Sarah Jessica Parker used to think that she would be known all her life as the former girlfriend of John F. Kennedy Jr.
"It has become the defining factor in the person I am," she told The New York Times in 1992, not long after splitting with JFK Jr. "It’s pathetic. When I die, they are going to say, 'Oh, yeah, Sarah once dated John Kennedy.'"
What Parker didn’t know back then was that the actor she had just started dating, Matthew Broderick, would become her life partner, and that she and he would become known for having one of the happiest marriages in Hollywood.
"I love Matthew Broderick," Parker declared in Harper's Bazaar in 2013. "Call me crazy, but I love him. We can only be in the marriage we are. We're very devoted to our family and our lives. I love our life. I love that he's the father of my children, and it's because of him that there's this whole other world that I love."
Parker was born in Ohio, one of eight kids in a family where money was tight. She was a child actress, starring in Annie on Broadway before being cast in the sitcom Square Pegs. She met Robert Downey Jr on the set of the movie Firstborn and was in a relationship with him for seven years – trying and failing to help him overcome his drug addiction – before dating JFK Jr.
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It was in late 1991 that Parker met Broderick. Parker’s brothers Pippin and Toby ran a theatre company and when Broderick directed a play for them, he was introduced to Parker. Broderick was best known for the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but, like Parker, he’d got his start on Broadway when he was young, having won a Tony award when he was 21.
A few months later – Parker remembers the date as being February 1, 1992 – Broderick rang her up to ask her out on a date.
"Then he left a very charming, very self-effacing message on the machine," she told The New York Times in 1996. "You know, 'Hi, it's Matthew Broderick.'"