Actress Sarah Clarke first achieved fame playing Nina Myers on the Fox critically acclaimed show “24” (36 episodes, 2001-2004), from which she won a Golden Satellite Award and a Screen Actors Guild nomination. More recently, she starred as Erin McGuire in the short lived series “Trust Me” (TNT, 2009), opposite Tom Cavanagh, Eric McCormack, Geoffrey Arend, Griffin Dunne and Monica Potter. Clarke is perhaps most popular to moviegoers as Belle's mom, Renée Dwyer, on the “Twilight” film franchise, “Twilight” (2008) and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (2010). She will also reprise the role on the upcoming sequel “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1” (2011). Clarke has appeared in additional television series like “Sex and the City,” “Ed,” “Karen Sisco,” “House M.D.,” “Las Vegas,” “Life,” “The Cleaner” and “Men of a Certain Age” as well as the movies “The Third Date” (2003), “Thirteen” (2003), “Happy Endings” (2005), “The Lather Effect” (2006), “Women in Trouble” (2009) and “Below the Beltway” (2010).
“I was a little embarrassed that I'd come out to do this professional job and then hooked up with someone on the set. I didn't want anybody making any judgments. It was so much more important than a fling and I just didn't want people talking about it.” Sarah Clarke
Clarke has been married to her “24” co-star, actor Xander Berkeley, since 2002. They have one child together.
Childhood and Family:
Sarah Clarke, nicknamed Creathon, was born on February 16, 1972, in St. Louis, Missouri. The middle child of Ernest Clarke, an engineer, and Carolyn, a homemaker, Sarah has an older brother named Preston, who is a musician, and a younger brother named Swope, who is a New York banker.
Young Sarah went to John Burroughs High School and later studied fine arts and Italian at Indiana University. She spent her senior year in Bologna, Italy, where she first discovered an interest in acting. Sarah is a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and was initiated into the Beta (Indiana) chapter in 1990. She later moved to New York and studied acting with a variety of companies and teachers, including Robert Wilson and the famed Circle in the Square Theater.
“I feel completely equal with Xander, in my mind and in myself.” Sarah Clarke
On the set of “24,” Sarah met her future husband Xander Berkeley (born on December 16, 1955), who played her supervisor George Mason. They married on September 17, 2002, and welcomed their first child together, Olwyn Harper Berkeley, on September 23, 2006.
While working as an architectural photographer, Sarah Clarke started acting in theater and made her first screen appearance when she starred in the award winning Volkswagen television commercial “Synchronicity” in 1999. Billed as Sarah Lively, she landed her first film role the following year with “Pas de deux,” a short film directed by Nara Garber. She nabbed an Outstanding Performance Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival for her performance. The same year, she also starred in another short film, “All About George,” by Christopher Llewellyn Reed and guest starred in an episode of HBO's hit series “Sex and the City,” playing Melinda Peters.
Clarke's big breakthrough arrived in 2001 when she landed the role of Nina Myers, the second-in-command at the Los Angeles Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) and Jack Bauer's (played by Kiefer Sutherland) former girlfriend, in the Fox popular dramatic series “24,” created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran. She was with the main cast during the show's first season and became a recurring character during its second and third season. She was handed a 2003 Golden Satellite for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Drama and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for her acting job.
During her stint on “24” from 2001 to 2004, Clarke costarred with Amy Acker and Michael Medeiros in the independent film “The Accident” (2001), which was written and directed by John Flecher, had a featured role in Keith Snyder's psychological thriller “Emmett's Mark” (2002), starring Scott Wolf, and portrayed Neil Jain's lover Katrina in Amy K. Barrett's 16 minute film “The Third Date” (2003). She then supported Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed, Jeremy Sisto and Brady Corbet in “Thirteen” (2003), a drama directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and was reunited with her husband for the Robert M. Young directed comedy “Human Error” (2004; originally known as “Below the Belt”), written by Richard Dresser. She also appeared in an episode of NBC’s “Ed” called “The Test” (2001), the Carla Gugino ABC series “Karen Sisto” titled “The One That Got Away” (2003) and on such talk shows as “The Rosie O'Donnell Show” (2002), “The View” (2004) and “Last Call with Carson Daly” (2004).
After leaving “24,” Clarke appeared with Lisa Kudrow, Steve Coogan, Jesse Bradford, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Ritter and Tom Arnold in Don Roos' “Happy Endings” (2005), Shea Whigham in John Albanis' 22 minute thriller “Psychic Driving” (2005) and Connie Britton, Tate Donovan, Peter Facinelli, David Herman, Ione Skye and Eric Stoltz in Sarah Kelly's comedy “The Lather Effect” (2006). Meanwhile on the small screen, she guest starred in Fox's critically acclaimed medical drama “House M.D.,” (1 episode, 2005), NBC's “Las Vegas” (2 episodes, 2005), ABC's “Commander in Chief” (1 episode, 2006) and the failed series “A House Divided” (2006). In 2006, she also voiced Nina Myers in the video game “24: The Game,” based on the TV series “24.”
In 2007, Clarke worked with Famke Janssen, Dorian Missick and her husband in the TV series pilot “Alibi,” created by Peter Blake and David Shore, played Mary Ann Farmer in the episode “A Civil War” of NBC's “Life,” which starred Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi and Adam Arkin, and starred as Olga in Steven List's 14 minute thriller “The Colony.” Clarke next played Rebecca in the 2008 episode of the same name of David Wain's “Wainy Days” and Lauren Keenan in an episode of A&E's drama “The Cleaner,” starring Benjamin Bratt. She did not share huge prominence until she was cast as Renée Dwyer, Bella's mother, on the box office hit “Twilight” (2008), the first film in “The Twilight Saga” film series. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Stephanie Meyer, the film, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, grossed over $392 million worldwide against its budget of $37 million.
In 2009, Clarke was cast as Eric McCormack's tolerant wife, Erin, on the low rated TNT drama series “Trust Me,” which ran from January 26 to April 7, 2009. She also played a therapist named Maxine McPherson on “Women in Trouble,” a comedy film written, produced and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez. Costars of the film included Carla Gugino, Connie Britton, Emanuelle Chriqui, Marley Shelton, Elizabeth Berkely, Cameron Richardson, Adrianne Palicki and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Recently, in 2010, Clarke recreated the role of Renee Dwyer in the third film “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” helmed by David Slade. Released in the U.S. on June 30, 2010, the movie earned the new record for biggest midnight opening in the U.S. and Canada, a record previously held by “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” She also costarred with Tate Donovan in Dave Fraunces' comedy film “Below the Beltway” (2010), landed a recurring role on the TNT series “Men of a Certain Age” (2010; as Dory) and worked with her husband in the TV series “The Booth at the End” (2010).
Clarke has completed filming “Bedrooms,” a 2010 drama feature written and directed by Youssef Delara. It is set to premiere at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival on August 19, 2010, and ACEFEST on August 27, 2010. The cast also includes Julie Benz, Moon Bloodgood, Dee Wallace, Barry Bostwick and her husband Berkeley. She will also reprise her Renée Dwyer character in the upcoming “Twilight” film, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1,” which is set to be released in the U.S. on November 18, 2011. It will be directed by Bill Condon.
Golden Satellite: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Drama, “24,” 2003
Brooklyn Film Festival: Outstanding Performance Award, “Pas de deux,” 2000