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Sara Ramirez Biography

Sara Ramirez was born August 31, 1975, in the exotic beachside community of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. The daughter of a talented singer/actress, she moved with her mother to San Diego in 1983 following her parents' divorce. It was there that Sara first whet her appetite for the theatre as a student at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. “Musicals were a big deal, and I suppose I gained interest the more I went to see them,” she says. “I had seen my mom in a few ‘plays with music’ when I was growing up as well, and I’m pretty sure that fueled my interest.”

sara ramirez goes to juilliard
Following her graduation, Sara headed for the bright lights of New York City to attend Juilliard School, the same professional breeding ground that counts Robin Williams, Christopher Reeve and Jamie Foxx among its distinguished alumni. The school proved to be the perfect nurturing ground for Sara's talent and she spent the next few years developing both her acting chops and her stunning alto.

sara ramirez on broadway
Equipped with a first-class education, Sara made her Broadway debut in 1998 playing Wahzinak in Paul Simon's The Capeman. Although the musical proved to be a critical dud, Sara was singled out for her outstanding performance and she finished the year with a role in the blockbuster hit You’ve Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

sara ramirez in chicago
Next up for this multitalented star was a role in the musical The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm, for which she received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, followed by performances in A Class Act, The Vagina Monologues and Dreamgirls. By now one of the most promising stars on The Great White Way, Sara continued to branch out into television with appearances in Spin City and Third Watch in 2000, Law & Order in 2002, NYPD Blue in 2004, and the blockbuster films Chicago and Spider-Man in 2002.

sara ramirez in spamalot
Sara continued her push toward fame in 2004 when she was cast in Spamalot, a hilarious musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Her scene-stealing role as The Lady of The Lake instantly won over fans and critics alike, and she was honored the following year with a Tony and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. “When I look back on Spamalot, a huge smile spreads across my face, my throat tightens up, and my eyes get watery,” she admits. “It was the time of my life. It was the most artistically enlightening, challenging, eye-opening, joyful, exhausting, and fulfilling job of my life.”

sara ramirez on grey’s anatomy
It was also a great career move as Sara’s exceptional performance caught the attention of Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy. “I happened to be a huge fan of Grey’s Anatomy during the time of the Spamalot insanity and, thanks to my agents and angels at ABC/Touchstone, I had several meetings as a result of their having attended the show,” she says. The show’s executives clearly liked what they saw and Sara was soon invited to join the cast as tough-minded orthopedic surgeon Dr. Callie Torres.

Sara and her fellow cast members were honored for their inspiring work in 2005 with a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.


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