Sarah Jessica Parker’s Mother: Everything To Know About ‘Hocus Pocus’ Star’s Mom, Barbra Forste

The 'Sex And The City' star is close to her mother. Learn more about the family, after the loss of SJP's stepfather.

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Pippin Parker, Barbra Forste, Sarah Jessica Parker
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Image Credit: Carolyn Contino/BEI/Shutterstock

There’s no denying Sarah Jessica Parker, 57, loves her family, and that includes her parents, siblings, and stepfather too. The Sex And The City star has always been close with her mother Barbra Forste, 84. And now following the death of her husband Paul Forste, she’s relying on her family more than ever.

Who is Sarah Jessica Parker’s mom and how did she help her children with their acting careers? Learn everything we know about Barbra Forste and family right here.

Who is Barbra Forste?

Barbra was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on 2nd July 1938. She worked as a nursery school teacher and was married twice during her life. Barbra is the mother of eight adult children, most of which have ties to the entertainment industry. She is also the grandmother of SJP’s three children James Wilkie, Marion Loretta Elwell, and Tabitha Hodge, and actor Matthew Broderick’s mother-in-law.

Barbra Forste, Pippen Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker (right) attends the opening night of George Packer’s play ‘Betrayed’ in Feb, 2008 with brother Pippen Parker (center) and mom Barbra Forste. (Carolyn Contino/BEI/Shutterstock)

While little is known about Barbra’s personal life, she opened up about her own “biggest regret” to the New York Times back in 1983, when Sarah was just an 18-year-old up-and-comer. The lifelong caretaker said she missed out on, “developing my own interests,” but added, “I’m not sure that I can even remember what those interests are at this point.”

She Married Twice

Barbra’s first husband Stephen Parker and SJP’s father was a journalist and a writer. They were wed from 1936 until Sarah was 3 1/2 years old, according to a 2000 interview with The New York Times.

Not long after splitting from Stephen, Barbra married Paul Forste, who ran a bus and truck transportation business. They were together until his death in 2022.

Her 2nd Husband Passed Away

News of her husband Paul’s death came after Sarah skipped New York City Ballet’s 10th Annual Fall Fashion Gala on Sep. 28, due to a “devastating family situation.”

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker beamed during the Dec. 8, 2022 premiere of ‘And Just Like That…’ in New York. (Gregory Pace/Shutterstock)

The family released a statement the next day, which said, “Our family is sad to announce that after an unexpected and rapid illness, Paul Giffin Forste passed away yesterday at age 76.”

“In his last moments, he was surrounded with the love and gratitude of his adored wife Barbara of 54 years, and children, including Sarah Jessica Parker.” The statement continued, “Paul will be remembered with the spirit of loving kindness which was his faith, his special delight in his 13 grandchildren, and his sustained belief in making the world a more charitable, tolerant, and beautiful place for all.”

Most Of Her Kids Are In Showbiz

Barbra is a mother of eight, with four kids from her first marriage and another from her second. Many of her children are involved in entertainment. In addition to Sarah, she raised actor Timothy Britten Parker and playwright Pippin Barker. Daughter Rachel Parker is also in the creative field, working as a designer. She also has credits as a Broadway actress.

Barbra had four more children with her second husband Paul Forste. Children Aaron, Megan, and Allegra Forste all have experience behind the camera, according to IMDB. There is little public information about son Andrew Forste.

The Family Struggled With Money

During her childhood, Sarah remembers her family struggling with money. She looked back in a 2000 interview with the New York Times, saying, “I remember my childhood as Dickensian. I remember being poor. There was no great way to hide it.”

Sarah Jessica Parker, Marion Loretta Elwell Broderick, Tabitha Hodge Broderick
Sarah Jessica Parker, center, was joined by her daughters Marion Loretta Elwell Broderick, left, and Tabitha Hodge Broderick for the premiere of ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ in New York on Sep. 27, 2022.

The star added, “We didn’t have electricity sometimes. We didn’t have Christmases sometimes, or we didn’t have birthdays sometimes, or the bill collectors came, or the phone company would call and say, ‘We’re shutting your phones off.’ And we were all old enough to either get the calls, or watch my mother’s reactions or watch my parents shuffling the money around.”

Where Did They Live?

In order to foster SJP’s talents, the family moved from rural Ohio to Cincinnati, then to Dobbs Ferry, New York, near New York City, so that she could train as a dancer and actress. Sarah would land her first professional acting gig with The Innocents in 1976. Because of her family’s support Sarah was able to attend the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, the School of American Ballet in New York City, the New York Professional Children’s School, and Hollywood High School in Los Angeles.

She Still Supported Their Artistic Pursuits

Barbra has always been there for her kids. The whole family got wrapped up in the arts after the children became involved in dance. Eventually, Sarah and several siblings ended up in the national company of The Sound of Music, which Mr. Forste was working on as assistant stage manager at the time, per NYT.

“I would like to say that I was absolutely not a stage mother,” Mrs. Forste told The Times in 2000. “But on some level I was. What the children did was pretty much under our control. But any of the kids that did not want to act didn’t do it.”

Though the family had little means, Barbra made sure to fuel their curiosity with visits to free museums, as well as the ballet and the theater in Cincinnati, so that they lived “full, rich lives.”