Soul Food Teri
"I don't believe in 'insecurities.' They are a waste of time. God loves you and everything about you, so why beat up on your precious self." Nicole Parker.
Making her first professional acting debut with a starring role as a lesbian teen in the indie cult classic "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love" (1995), Nicole Parker would be more popular among TV audiences as Teri Joseph, the eldest sister and the controlling attorney, on Showtime's popular television drama "Soul Food" (2000-2004). Afterwards, she starred with her husband, model and actor Boris Kodjoe, in UPN's situation comedy ''Second Time Around'' (2004-2005), playing a newlywed couple who remarried after getting divorced three years earlier. She also has appeared in such TV shows as "Cosby" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."
Meanwhile, the African-American and Cherokee-Indian descendant who previously appeared in the films "Boogie Nights" (1997), "A Map of the World" (1999) and "Blue Streak" (1999), also starred in "Dancing in September" (2000), "Remember the Titans" (2000), "Brown Sugar" (2002), and "King's Ransom" (2005). She will next be seen in the upcoming comedy films "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins" with Martin Lawrence, Mike Epps, and Cedric the Entertainer, and "NowhereLand" with Eddie Murphy and Thomas Haden Church.
Off screen, Parker has been married twice and has two children.
African-American, Cherokee-Indian Lineage
Childhood and Family:
The only child of Donald, a dentist and Susan, a health care entrepreneur, Nicole Ari Parker was born on October 7, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her parents divorced in early 1970s.
An African-American and Cherokee-Indian ancestry, Parker attended Roland Park Country School, an independent and private all-girls college preparatory school in Baltimore, Maryland, where she was one of only a handful of non-white students. At the age of 17, she won best actress in the state of Maryland's high school competition and she began to find work at the Baltimore Actors Theatre. She later moved on to the Washington Ballet Company before secretly applying to the New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with an acting degree in 1993.
In March 2001, Parker eloped with actor Joseph Falasca, only to divorce in November that same year. On May 21, 2005, Parker married her ''Soul Food'' co-star Boris Kodjoe in Gundelfingen, Germany, and has since legally changed her name to Nicole Kodjoe. They have two children: a daughter named Sophie Tei Naaki Lee (born March 5, 2005) and a son named Nicolas Neruda Kodjoe (born 31 October 2006). They currently reside in Atlanta, GA.
Second Time Around
Winning best actress in the state of Maryland's high school competition at the age of 17, Nicole Parker decided to pursue acting career seriously and began to find work at the Baltimore Actors Theatre. After a stint at the Washington Ballet Company, she sharpened her acting skills at the New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, where she landed an agent whom she met while performing "King Lear" in drag.
Graduating from NYU, the aspiring actress moved to Harlem, where she did various odd jobs, including as a phone operator in the trendy Paramount Hotel as well as several small jobs in the garment industry. She also played tiny roles and worked for pennies in the theater circuit while trying to break the business.
In 1995, Parker made her film debut in the Sundance-screened "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love," an indie cult classic written and directed by Maria Maggenti. In the touching and comic lesbian film, Parker starred as Evie Roy, a smart and beautiful African-American and one of the high school most popular girls who falls for a rebellious tomboy (played by Laurel Holloman).
She subsequently retreated to television and low budget films. She appeared in writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's porn epic "Boogie Nights" (1997), alongside Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore and John C. Reilly. In the film, she was cast as Becky Barnett, an African-American adult movie star who tries to find love and companionship within the industry, a role which brought her a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast and won her a Florida Film Critics Circle (FFCC) Award for Best Ensemble Cast.
Two years later, Parker appeared in the Gen-X flick "200 Cigarettes" (1999), as Bridget, the current squeeze of trendy downtown artist Eric (played by Brian McCardie) who fancies Ben Affleck's cute bartender character instead. That same year, she also played bit parts in increasingly mainstream films such as Scott Elliott's Golden Globe-nominated big screen version of Jane Hamilton's novel, "A Map of the World," starring Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore and David Strathairn, and Les Mayfield's comedy starring Martin Lawrence, "Blue Streak," in which she played a detective.
The new millennium proved to be Parker's breakthrough moment when she snagged the role of Teri Joseph, the eldest sister and the controlling attorney, on Showtime's popular television drama "Soul Food." The series is based upon Tillman's childhood experiences growing up in Wisconsin, and is a continuation of Tillman's successful 1997 film of the same name. Parker's character was initially portrayed by Vanessa L. Williams in its film version.
Parker stayed in the show from 2000 to 2004 and has been nominated an Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series five times. Meanwhile, she had a recurring role on CBS' Emmy and Golden Globe-winning sitcom "Cosby" and was spotted as a guest an episode of CBS' popular, Emmy-winning cop/crime drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." She also continued working for films, playing the wife of Denzel Washington's lead character in Boaz Yakin's true story-based football drama, "Remember the Titans" (2000), which earned her an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, and playing a television executive struggling with the challenges of producing an African-American television show in Hollywood, in HBO film "Dancing in September" (2000), which nominated her a Black Reel Award for Network/Cable - Best Actress. She also played the supporting role of Reese, the stunningly beautiful successful attorney who is going to marry Taye Diggs' lead character, in Rick Famuyiwa's romantic drama film, "Brown Sugar" (2002), handed her an Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.
After "Soul Food" ended in 2004, Parker landed another TV series regular, this time on UPN's comedy "Second Time Around" (2004-2005), in which she co-starred with real-life husband Boris Kodjoe playing a newlywed couple who remarried after getting divorced three years earlier. Unfortunately, the show was canceled after only 13 episodes, citing low ratings.
In 2005, Parker appeared in Jeff Byrd's comedy film, ''King’s Ransom,'' playing Angela, an aggrieved employee who planned to kidnap Anthony Anderson's wealthy, selfish, obnoxious businessman character.
Parker is currently on set and will soon complete her upcoming film with writer/director Malcolm D. Lee, a comedy titled "Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins" in which she will share the screen with Martin Lawrence, Mike Epps and Cedric the Entertainer. She is also set to appear in "NowhereLand," a comedy film by director Karey Kirkpatrick starring Eddie Murphy and Thomas Haden Church.
''A guy once told me that I sound like I'm a little ahead of myself. I can't wait to thank him at the Oscars.'' Nicole Parker.
Urbanworld Film Festival: Special Award (for her outstanding body of work as an actress), 1999
Florida Film Critics Circle (FFCC): Best Ensemble Cast, "Boogie Nights," 1998