Hunter Parrish is an American actor and singer. An alumnus of the 'Dallas Young Actors Studio,' the actor has numerous TV and film credits to his name, but the one show that defined his career was 'Weeds.' He was associated with the show for 7 years and also earned two 'Screen Actors Guild Award' nominations for his role in it. Interestingly, Hunter has revealed that his parents were disappointed since he had been typecast as characters that indulged in malpractices such as drugs, until he was cast as ‘Jesus’ in the ‘Broadway’ production of 'Godspell,' one of his most acclaimed theater credits. Hunter initially worked with the agency 'CED Voices' and was featured in 'Vanity Fair's cover article 'Hollywood's New Wave: The Hottest Kids in Hollywood' in August 2008. Hunter was considered for the lead role in 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' He had also auditioned for the role of the fictional character ‘Peeta Mellark’ from the science-fiction flick 'The Hunger Games' but eventually lost it to Josh Hutcherson, one of his co-stars. Hunter is now married to his long-time girlfriend, whom he met on the sets of 'Weeds.'
Childhood & Early Life
Hunter was born Hunter Parrish Tharp, on May 13, 1987, in Richmond, Virginia. His mother, Annie Parrish, works for autistic children, and his father Bruce Tharp, worked as an engineer. Hunter grew up in Plano, Texas, with his older brother. Most of his family members have lived in the American Midwest for generations. Hunter is of English, German, Scots-Irish (Northern Irish), and remote Dutch descent.
Hunter is a graduate from 'Plano Senior High School' and 'Texas Tech University Independent School District.' He trained in acting at 'Dallas Young Actors Studio' in Dallas, Texas.
Hunter was always inclined toward music. He even would sing in church. At the age of 16, Hunter began following his passion for music and composed several songs. He has penned the lyrics of more than 200 songs. His first paid job was an advertisement for the hot dog brand 'Ball Park Fun Franks.'
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Hunter was spotted by lecturer, educator, and talent scout Peter Sklar at a showcase held in New York. Peter recognized his talent and helped him bag a few acting projects, with which Hunter stepped into the entertainment industry. He made his debut in 2003, with a brief role in an episode of the 'CBS' drama series 'The Guardian.'
The following year, Hunter bagged his first film. He was cast as ‘Lance Gregory’ in the teen comedy film 'Sleepover.' The year 2005 was a profitable year for him, as he was cast in six projects that year. He also bagged the most significant role in his career the same year. Hunter was seen in brief roles in the series 'Summerland' and the 'CBS' procedural crime drama 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.' He also appeared in the short 'Premonition' and the neo-western movie 'Down in the Valley.' However, his career flourished after he was cast in 'Weeds.'
Hunter essayed the role of ‘Silas Andrew Botwin’ in the 'Showtime' dark comedy–drama ‘Weeds’ from 2005 to 2012 (102 episodes). Hunter, along with the cast of the series, earned two 'Screen Actors Guild Award' nominations (one each in 2006 and 2008) in the ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Category.’ The show recorded high ratings in its initial years but failed to impress the audience toward the end. Thus, the creators contemplated ending the show.
In between his stint in 'Weeds,' Hunter appeared in films, too. Some of his noteworthy films are 'RV' (2006), '17 Again' (2009), 'The Space Between' (2010), and 'Gone' (2012). He played ‘Ben Samuels,’ the only white person in a class of a Californian high school, in the 2007 drama film 'Freedom Writers.' His role earned him accolades from critics, and 'The National Review Online' regarded his portrayal as "unassuming humor.”
Hunter has also been part of two major stage productions. On August 11, 2008, he began playing the lead role of ‘Melchior Gabor’ in the 'Tony Award'-winning ‘Broadway’ musical 'Spring Awakening,' which marked his ‘Broadway’ debut. Staged at the 'Eugene O'Neill Theatre' in New York City, the show earned Hunter tons of praises for his outstanding performance. He played the character for the last time on January 18, 2009.
Hunter was featured as ‘Luke Adler’ in the 2009 romantic comedy 'It's Complicated,' for which he received a 'National Board of Review Award For Best Cast,’ along with the rest of the cast. From 2011 to 2012, Hunter portrayed ‘Jesus’ in the ‘Broadway’ revival of 'Godspell,' his second significant stage work. His last show was staged on April 15, 2012, and he quit the show to shoot the finale of 'Weeds.'
Hunter also made his professional music debut the same year. He released his EP, 'Guessing Games,' containing six songs. Initially, the EP was sold at the 'Circle in the Square Theatre,' the lobby of 'Godspell,' and had a grand release later.
From 2015 to 2016, Hunter was seen in the leading role of ‘Douglas Rhodes’ in the 'Amazon’ web period drama 'Good Girls Revolt.' He also appeared in the brief recurring role of ‘Clay Haas’ in the 'ABC' thriller series 'Quantico.' Hunter will be seen in two upcoming series, namely, the 'Netflix' drama series 'Ratched' and 'Jane the Novela.' The latter will feature him as ‘Felix.’
Family & Personal Life
In December 2014, Hunter got engaged to Kathryn Wahl. On September 13, 2015, they had a lavish wedding at the ‘Flying Caballos Ranch,’ in San Luis Obispo, California. The two first met in 2010, while Hunter was filming 'Weeds.' Kathryn was one of the personal assistants of the show. Hunter and Kathryn had their honeymoon in Mexico and later posted pictures on 'Instagram.'
Hunter has previously dated musician-actor AJ Michalka (from 2009 to 2010) and actor Allison Tyler (from 2007 to 2008). He also has been linked to actor Mary-Kate Olsen.
In contrast to his character in 'Weeds,' Hunter is pretty much a sober man. A staunch Christian, he does not drink alcohol and coffee. Even though he has been linked with many women, he claims he is not a womanizer.