Annie Parisse

Annie Parisse Headshot


Birth Name: Anne Marie Cancelmi

Birth Date: July 31, 1975

Age: 48 years old

Birth Place: Anchorage, Alaska

A versatile actress with an extensive career in television, film and theatre, Annie Parisse's compelling combination of intensity and femininity made her known for playing tough but human characters in positions of authority, most often in law enforcement. Her most notable television roles were as assistant District Attorney Alexandra Borgia on two seasons of "Law & Order" (NBC 1990-2010) and as FBI agent Debra Parker opposite Kevin Bacon in Kevin Williamson's cult thriller "The Following" (Fox 2013-15). She also achieved acclaim for her role as Julia Snyder in the long-running soap opera "As the World Turns" (CBS 1956-2010), while her film roles include supporting parts in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003), "National Treasure" (2004), "Monster-in-Law" (2005) and "Definitely, Maybe" (2008).

Born in Anchorage, AK, but raised in Seattle, Parisse was born Anne Marie Cancelmi but took her stage name from that of her maternal grandmother. Parisse's father Louie G. Cancelmi was an airline executive and her mother Annette was a first grade teacher. Parisse's husband Paul Sparks was also an actor, perhaps best known for his role as Mickey Doyle in "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO 2010- ); and the couple had their first child in 2009. While studying at New York's Fordham University, Parisse began performing onstage, including lead roles in versions of the classical plays "Medea" and "Antigone." Her theatre career continued, including a Broadway revival of Craig Lucas' "Prelude to a Kiss," the title role in the off-Broadway "Becky Shaw," and in New York Public Theater's 2011 Shakespeare in the Park productions of "Measure for Measure" and "All's Well That Ends Well." Her first television role was a five-year stint as Julia Snyder in the daytime soap opera "As the World Turns" from 1998 to 2003, with occasional guest appearances thereafter. The role led to a nomination for a Daytime Emmy award in 2001. Subsequent prominent television roles included a guest role in one episode of the hit comedy "Friends" (NBC 1994-2004), where she played Sarah, a woman who goes on a date with Matt Le Blanc's Joey but is rejected when she shares food from his plate. Small parts in prominent Hollywood films began coming her way around this point, including the Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey-starring romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" (2003), action thriller "National Treasure" (2004) and the Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep drama "Prime" (2005). After joining the cast of "Law & Order" in 2005, Parisse's career moved more toward the world of television. For two years, she portrayed assistant District Attorney Alexandra Borgia, whose exit from the show generated a shock for fans as she was brutally murdered at the end of the show's sixteenth season. A part in the Ryan Reynolds vehicle "Definitely, Maybe" (2008) aside, she spent the next few years performing small roles in JJ Abrams' cult favorite "Fringe" (Fox 2008-2013) and the mini-series "The Pacific" (2010) and with more substantial parts in the series "Rubicon" (AMC 2010) and "Person of Interest" (CBS 2011-16). The role of FBI agent Debra Parker opposite Kevin Bacon in Kevin Williamson's cult thriller "The Following" (Fox 2013-15) was another career high, although it would follow a disturbing trend in her career: as in both "Law & Order" and "Person of Interest," her character was killed off.

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