“Being a household name, does that equal success? I don't think so. I think success is working. A lot of people talk about working hard and being rejected for shows, but you have to pay your dues and work on your craft and prove to yourself and maybe to others as well, that you can do this.” Sara Ramirez
Mexican-American actress Sara Ramirez is popular to television audiences as orthopedic surgeon Dr. Callie Torres on ABC's successful medical drama series “Grey's Anatomy,” a role she has had since 2006. She has taken home a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Imagen nomination and two ALMA nominations for her performance. Prior to “Grey's Anatomy,” Ramirez was famous for playing The Lady of the Lake in the Broadway hit Monty Python's “Spamalot” (2005), from which she netted a Tony Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award. It was her performance in the play that won the smoky-voiced actress her part in the TV series. Ramirez also had roles in the films “You've Got Mail” (1998), “Spider-Man” (2002) and “Chicago” (2002) and guest starred in TV series such as “Spin City,” “Third Watch,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “As the World Turns” and “NYPD Blue.” Ramirez is also a singer.
Ramirez was named on People Magazine's “100 Most Beautiful People in the World, Beauty at Every Age section,” for age 31, in May 2007.
Childhood and Family:
Sara Ramirez was born on August 31, 1975, in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, a renowned beach resort on the Pacific coast of Mexico, to a Mexican father and a half Mexican and half Irish American mother. After her parents divorced, she and her mother moved to the U.S., where they lived in San Diego, California. At the time, Sara was eight years old.
Sara attended the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego, who’s noted alumni include Tony Award winner Christian Hoff, television personality Amanda Lewis, and film actress Julia D'Orazio. She later went to the prestigious Juilliard School of Drama in New York City.
Sara is fluent in Spanish and English.
Sara Ramirez acted in a number of productions and musicals during high school, which paved a way for her career on Broadway. A graduate of Julliard, she made her Broadway debut in 1998 when she got the role of Wahzinak in Paul Simon's musical “The Capeman,” which starred Marc Anthony and Rubén Blades. She picked up an Outer Critics Circle for her performance in the play. Simultaneously, she hit the big screen with a small part in “You've Got Mail” (1998), a romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and directed and scripted by Nora Ephron.
In 1999, Ramirez appeared in a Broadway musical of The Gershwins' “Fascinating Rhythm” at the Longacre Theatre. She then worked with Tovah Feldshuh and Suzanne Bertish in “The Vagina Monologues,” a play written by Eve Ensler. She also provided her voice for the video game “UmJammer Lammy.” The following year, Ramirez appeared with Paget Brewster, Eric Jungmann and Pat Kilbane in a pilot for the TV show “Star Patrol” (2000), but the series was not picked up. She also made guest appearances in the TV series “Spin City” (2000), “Third Watch” (2000), “Law & Order: SVU” (2000) and “Welcome to New York” (2000).
Following performances in the Broadway musical “A Class Act” at the Ambassador Theatre and in a special one day Broadway show of “Dreamgirls” at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts (both 2001), Ramirez earned notice as a police officer on the box office hit “Spider-Man” (2002), which starred Tobey Maguire.
After “Spider-Man,” Ramirez landed a supporting role on the Alfredo De Villa award-winning drama “Washington Heights” (2002), in which she costarred with Manny Perez, Danny Hoch, Bobby Cannavale, Callie Thorne and Judy Reyes. She then portrayed Gabrielle in the unsold TV series pilot “Baseball Wives” (2002), helmed by noted actor Steve Buscemi, and returned to “Law & Order: SVU” when she portrayed Lisa Perez on the 2002 episode “Chameleon.” She also had a featured role in the Rob Marshall hit “Chicago” (2002), which starred Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Taye Diggs and Christine Baranski.
Ramirez next appeared in the made-for-TV film “Naked Hotel” (ABC, 2003), directed by Phil Joanou and starring John Corbett, and in episodes of CBS' “As the World Turns” (2003, as Hannah) and “NYPD Blue” (2004, as Irma Pacheco). However, in 2005 the Latin beauty acquired considerable recognition when Mike Nichols cast her in the role of The Lady of the Lake on the original Broadway production of Monty Python's “Spamalot,” opposite Tim Curry as King Arthur, David Hyde Pierce as Sir Robin, and Hank Azaria as Sir Lancelot. The show was a critical and commercial success and won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (for Ramirez). Ramirez also picked up a 2005 Outer Critics Circle for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.
After her Tony win, Ramirez got her breakout TV role as Dr. Calliope “Callie” Torres on her favorite TV show, “Grey's Anatomy.” She joined the ABC hit in Season 2 as a recurring player and progressed to the regular cast the following season. In addition to fame, “Grey's Anatomy” also brought Ramirez a 2007 Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, plus an additional nomination in the same category in 2008, a 2007 Imagen nomination for Best Supporting Actress - Television, and two ALMA nominations for Outstanding Actress - Television Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie.
“The weird thing about working in television is that you only see the people that you’re in scenes with. It’s not like you’re all running around the set together. So if you’re going to hang out together, you kind of have to make an effort and I think people have families, people have lives.” Sara Ramirez
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, “Grey's Anatomy,” 2007
Tony: Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, “Monty Python's Spamalot,” 2005
Outer Critics Circle: Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, “Monty Python's Spamalot,” 2005
Outer Critics Circle: “The Capeman,” 1998