Multi-Award Winning Actress Mary-Louise Parker to Host Tenth Season of the Emmy® Award-Winning PBS Series Independent Lens

Fall Season Premieres on October 13, 2011

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(San Francisco, CA) — The Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens announced today that the multi-award winning actress Mary-Louise Parker will host the upcoming tenth anniversary season, premiering on Thursday, October 13, 2011, at 10pm (check local listings). Parker, the star of the acclaimed Showtime series Weeds, is the latest in the distinguished company of Independent Lens hosts, including America Ferrera, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Susan Sarandon, Terrence Howard, Edie Falco, Angela Bassett, and Don Cheadle. 

“Mary-Louise Parker’s intelligence, wit, and expansive talent are evident in her varied and award-winning acting in television, film, and on stage,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens senior series producer. “Her career epitomizes the spirit and the depth that also define Independent Lens. Like the filmmakers we champion, we greatly admire the infinite inventiveness of her work." 

“I’m honored to host the tenth season of Independent Lens,” said Parker. “I am struck by the breadth of stories featured each week. They introduced me to unforgettable people, and made my voyage of discovery heartwarming, electrifying, fun, and deeply satisfying. The series has become a showcase for independent film." 

The fall 2011 season launches on October 13, 2011, with Wham! Bam! Islam!, a provocative look at THE 99, the first Islamic-themed comic book and its rocky road to acceptance and success. For the complete lineup, visit

About Mary-Louise Parker 
Mary-Louise Parker is an actress with a diverse career in film, television, and theater, for which she has won multiple awards. Her work in television on Showtime’s Weeds has garnered five Golden Globe® nominations, one Golden Globe® win, four SAG nominations, four Emmy® nominations, one Satellite™ win and three nominations. In addition to her awards for Weeds, Parker is also the winner of another Golden Globe®, a Tony®, an Emmy®, two Obies, as well as numerous other nominations for her other works seen throughout her revered career. 

Audiences most recently saw Parker on the big screen in the hit action comedy Red, and in supporting roles in Solitary Man and the Sundance hit Howl with James Franco as Allen Ginsberg. On the small screen, Parker’s work in Mike Nichols’ highly acclaimed Angels In America garnered her Emmy® and Golden Globe® wins and a SAG nomination. She received Emmy® nominations for her performance on The West Wing and for her starring role in Robber Bride, for which she won the Gemini Award. Parker also starred in Sugartime, A Place For Annie, Saint Maybe, Cupid & Cate, The Simple Truth of Noah Dearborn, Miracle Run, and Vinegar Hill

Parker’s impressive film oeuvre includes the dark comedy Saved! and Romance & Cigarettes, written and directed by John Turturro. Parker is known widely for her starring roles in Fried Green Tomatoes, Grand Canyon, Reckless, Boys on the Side, The Client, Naked in New York, Bullets Over Broadway, The Best Thief in the World, Longtime Companion, Pipe Dream, Red Dragon, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and The Five Senses, for which she was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Actress. 

Parker also boasts a highly acclaimed and extensive stage career. She made her Broadway debut to rave reviews in Prelude to a Kiss, garnering a Tony® nomination, a Theatre World Award, The Clarence Derwent Award, and a Drama Desk nomination. She originated the role of ‘Li’l Bit’ in the critically lauded How I Learned To Drive, which earned her an Obie Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. She also starred in Reckless, for which she received Tony® and Drama League nominations. Her performance in Proof earned her the 2001 Tony® Award, as well as the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, Obie, and New York Magazine awards. She also earned the 2001 T. Schreiber Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre. In 2008, Parker starred in the Playwrights Horizons production of Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone. She was most recently seen in the Broadway revival of Hedda Gabler, directed by Ian Rickson. 

Parker is currently a contributing writer for Esquire. She won the Robert Brustein Award for Excellence in Theater and the Philadelphia Film Festival Award for Career Achievement. Her personal and professional belongings, along with career memorabilia, are archived at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University, where she was the youngest person ever inducted.

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing Thursday nights at 10pm on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community, or moment in history. Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Further information about the series is available at Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS, and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The series producer is Lois Vossen. 

Voleine Amilcar, ITVS, 415-356-8383 x 244,
Mary Lugo, 770-623-8190,
Cara White, 843-881-1480, 

For downloadable images, visit

Posted on September 20, 2011