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Sandra Oh: Snapshot

Name
Sandra Oh
Date of Birth
July 20, 1971
Birth Place
Nepean, Ontario
Critics' darling Sandra Oh made a lasting impression on audiences in 2004 when she tapped into "centuries of female Korean rage" and kicked Thomas Haden Church's ass in her then-husband's wine-fueled flick, Sideways.

Oh's sassy beat down helped her land the role of Cristina Yang on ABC's megahit Grey's Anatomy. Her portrayal of the cutthroat, emotionally stunted surgical intern earned her a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and consecutive Emmy nominations. But in 2005, Oh's rising fame was paired with tabloid scrutiny when she and Alexander Payne called it quits. The Canadian thespian kept mum on her divorce and quietly moved on with The Hereafter percussionist Andrew Featherston. Following 10 seasons with the show, Oh departed from Grey's Anatomy in May 2014.

Sandra Oh: Five Fun Facts

  1. Sandra Oh joined the ranks of Paula Abdul and Tori Spelling in 2006 when she made fashion critic Richard Blackwell's list of the worst-dressed celebrities. Her fashion crime? "Layered lunacy from head to toe," he said.
  2. "My sister is a lawyer, and my brother is finishing his Ph.D. in medical genetics. The fact that now I play a doctor on TV? Nothing could be better!" Sandra Oh told Marie Claire of fulfilling her parents' wishes.
  3. Of playing a single mom in Sideways and a pregnant mom in Under the Tuscan Sun, Sandra Oh told the New York Times, "As soon as you pass 30 in Hollywood, you can play mothers of 15-year-olds, which is f---ing ridiculous."
  4. Sandra Oh played Anne Hathaway's vice principal in Disney's The Princess Diaries.
  5. Grey's Anatomy costar Chandra Wilson said her first day on set when she yelled orders at her costars, Sandra Oh blurted off-camera, "'Oh my God, I want to have sex with her'...That was my introduction to Sandra."

Sandra Oh: Biography

early 1990s

'Best Actor Possible'

After years of training as a ballerina, Oh leaves home to study at Montreal's National Theatre School of Canada. "I was called 'The Quota Child,'" she tells the Los Angeles Times of being only one of a few Asian actors at the program. "I just didn't let it get to me...I decided very early that I was going to be an actor. Period. The best actor possible." That year, she beats more than 1,000 hopefuls to star in the CBC TV drama The Diary of Evelyn Lau, which earns her the Best Actress Award at Cannes' television festival.

1994

Sandra Oh

A Genie-Winning Turn

Oh stars in Double Happiness, Mina Shum's portrait of a young Chinese-Canadian woman who struggles to live a modern life without upsetting her traditional immigrant parents. Variety singles out Oh in its review: "The film's highlight is Oh's mesmerizing performance. She's a stunning discovery." The 23-year-old wins a Genie (the Canadian equivalent of an Academy Award) for Best Actress and moves to L.A.

1996

Sandra Oh

1996-2002

Arli$$

After years performing onstage (from David Mamet's Oleanna to Bill Harrar's Inquest), Oh is cast as a series regular on the HBO comedy Arli$$. She plays Rita, a tough, ambitious executive assistant to sports agent Arliss Michaels (costar Robert Wuhl). "I wanted somebody who was sassy and funny and who could turn on a dime," Wuhl tells the AP. For her performance, she wins a CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 1997.

Read More on Sandra Oh's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: ABC

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Everett Collection; Kobal Collection/Wireimage

Edited by Julia Wang

Sandra Oh

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