This Day in Black History: Oct. 7, 1970

Actress Nicole Ari Parker was born.

Posted: 10/07/2013 12:00 AM EDT

Nicole Ari Parker was born in Baltimore, Maryland on October 7, 1970.  The actress, mom, and wife, is best known for her role as Teri Joseph in the Showtime TV series Soul Food from 2000-2004, and for portraying strong, yet black women in major films and TV shows.

Parker was a dedicated actress as a teen; she began studying at the Baltimore Actors Theatre and then the Washington Ballet Company.  She won the Best Actress award in a Maryland high school competition and went on to perfect her craft at New York University’s famous Tisch School of the Arts. Ari jumped from the graduation stage to the main stage making acting appearances in the films Boogie Nights, Remember the Titans, he 1999 Sundance Film Festival winner The Adventures of Sebastian Cole. 

Her role as Teri Joseph, the corporate tough loving eldest sister on in the adapted TV series Soul Food, had a dramatic impact in Parker’s life both on and on camera.  Not only was she staring in the first ground-breaking long running cable TV series featuring an all African-American cast, she also met her future husband, co-star Boris Kodjoe on set.

Parker and Kodjoe married on May 21, 2005 and welcomed their first child Sophie in March of that year; and their second child, son Nicolas in 2006. In addition to adding the roles of wife and mother to her plate Parker also became an advocate for spina bifida, which Sophie was diagnosed with at birth.   She and Kodjoe founded the charity Sophie’s Voice Foundation to raise awareness for the disease.

Parker has been nominated for several NAACP Image Awards. She was recently casted for a lead role in the new Jerry Bruckheimer-produced NBC drama pilot: The Secret Lives Of Husbands And Wives. 

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(Photo: Derrick Salters/WENN.com)

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