Less Than Perfect
Making her film debut at age 9 as Kevin Spacey's daughter and the late Burt Lancaster's granddaughter in the dramatic film “Rocket Gibraltar” (1988), Sara Rue would later be famous as Claudia Casey, a television network employee, in the ABC sitcom "Less Than Perfect" (2002-2006). She also played the roles of Edda Pasetti, the teenage daughter to Pamela Reed's character who was raised in a travel trailer, on the NBC half-hour sitcom "Grand" (1990), and Carmen Ferrara, a pretty but unpopular girl, on the WB teenage series "Popular" (1999-2001). She also had recurring roles on "Phenom," "The Simple Life," "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane," "The Division" and "Two and a Half Men," as well as guest-starred in such TV shows as "Roseanne," "ER," "Chicago Hope," "Will & Grace" and "Mad TV."
On the wide screen, moviegoers could catch the 5' 7" actress in the films "Passed Away" (1992), "Can't Hardly Wait" (1998), "A Slipping-Down Life" (1999; she won a Special Jury Prize at the Indianapolis International Film Festival), "A Map of the World" (1999), "Pearl Harbor" (2001), "Gypsy 83" (2001), "The Ring" (2002), "Idiocracy" (2006) and "Man Maid" (2008). She will next be seen in the upcoming films "Not Since You" and "For Christ's Sake."
New York Native
Childhood and Family:
Daughter to Marc Schlackman, a stage manager, and Joan Rue, a former actress who worked as the special assistant to the City Council President of N.Y.C., Sara Schlackman was born on January 26, 1979, in New York, New York. The elder of two daughters, Sara attended the Professional Children's School in New York. She was taught to drive by Debra Jo Rupp and taught to juggle by Glenn Close.
In 2001, Sara married Mischa Livingstone, who is an avid poker player (so is Sara). Sara and her husband have two dogs and two cats. The couple filed for divorce in November 2007.
“I love gambling. I'm so happy that Bravo is feeding my addiction. My husband's not thrilled about it but I'm psyched.” Sara Rue (on her appearance in Bravo's “Celebrity Poker Showdown”)
When she is not busy on set, Sara enjoys gardening and collecting and playing vintage guitars.
At age nine, New York native Sara Rue, who spent most of her childhood backstage with one or both of her parents who were very active in the Broadway theatre community, began her own acting career by appearing as Kevin Spacey's daughter (and as the late Burt Lancaster's granddaughter) in director Daniel Petrie's dramatic film “Rocket Gibraltar” (1988).
In the early '90s, she became a regular on the NBC half-hour sitcom "Grand" (1990), playing Edda Pasetti, the teenage daughter to Pamela Reed's single mother character who was raised in a travel trailer. She then portrayed one of the grandchildren in writer/director Charlie Peters' comedy "Passed Away" (1992), starring Bob Hoskins, Jack Warden and William L. Petersen. She also played a teenaged Roseanne in an episode of the hit ABC sitcom "Roseanne" and had the recurring role of Monica on the ABC tennis sitcom "Phenom" (1993-1994).
The mid '90s saw Rue as the spacey receptionist for a child psychologist on the series "Minor Adjustments" (NBC, 1995; UPN, 1996). She also appeared in the ABC TV-movie "Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare" and had a supporting role in the CBS TV-movie "For My Daughter's Honor" (1996). She spent the rest of the decade playing a recurring role on the short-lived CBS sitcom "The Simple Life" (1998) and guest-starring as a pregnant teenager about to deliver on a 1998 episode of the CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope." She also returned to features with a memorable role in Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan's romantic teen comedy film "Can't Hardly Wait" (1998), with Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, Charlie Korsmo, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli and Seth Green.
After portraying the role of Crystal in "The Water Children" play by Wendy MacLeod at the Matrix Theatre, in Los Angeles, California, from April to June 1998, Rue was picked as a regular for the WB teenage series "Popular" (1999-2001), playing Carmen Ferrara, a pretty but unpopular girl who is initially rejected for the cheerleading squad due to her weight but later becomes co-captain of the Glamazons.
During her "Popular" stint, Rue acted in the odd independent feature "A Slipping-Down Life" (1999; starring Lili Taylor and Guy Pearce), Toni Kalem's film adaptation of Anne Tyler's novel which won Rue a Special Jury Prize at the Indianapolis International Film Festival. She was also featured as Sigourney Weaver's cell mate in the acclaimed Scott Elliott's film version of Jane Hamilton's 1994 novel "A Map of the World" (1999) and appeared in the Lifetime original movie "Silent Hearts" (1999; "Nowhere to Go"). She then played a recurring guest role as the obnoxious wheelchair-bound teen Breeny Kennedy (1999) on The WB's teen sitcom "Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane." Additionally, Rue guest-starred as Joyce, the compulsive overeating sister of Grace Adler (played by Debra Messing), on a 2000 episode of the NBC sitcom “Will & Grace.” On the big screen, Rue portrayed a nurse in Michael Bay's Academy Award-winning war film "Pearl Harbor" (2001; starring Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Jon Voight, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr., Dan Aykroyd, Jaime King, and Jennifer Garner) and starred as Gypsy Vale, a 25-year-old who idolizes rock singer Stevie Nicks, in Todd Stephens' independent film "Gypsy 83" (2001).
Post "Popular," Rue starred as Claudia "Claude" Casey, a television network employee who moved up in the secretarial world of television news, in the ABC sitcom "Less Than Perfect." The show that also stars Andy Dick, Sherri Shepherd, Andrea Parker, and Zachary Levi began airing on ABC on October 1, 2002, and ended on August 1, 2006.
“ABC has been nothing but supportive and wonderful. I think their point is that people are sick of seeing women who are size two on television and it's time we had someone who's a size eight carrying a show.” Sara Rue
Following the demise of "Less Than Perfect," Rue had an unaccredited role as an attorney general in the Mike Judge dark comedy "Idiocracy" (2006; starring Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph) and portrayed Celeste in "Little Egypt," (May 2006) a musical by Gregg Lee Henry and Lynn Siefert at the Matrix Theatre, in Los Angeles, California. She also appeared in two episodes of the CBS sitcom starring Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men," and co-starred with Eliza Dushku and Ramon Rodriguez in the TV movie "Nurses" (2007).
Rue was recently seen in the horror TV movie "Nightmare at the End of the Hall" (2008) and in the comedy film "Man Maid" (2008), written and directed by Chris Lusvardi. She will soon complete her upcoming film projects, "Not Since You," a romantic drama by Jeff Stephenson featuring Desmond Harrington, Kathleen Robertson, Christian Kane, Sunny Mabrey and Will Estes, and "For Christ's Sake," a comedy by Jackson Douglas in which she co-stars opposite Alex Borstein and Michael Hitchcock.
Indianapolis International Film Festival: Special Jury Prize - Performance, “A Slipping-Down Life,” 2004