Actress and musician Parker Posey attended the Conservatory of Theatre Arts in the 1980s and became one of the most influential actresses on the indie film scene. While at Purchase, Posey roomed and studied with actresses Sherry Stringfield and Orlagh Cassidy ’90.
Posey’s first major role in a feature film was in Dazed and Confused (released in 1993 and now a cult classic), with Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, and Jason London. Throughout the late 1990s, Posey co-starred in 32 independent films and was nicknamed “Queen of the Indies.” Among many other films, Posey was featured in Personal Velocity, Basquiat, Clockwatchers, The Daytrippers, Party Girl and The House of Yes.
She has co-starred in many of Christopher Guest’s films, including five of his mockumentaries, the first being Waiting for Guffman in 1996.
In 1998, Posey appeared in the Hal Hartley film Henry Fool, as well as the blockbuster studio hit You’ve Got Mail, with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. In 2000, she starred in Guest’s third mockumentary Best in Show, and in yet another big-budget screen hit—the horror film Scream.
In 2003, she starred in Guest’s A Mighty Wind, followed by appearances in Sisters of Mercy, Laws of Attraction, and Blade: Trinity. Posey played the role of Kitty Kowalski in box office hit Superman Returns.
Later in 2006, she played the title character in Fay Grim, the sequel to Henry Fool, and appeared in For Your Consideration.
She starred in Zoe Cassavetes’ 2007 film Broken English, for which she was nominated Best Female Lead at the 23rd Independent Spirit Awards.
In 2012, Posey starred in four episodes of the third season of Louie as Liz, Louis C.K.’s love interest. Posey also appeared in Ned Rifle, the third and final film in Hartley’s Henry Fool trilogy, again reprising her role of Fay Grim.
In July 2014, Posey signed on to co-star in Woody Allen’s mystery drama Irrational Man with Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, and Jamie Blackley. The film had its world premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2018, she appeared as Dr. Smith in Lost in Space, the Netflix remake of the 1965 TV series.
Posey starred as Deputy Marshal Emily Barnes in the podcast fiction series Hunted, from legendary Law & Order producer Dick Wolf, about U.S. Marshals dedicated to capturing the country’s most dangerous fugitives.
In 2022, she played the role of the idiosyncratic prosecutor Freda Black in the HBO limited series The Staircase, a recount of the saga of Michael Peterson, a crime novelist accused of killing his wife Kathleen after she is found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their home, and the 16-year judicial battle that followed.
In 2023, Posey appears in The New Group’s The Seagull/Woodstock, NY, a fresh update of the Chekov classic, alongside fellow alum Bill Sage ’88.