Paula Jai Parker-Martin
Born and raised in the Midwest, actress Paula Jai Parker moved to Washington, D.C., to study at Howard University. After getting her B.A., she went on to become a regular on The Apollo Comedy Hour and Townsend Television on FOX. After proving she could do comedy, she made a dramatic turn on the HBO anthology series "Cosmic Slop". She won a Cable ACE Award for her title role in the segment "Tang," based on the short novel by Chester Himes. Parker made her feature film debut as Ice Cube's girlfriend Joi in F. Gary Gray's hit comedy "Friday". After meeting director Rusty Cundieff while doing "Tales From the Hood", she was cast as gold-digging Adina in his urban comedy "Sprung" with Tisha Campbell. She also worked with many of the Wayans brothers on the WB show The "Wayans' Brothers." and the feature film "Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood". Her next few films included the romantic comedy "Woo", starring Jada Pinkett Smith, and the period drama "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", starring Halle Berry. In 1999, she joined the cast of the David E. Kelley's, "Snoops", a detective drama on ABC starring Gina Gershon. After the show ended, she provided the voice of Trudy Proud on the animated series "The Proud Family" and starred in the ensemble comedy "30 Years to Life" with Tracy Morgan. 

Parker later appeared in Joel Schumacher's action thriller "Phone Booth" and Cheryl Dunye's domestic comedy "My Baby's Daddy". In 2005 she starred along side Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in the Oscar winning film "Hustle and Flow".  She can also be seen in Bill Duke's acclaimed film "Cover" and in the anthology series, "Fear Itself", from the producers of "Master's of Horror". 

Paula  Jai Parker's longevity and varied career choices have certainly poised her to continue to grow as an entertainer in Hollywood and has carved out a place for her as one of today's hardest working actresses. 

Parker's vast experience in the entertainment industry  has led to numerous invitations to lecture and share her experiences. Howard University has hosted Parker on numerous occasions presenting her masters Class to Seniors hopeful to find work in the industry; CBS hired Parker in 2012 to Direct their prestigious Diversity Showcase; and Paul Newman extended the coveted invite to Parker to participate in The Sundance Writers lab, where she mentored Behn Zeitling, helping him bring his Oscar nominated film "Beasts of the Southern Wild" to life. 

Parker's profound gift of mentoring has encouraged and jump started the careers of such notables as Chris Tucker, Marlon Wayans, Nick Cannon, Anthony Anderson, Taraji Henson, Regina Hall, Kerry Washington, and 2013 Oscar nominee, director  Behn Zietling. 

Paula made her reality television debut in 2014 on the hit TVOne series, "Hollywood Divas".  In 2015, Parker's first lead performance was showcased in the TVOne horror/suspense film, "The Summoning".  Paula also recently portrayed roles on Amazon's "Hand of God", and Freeform's Recovery Road.  

2016 will prove to become a stellar year for the actress, as she can be seen in Showtime's hit TV show, "Ray Donovan", Bounce TV's "Family Time", and Season 3 of "Hollywood Divas" on TVOne.


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