About Sarah Wayne Callies
Born Sarah Anne Callies in La Grange, IL on June 1, 1977, Sarah Wayne Callies was the daughter of law professor David Callies and his wife, English professor Valerie Wayne, who moved their daughter from England, where an uncle, John Moore, had served in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet, to Honolulu, HA to teach at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A solid student at the independent Punahou School, she fell in love with acting as a junior, but worried that the extra-curricular interest would have a negative impact on her grades. She shifted her focus to feminist studies while at Dartmouth College, with the intention of following her parents' footsteps into education, but the rigor and loneliness of constant study proved too great of a grind for her. She soon decided that her time on stage in high school had been a more freeing experience for her, and so pursued a master of fine arts degree from the National Theater Conservatory in Denver, CO, from which she graduated in 2002.
Callies launched her onscreen career with the short-lived legal drama "Queens Supreme" (CBS, 2003), which was followed by several stints as a guest star on episodic series like "L.A. Dragnet" (NBC, 2003) and "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ). In 2003, she was cast as Jane to Travis Fimmel's updated Lord of the Jungle in an updated "Tarzan" (The WB, 2003). Callies' Jane was a New York police detective who found herself teamed with Fimmel's long-lost scion of an industrial empire, returned to civilization after two decades in the jungle and now dedicated to helping those in need. The series lasted just eight episodes.
In 2005, Callies earned her star-making role as Sara Tancredi on "Prison Break." A dedicated doctor, and the daughter of Illinois governor Frank Tancredi (John Heard), Sara becomes involved with the series' main characters, Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and his brother, Lincoln (Dominic Purcell), through the former's regular visits for insulin injections. Over time, she learned about Michael's quest to free his brother from jail, and became involved in the elaborate scheme to break him out before he was executed for an alleged murder. She also fell in love with Michael, and aided him in his escape, leading to her pursuit and apparent murder by The Company, a shadowy agency with control over the United States government. Tancredi's death was spurred by Callies' real-life pregnancy; series producer Paul Scheuring had planned to use her leave of absence to set up a story arc which would lead to her demise, but due to contract disputes between the actress and the show's producers, Tancredi was abruptly and gruesomely killed off-screen at the beginning of the third season.
However, the popularity of the character and her relationship to Michael Scofield spurred negative fan response, and Callies was brought back for the show's fourth and final season, in which Sara teamed with Michael to help bring down The Company. Critical reaction to Callies' performance throughout the series was universally positive and led to several opportunities in features throughout the show's network run. In 2006, she played Marjorie, a young woman who translated several mystic scrolls in pursuit of enlightenment in "The Celestine Prophecy," a misbegotten film adaptation of the best-selling New Age novel. More watchable was "Whisper" (2007), a supernatural thriller about a quartet of kidnappers, including a felon (Josh Holloway) and his fiancée (Callies), who are hired to abduct a young boy, only to discover that he possesses unearthly powers of suggestion, causing the group to turn on each other. Despite critical approval, the film failed to reach a broad audience.
Callies bounced between guest work on shows like "House" (Fox, 2004-2012), where she played a woman in an open marriage, and indie dramas like "Bittersweet" (2008) and "Lullaby for Pi" (2010). She scored a second major series hit with "The Walking Dead" (AMC, 2010- ), Frank Darabont's grisly adaptation of Robert Kirtman's graphic novel series about the survivors of a worldwide plague that turned its victims into flesh-eating zombies. Callies played Lori Grimes, wife of sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincon), who becomes separated from her husband after the plague outbreak, only to think he's dead and carry on with his best friend, Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal). But complications ensue when they reunite on the outskirts of Atlanta, with Rick unaware of her affair while he tries to lead a motley crew of survivors. A massive ratings hit, "The Walking Dead" elevated Callies' profile until her departure from the show in 2012 following a deeply emotional scene where Laurie gives birth to Rick's daughter in an episode many fans considered one of the show's best. Meanwhile, Callies worked outside the "Walking Dead" universe, appearing in the spy drama "Tangled" (CBC, 2010) and starring opposite Milla Jovovich in the horror-thriller "Faces in the Crowd" (2011).
|Josh Winterhalt. fellow Dartmouth graduate; married July 21, 2002|
|National Theater Conservatory|
|Cast as Jane opposite Travis Fimmel's Lord of the Jungle on The WB's "Tarzan"|
|Made series regular debut on CBS' "Queens Supreme"|
|Landed breakthrough role as Dr. Sara Tancredi on "Prison Break" (Fox)|
|Starred in the big-screen adaptation of "The Celestine Prophecy"|
|Cast opposite Andrew Lincoln and Jon Bernthal on AMC's "The Walking Dead"|
|Guest starred on Fox's "House M.D."|