Born: July 20, 1971
Date of Birth: July 20, 1971
Born and raised in Nepean, Ontario, Sandra Oh began taking ballet lessons at the age of four. She became heavily involved in theater at school, playing the lead role in her first school play when she was ten. At 16, Oh began acting professionally in plays and commercials and by the time she was 18, she had a regular role in the Ottawa-based television series Denim Blues. After high school, Oh auditioned for and was accepted into Canada's prestigious National Theatre School, located in Montreal. Immediately upon graduation in 1993, she won the title role in the CBC-TV movie, The Diary of Evelyn Lau, about a teenage runaway, and has never been out of work since. Career highlights include winning a Genie Award as Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her feature film debut in Double Happiness (1994), followed by another Genie Award four years later for the film Last Night (1998).
When she landed the role of Rita Wu in the HBO comedy series Arli$$ in 1996, Oh moved to Los Angeles. She stayed with the series for six years, winning a Cable Ace Award in 1997. She continued to appear in feature films such as Guinevere (1999), Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000), The Princess Diaries (2001), Big Fat Liar (2002), Full Frontal (2002) and Under the Tuscan Sun (2003). In the independent film Dancing at the Blue Iguana, much of the film was improvised by the actors, and Oh, who proved to be quite adept at improvisation when first starting out as an actor, won a Best Performance award at the Milan Film Festival for her starring role as a stripper. She has also won a Theatre World Award for her role in Stop Kiss at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York.
Although she married director/writer Alexander Payne (who directed her in the award-winning film Sideways) in 2003, the marriage had dissolved by 2005. Since then, she landed a starring role on ABC-TV's medical series Grey's Anatomy, and won a 2006 Golden Globe for her work on the show. She's also received five Emmy nominations for Grey's Anatomy, every season from 2005 to 2009 inclusive. More recently, she starred alongside Melissa McCarthy in the comedy Tammy (2014).