Billy Crudup and Mary-Louise Parker welcomed their only child together in 2004
The Morning Show star and the Weeds actress became first-time parents after welcoming William on Jan. 7, 2004. At the time, Crudup and Parker had recently broken up after eight years together. Crudup had left Parker when she was seven months pregnant for his Stage Beauty costar Claire Danes.
Despite the circumstances of their split, the pair put their differences aside "for the sake of the baby" and kept their custody out of court, as Parker's rep told PEOPLE in 2004.
“They are figuring out a way to coexist," a friend of Crudup's added at the time.
In the years that followed, Crudup and Parker continued to co-parent their son, even teaming up to costar in one of William's student films in 2019.
The exes have also voiced support for each other in regards to their personal lives. When Crudup married Naomi Watts in June 2023, Parker told The Guardian: “I wish them well. And absolutely I honestly of course wish them every happiness because that's my son’s father. So I’m happy for them. I’m happy they found each other."
Here’s everything to know about Billy Crudup and Mary-Louise Parker’s son, William Atticus Parker.
He was born in 2004
William was born in New York City on Jan. 7, 2004, two months after Crudup and Parker split.
In 2009, Parker told More magazine of her breakup with Crudup, “I’ve never commented on the situation, and I won’t because it’s not fair to my son." Of being cordial with her ex, she added, “Your love for your child should eclipse any other feelings you have for another person.”
He was named after a famous character
"I just want him to be happy and kind, that's why I gave him that middle name," she told the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine in June 2007.
He received an awards show shout-out when he was just days old
In 2004, Parker won the Golden Globe Award for best supporting actress in a TV series, miniseries or TV movie for her role in HBO’s Angels in America. The event was held only two weeks after William was born, and she gave him a humorous shout-out in her acceptance speech.
After thanking director Mike Nichols and writer Tony Kushner, Parker said: “And Janel Moloney just told me she would pay me $1,000 if I thanked my newborn son for my boobs looking so good in this dress. So get out your checkbook! William Atticus Parker, thank you so much from your mother.”
He has acting credits to his name
William has appeared in small, often uncredited roles in a few projects, including ones that featured his mother. He had parts in the TV movies Christmas in Conway (2013) and Compliance (2018) and in the series Mr. Mercedes and Colin in Black & White, all of which starred Parker. William also starred in two movies that he directed himself.
Crudup spoke about his then-15-year-old son’s burgeoning film career on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2019. “He’s in school right now, so he’s not a professional actor,” he said. “But he loves the arts. His mom and I are both in the business.”
He’s a filmmaker
Although William has acted before, his true passion is filmmaking. He has directed two feature films: Forty Winks (2022) and Atrabilious (2023). The casts were comprised of well-known actors: Forty Winks starred Justin Marcel McManus, Carmen Ejogo, John Turturro and Susan Sarandon, who is also William’s godmother. The cast of Atrabilious includes Whoopi Goldberg, Jeffrey Wright and Alec Baldwin.
Deadline reported that both films were shot on a micro-budget. William told the publication of his second feature: “Atrabilious is the darkly comedic and magical characterization of grief. It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for a while, and I’m so glad I get to do so with this wonderful cast and crew.”
The 19-year-old also has his own production company, River Styx Productions. According to its website, William’s directorial inspirations include Jordan Peele, Donald Glover, Ari Aster, Spike Lee and more.
His parents starred in one of his films
During his interview with Ellen DeGeneres in 2019, Crudup said that he and Parker acted in one of William’s film class projects. “I’m sure you'll see it at some point,” Crudup joked. “It was a seven-minute experimental film called Parchment.”
He went on to describe his teenage son’s directing style.
“I was filming it when I was coming home on the weekends and stuff from working here [in Los Angeles],” the actor said. “So, needless to say, I didn’t want to go from the paid working gig to the non-paid working gig where I’m being directed by my 15-year-old, who says things like, ‘Well that’s a stupid choice, Dad. Do it better.’ ”
Crudup said William would also wake him up for reshoots. “I was thrilled that the character I was playing was aggressively angry and discombobulated the entire time,” he added.
He has a younger sister
William has one sibling through his mom. In 2007, Parker adopted a daughter named Caroline “Ash” Aberash Parker.
In 2009, the Weeds actor told OK! magazine that William and Caroline got along right away. “They’re brother and sister. They’ve always been brother and sister,” she said. “They’re really sweet together, and sometimes they hurt each other. They’re like me and my brother, really.”
Ash also contributed to William’s movie Atrabilious. According to Deadline, she wrote and recorded a song for the film.
He’s walked the red carpet with his parents
William has joined his parents at awards shows and premieres over the years. In 2021, he and Caroline both attended the Tony Awards with Parker. That year, she won the Tony for best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play for The Sound Inside.
William has also hit the red carpet with his dad. In 2019, they attended the premiere of The Morning Show in N.Y.C.
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