My Baby's Daddy. In 2004, she played the lesbian woman in the LGBT comedy-drama, She Hate Me, and appeared as Ruth Brown in biographical film Ray. Her breakthrough was in the 2005 independent drama Hustle & Flow starring Terrence Howard. She later was cast opposite Howard in musical film Idlewild (2006).
From 2001 to 2005, Parker voiced the matriarch Trudy Proud in the Disney Channel animated comedy series, The Proud Family. She also voiced her role in the 2005 film The Proud Family Movie. She also played the role of Billie Holiday on the episode of Touched by an Angel in 2000, and later guest starred on The Shield, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, My Name Is Earl, and The Mentalist. She co-starred in the 2007 thriller film Cover starring Aunjanue Ellis, and in later years worked in low-profile independent movies.
From 2013 to 2014, Parker had the recurring role in the HBO series, True Blood during show' seventh and final season. In 2014, she was cast as one of five leads on the TV One reality series, Hollywood Divas. In 2015, Parker was cast in the recurring roles on the Amazon drama Hand of God, and Freeform series, Recovery Road. In August 2016, she released an extended play entitled "Paula Jai & Friends", which featured the single "Going Down".
Parker married Forrest Martin in 2004. The couple met on the set of Hustle & Flow, where Forrest, who had just graduated with a Master of Fine Arts, was working as an intern. Paula almost passed on shooting the critically acclaimed movie and only took the part at the urging of her manager. They have one son.
- Paula Jai & Friends (2016)
|1994||Cosmic Slop||Tang||Television film|
CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Drama
|1995||Tales from the Hood||Sissy Johnson|
|1996||Don't Be a Menace to South Central...||Drunk Party Girl|
|1996||Get on the Bus||Jamilia|
|1997||Riot||Lisa||Segment "Homecoming Day"|
|1998||Why Do Fools Fall in Love||Paula King|
|2001||30 Years to Life||Stephanie|
|2004||My Baby's Daddy||Rolonda|
|2004||She Hate Me||Evelyn|
|2005||Hustle & Flow||Lexus||Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Comedic Performance|
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
|2005||The Proud Family Movie||Trudy Parker-Proud||Voice|
|2006||The Genius Club||Tatiana|
|2011||King of the Underground||Elizabeth Gayle|
|2013||When a Woman's Fed Up||Laticious|
|2013||Life of a King||Gina Sanders|
|2013||Pastor Shirley||Pastor Shirley|
|2014||Patterns of Attraction||Desiree Stewart|
|2014||You Me & Her||Karen||Short film|
|2014||Act of Faith||Shartruce|
|2015||The White Sistas||Jordan White||Also director|
|2015||Last Call at Murray's||Danice|
|2015||Assistant Motives||Joyce Miller|
|2016||She's Got a Plan||Rhonda|
|2018||Conundrum:Secrets among friends||Victoria|
|2018||Hey, Mr. Postman!||Ms. Kelly|
|1992-1993||The Apollo Comedy Hour||Performer||Series regular|
|1993||Townsend Television||Performer||Series regular|
|1994||Roc||Jill||Episode: "No Place Like Home"|
|1995||Pointman||Udia||Episode: "Silent Auction"|
|1995-1996||The Wayans Bros.||Monique||Series regular, 13 episodes|
|1997||The Parent 'Hood||Sabrina||Episode: "Wendell and I Spy"|
|1997||The Weird Al Show||Val Brentwood-Gal Spy||Series regular, 13 episodes|
|1997||Cosby||Tanya||Episode: "The Two Hilton Lucases"|
|1998||NYPD Blue||Cara Wilson||Episode: "Speak for Yourself, Bruce Clayton"|
|1999-2000||Snoops||Roberta Young||Series regular, 13 episodes|
|2000||Touched by an Angel||Billie Holiday||Episode: "God Bless the Child"|
|2001-2005||The Proud Family||Trudy Parker-Proud||Animated series|
|2004||The Shield||Desirae||Episode: "Cracking Ice"|
|2005||Lilo & Stitch: The Series||Trudy Parker-Proud||Voice, Episode: "Spats: Experiment #397"|
|2005||CSI: Miami||Deana Walters||Episode: "Shattered"|
|2006||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Julia Beltran||Episode: "Toe Tags"|
|2007||Side Order of Life||Stargell Grant||Recurring role, 7 episodes|
|2008||My Name Is Earl||Sylvia||Episode: "Orphan Earl"|
|2009||Fear Itself||Patty Orwell||Episode: "Something with Bite"|
|2010||The Mentalist||Astrid||Episode: "Red Sky at Night"|
|2012||Let's Stay Together||Sherry Steele||Episode: "Inspect Me, Inspect Me Not"|
|2012||The Exes||Amelia||Episode: "How Holly Got Her Groove Back"|
|2013||The Soul Man||Drew||Episode: "Bride and Prejudice"|
|2012-2014||Family Time||Lori||Recurring role, 6 episodes|
|2013-2014||True Blood||Karen||Recurring role, 5 episodes|
|2014–2016||Hollywood Divas||Herself||Reality series|
|2015||Hand of God||Ida Congdon||Recurring role, 2 episodes|
|2016||Recovery Road||Margarita Jean-Baptiste||Recurring role, 6 episodes|
|2016||Ray Donovan||Sylvie Starr||Recurring role, 5 episodes|
|2016||How To Get Away with Murder||Yvonne||Episode: "It's About Frank"|
|2017||NCIS: Los Angeles||Ellie||Episode: "Forasteira"|
|2019||Black Jesus||Teresa||Recurring role, 3 episodes|
|2019–present||Crown Lake||Headmistress Merriweather||Web series|
|2019-present||A House Divided||Stephanie Sanders||Series regular|
Nominated — Indie Series Award for Best Lead Actress — Drama
|TBA||The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder||Trudy Parker-Proud||Upcoming series|
- Paula Jai Parker Biography б The New York Times
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1223. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
- Moon, Spencer. Reel Black talk: a sourcebook of 50 American filmmakers, p. 169 (1997)
- "Paula Jai Parker Homeless, 'Blackballed' By Hollywood - Essence.com". Essence.com. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- Everything the Hottest Cartoon Voices Can't Live Without, VIBE (August 2003)
- Tambay A. Obenson (16 May 2014). "TV One Expands 'Diva' Franchise w/ Launch of 'Hollywood D - Shadow and Act". Shadow and Act. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- [iaemagazine.com/featured/paula-jai-parker-stars-in-tvone-film-the-summoning/ Award-winning Actress, Paula Jai Parker, Discusses Her Lead In The New TV One Film – The Summoning]
- (8 August 2005). Happy & In Love, Jet
- "PAULA JAI PARKER'S ONEDERFUL SON". Black Celeb Kids. October 2, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- Swift, Andy (February 27, 2020). "The Proud Family Revival Ordered at Disney+ With Original Cast — First Look". TVLine.