Parker gains supporting work in many films, including If Lucy Fell, The Substance of Fire, and Extreme Measures. She appears as a young trophy mistress in The First Wives Club with Diane Keaton; alongside Broderick in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; and in the Tony-nominated Once Upon a Mattress.
Producer Darren Star seeks out Parker to star as Carrie Bradshaw in his new HBO series Sex and the City. "Sarah Jessica has the biting wit I wanted the character to have, but she is also extremely sympathetic," Star says to PEOPLE. While she has reservations about committing to a series, she takes the part that makes her a household name and fashion icon. She becomes a producer for the show in its third season.
Parker and Matthew Broderick marry in an out-of-use synagogue in lower Manhattan. "I wore black on my wedding day, and I really regret that," Parker says to Marie Claire. "I was too embarrassed to get married in white, and both Matthew and I were reluctant to have people pay so much attention to us. Which is ridiculous, because that's when you can relish the attention, when it's natural."
Parker wins a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. She says in her acceptance speech: "Thank you. I've never won anything in my life. . .I'm not a winner." She wins this same honor in 2001, 2002, and 2004.
PEOPLE names Parker one of the 25 Most Intriguing People, stating that Parker's "city-girl-next-door appeal" has helped transform the series "into a bona fide phenomenon, influencing what hip, unattached women drink (cosmopolitans), how they accessorize (with Fendi baguettes and gold chain belts) and how
they view the dating game."
Parker and Broderick welcome their first child, James Wilkie Broderick. He is named after Broderick's father James, and after Wilkie Collins, a favorite writer of both parents. "We want to have it all, but it usually feels like something gets the short end of the stick," Parker tells In Style. "Happily, that's not ever going to be my child."
Sunday nights will never be quite the same. After six successful seasons, HBO announces that Sex and the City will call its sixth season its final one, with Parker deciding to pull the plug on the hit show that made her a superstar and cultural icon. "You don't want to be the last one to leave a party," Parker says to PEOPLE. "If we stay because it's comfortable and lucrative . . . it's a sad ending if you stay too long." The series finale airs in February 2004.
Parker makes Gap-company history, becoming the first celebrity to sign a three-season ad campaign for reportedly $38 million. However, she has difficulty breaking her high-fashion image and sales decline. The New York Times quotes an expert as saying, "Enlisting the Manolo-shod Ms. Parker to sell sportswear basics looked largely like an act of desperation." The following March, Gap announces it will no longer use Parker.
After five consecutive losses, Parker finally wins her first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Sex and the City. At an afterparty celebrating HBO's 32 wins, she tells In Style "This is the biggest celebration I've had in a long time."
In collaboration with Coty, Inc., Parker releases her first signature fragrance, Lovely. "It’s not a scent you smell before a person walks into a room," the star tells PEOPLE. "I don’t want it not to have social skills." In August 2007, she releases her follow-up fragrance, Covet.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Paramount/Everett; PHOTOFEST; Ron Galella/WireImage; KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/AP; JOHN KRONDES/GLOBE; WENN; KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/AP; Ken Babolscay/Globe