Sandra Oh
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Sandra Oh

Sandra Oh
Sano.jpg
Oh in 2016
Born (1971-07-20) July 20, 1971 (age 49)
Citizenship
  • Canadian
  • American
OccupationActress
Years active1989-present
(m. 2003; div. 2006)
AwardsFull list
Korean name
Hangul
Revised RomanizationO Miju
McCune-ReischauerO Michu

Sandra Miju Oh (born July 20, 1971) is a Canadian-American actress. She is best known for her starring roles as Cristina Yang on the ABC medical drama series Grey's Anatomy (2005-2014) and Eve Polastri in the spy thriller series Killing Eve (2018-present). She has received numerous accolades, including two Golden Globe Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards, and twelve Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

Oh first gained recognition for her roles in the Asian-Canadian films Double Happiness (1994) and The Diary of Evelyn Lau (1994). On television, she was noted for her role as Rita Wu on the HBO sitcom Arliss (1996-2002). Her later television credits include Judging Amy and American Crime, as well as voice roles on American Dad!, American Dragon: Jake Long, The Proud Family, Phineas and Ferb, and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

Oh is known for her standout supporting and leading performances in films such as Bean (1997), Last Night (1998), The Princess Diaries (2001), Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity (2002), Under the Tuscan Sun (2003), Sideways (2004), Wilby Wonderful (2004), Hard Candy (2005), Rabbit Hole (2010), Tammy (2014), Catfight (2016), and Meditation Park (2017).

Oh won two Genie Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Last Night and Double Happiness and won a Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series for The Diary of Evelyn Lau.

Oh hosted the 28th Genie Awards in 2008, and became the first Asian woman to host the Golden Globe Awards at the 76th ceremony in 2019.[2] In March 2019, she became the first Asian-Canadian woman to host Saturday Night Live, and was just the third actress of Asian descent to do so, after Lucy Liu in 2000 and Awkwafina in 2018.[3] She was also the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the first Asian woman to win two Golden Globes.[4] In 2019, Time magazine named Oh one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[5] In addition to her Canadian citizenship, Oh has been a naturalized American citizen since 2018.

Early life

Sandra Miju Oh[6] was born in Nepean, Ontario, on July 20, 1971, the daughter of middle-class South Korean immigrants Jeon Young-nam, a biochemist, and Oh Jun-su (John), a businessman.[7] Her parents had moved to the area in the early 1960s.[8] She has a brother, Ray, and a sister, Grace, and grew up in a Christian household, living on Camwood Crescent in Nepean, where she began acting and practicing ballet at age four to correct her pigeon-toed stance.[9] Growing up, Oh was one of the few youths of Asian descent in Nepean.[10][11]

At age ten, Oh played The Wizard of Woe in a class musical called The Canada Goose.[12][6][13] Later, at Sir Robert Borden High School, she founded the environmental club BASE (Borden Active Students for the Environment), leading a campaign against the use of styrofoam cups. While in high school, she was elected student council president. She also played the flute and continued both her ballet training and acting studies, though she knew that she "was not good enough to be a professional dancer"[9] and eventually focused on acting. She took drama classes, acted in school plays, and joined the drama club, where she took part in the Canadian Improv Games and Skit Row High, a comedy group. Against her parents' advice, she rejected a four-year journalism scholarship to Carleton University to study drama at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal, paying her own way.

Oh told her parents that she would try acting for a few years, and promised to return to university if it failed.[6] Reflecting on forgoing university, she has said that she is "the only person in [her] family who doesn't have a master's in something".[14] Soon after graduating from the National Theatre School in 1993, she starred in a stage production of David Mamet's Oleanna in London, Ontario. Around the same time, she won roles in biographical television films of two significant female Chinese-Canadians: as Vancouver author Evelyn Lau in The Diary of Evelyn Lau, where she won the role over more than 1,000 others who auditioned, and as Adrienne Clarkson in a CBC biopic of Clarkson's life.

Career

1994-2004: Early work

Oh came to prominence in her native Canada for her lead performance in the Canadian film Double Happiness (1994), playing Jade Li, a twenty-something Chinese-Canadian woman negotiating her wishes and those of her parents. The film received critical acclaim, with Roger Ebert praising Oh's "warm performance".[15]Janet Maslin of The New York Times also praised her performance, saying: "Ms. Oh's performance makes Jade a smart, spiky heroine you won't soon forget."[16] Oh won the Genie Award for Best Actress for the role.

In 1997 she appeared in the film Bean, playing the supporting role of Bernice, the art gallery PR manager. Her other Canadian films include Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity and Last Night (1998), for which she again won a Best Actress Genie. She was cast in the drama Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000), playing a stripper at an adult dance club opposite Daryl Hannah. The film received mediocre reviews,[17] though Oh was praised for her performance. The New York Times review said, "Oh make[s] the most of [her] opportunity to explore the vulnerability below [her] characters' hard-edged surface."[18] The same year, she appeared in the drama Waking the Dead. In 2002, Oh appeared in the family comedy Big Fat Liar, followed by a minor role in Steven Soderbergh's Full Frontal (2002).

Oh garnered critical acclaim for her six seasons as Rita Wu, the assistant to the president of a major sports agency, on the HBO series Arliss, receiving a nomination for an NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Cable Ace award for Best Actress in a Comedy for her work. She also made several guest appearances on the series Popular (1999) playing a humanities teacher and guest starred in the television series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Judging Amy, Six Feet Under and Odd Job Jack.

Oh at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2011

In theatre, Oh has also starred in the world premieres of Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters at the La Jolla Playhouse and Diana Son's Stop Kiss at Joseph Papp's Public Theater in New York City.

In 2003, she was cast in a supporting role opposite Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun, followed by a supporting role in Alexander Payne's drama Sideways (2004). She considers Sideways and The Diary of Evelyn Lau[6] to be the two best films she has made.

2005-2013: Grey's Anatomy and mainstream recognition

In 2005, Oh appeared in several films, including David Slade's controversial thriller Hard Candy; and the independent anthology drama 3 Needles (2005), opposite Chloë Sevigny and Olympia Dukakis, in which she plays a Catholic nun in an AIDS-stricken African village. The same year, Oh was cast as Cristina Yang in the first season of what became the hit ABC medical series Grey's Anatomy. Oh's long-running role on the show earned her both a 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series and a 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series. In July 2009, she received her fifth consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her work on the series. In August 2013, Oh announced that the show's tenth season would be her final season.[19]

Oh at the presentation of her star on Canada's Walk of Fame in 2011

In addition to her work on Grey's Anatomy, Oh continued to appear in films. She co-starred in the thriller The Night Listener (2006), alongside Robin Williams and Toni Collette; in the superhero comedy Defendor (2009); Ramona and Beezus (2010); and in the critically acclaimed drama Rabbit Hole (2010), opposite Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.

In her only audiobook, she played Brigid O'Shaughnessy in a Grammy-nominated dramatization of The Maltese Falcon (2008), which also featured Michael Madsen and Edward Herrmann. She also has done a few voice roles in animation, including a few guest appearances in American Dragon: Jake Long, the voice of Princess Ting-Ting in Mulan II, and the voice of Doofah in The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends.

Oh was the host of the 28th Genie Awards on March 3, 2008.[20] In 2009, Oh performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.[21] During the off-season hiatus from filming Grey's Anatomy in 2010, Oh took the part of Sarah Chen in the British crime drama, Thorne. She undertook intensive dialect coaching in order to play her British character.[22]

On June 28, 2011, it was announced that Oh would receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame; she was inducted on October 1 at Elgin Theatre in Toronto.[23] In 2013, Oh formally announced that she would be leaving Grey's Anatomy at the end of the tenth season.[19][24] Oh exited the series with the season 10 finale.[25]

2014-present: Killing Eve and further success

In October 2014, Oh announced that she would be teaming up with Canadian director Ann Marie Fleming to collaborate on an animated feature film titled Window Horses.[26] She also appeared in a supporting role in the comedy film Tammy (2014), playing the wife of Kathy Bates' character.

In 2015, she starred on the Refinery29 comedy web series Shitty Boyfriends. Oh began filming the comedy film, Catfight (2016), in New York City in December 2015.[27] In 2017, Oh starred as Abby Tanaka in the third season of the anthology drama series American Crime.[28]

Beginning in April 2018, Oh began a leading role in the BBC iPlayer spy thriller series Killing Eve, playing British intelligence agent Eve Polastri whose quarry is psychopathic assassin Villanelle (played by Jodie Comer), with the two women developing a mutual fascination.[29] Upon reading the series script, Oh did not realize she was being considered for a leading role, stating that she had been "brainwashed" by years of being typecast as the leads' best friend.[29] The series was renewed for a second season ahead of its debut,[29] and a third was announced less than a day after the second premiered in the United States.[30]Killing Eve was also renewed for a fourth season shortly after. Oh has garnered critical acclaim for her performance on the series, with Jenna Scherer describing her in Rolling Stone as "a compulsively watchable actor - expressive and complex, blending wry wit and deep pathos."[31] When Vulture declared Oh the best actress currently on television, critic Matt Zoller Seitz wrote: "It's a tour de force performance, yet so self-effacing and invisible in its effects that you come away thinking that you've seen a crackling yarn with compelling characters rather than a cultural landmark. This is a magic trick of a high order."[32] In 2018, Oh became the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, for that role.[33] She won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Drama, becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win two Golden Globe Awards.[4] Oh won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series at the SAG Awards in 2019.[34]

From 2018 to 2020, Oh voiced the role of Castaspella in the animated superhero series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.[35] In 2019, she co-hosted the 76th Golden Globe Awards, alongside Andy Samberg. Oh became the first woman of Asian descent to host the awards show. In March 2019, she became the first Asian-Canadian woman to host Saturday Night Live, and only the third actress of Asian descent, after Lucy Liu in 2000 and Awkwafina in 2018.[36]

Oh is set to voice the role of Debbie Grayson in the animated superhero drama series Invincible. The series, based on the comic book character of the same name, is set to premiere on Prime Video in 2020.[37] She will also executive produce and star in the Netflix comedy-drama series The Chair.[38]

Personal life

Oh was in a relationship with filmmaker Alexander Payne for five years. They married in January 2003, separated in early 2005, and divorced in late 2006.[39]

On July 8, 2013, Oh received the key to the city of Ottawa from Mayor Jim Watson.[13][40]

Oh practices Vipassan?, a Buddhist form of meditation.[41] Her work in acting is informed by a loose creative collective that teaches "creative dream work", which reportedly fuses Jungian dream analysis with method acting and aims to bring one's "subconscious work into consciousness".[41]

Oh became a US citizen in 2018. On the first anniversary of her citizenship, she discussed it while hosting Saturday Night Live and referred to herself as an "Asian-Canadian-American".[42][43]

Oh was awarded the National Arts Centre Award from the Governor General of Canada in 2019.[44]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1989 The Journey Home Unknown Short film
1994 Double Happiness Jade Li
1995 Prey Il Bae Short film
1996 Cowgirl Sarah Hwang Short film
1997 Bean Bernice Schimmel
1997 Bad Day on the Block Unknown
1998 Last Night Sandra
1998 The Red Violin Madame Ming
1998 Permanent Midnight Friend
1999 Guinevere Cindy
2000 Waking the Dead Kim
2000 Dancing at the Blue Iguana Jasmine Bulut
2000 Three Lives of Kate Narrator Short film
2001 The Princess Diaries Vice Principal Gupta
2001 Date Squad Alpha Baby Short film
2001 The Frank Truth Herself Documentary
2002 Big Fat Liar Mrs. Phyllis Caldwell
2002 Full Frontal Fourth Fired Employee
2002 Rick Michelle
2002 Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity Kin Ho Lum
2002 Barrier Device Audrey Short film
2003 Under the Tuscan Sun Patti
2003 Owning Mahowny Craps Player Uncredited
2004 Sideways Stephanie
2004 Wilby Wonderful Carol French
2004 Mulan II Ting Ting (voice)
2004 8 Minutes to Love Joy Short film
2005 Hard Candy Judy Tokuda
2005 Break a Leg Young Turk
2005 Stationery Woman (voice) Short film
2005 Cake Lulu
2005 3 Needles Mary
2005 Sorry, Haters Phyllis MacIntyre
2005 Kind of a Blur Joe
2006 The Night Listener Anna
2006 For Your Consideration Marketing Person
2007 The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends Doofah (voice)
2007 Falling Melanie Short film
2008 Blindness Minister of Health
2009 Defendor Dr. Park
2009 The People Speak Herself Documentary
2010 Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey Gal 2000 (voice)
2010 Ramona and Beezus Mrs. Meacham
2010 Rabbit Hole Gabby
2014 Tammy Susanne
2015 The Scarecrow Evelyn Short film
2015 Snowtime! Four-Eyed Frankie (voice)
2016 Window Horses Rosie Ming (voice) Also producer
2016 Catfight Veronica Salt
2017 Meditation Park Ava
2020 Over the Moon Mrs. Zhong (voice)
TBA Umma Amanda Post-production

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Denim Blues Gwen Television pilot
1992 Degrassi High: School's Out Waitress Television film
1994 The Diary of Evelyn Lau Evelyn Lau Television film
1995 If Not for You Anna 2 episodes
1995 Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years Ming Li Episode: "Badlands"
1995 Cagney & Lacey: The View Through the Glass Ceiling Officer Angela Lum Television film
1996 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Mai Chi Episode: "The First Temple"
1996-2002 Arliss Rita Wu Main role
1999 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Breadcrumb (voice) Episode: "The Three Little Pigs"
2000 Popular Humanities Teacher 2 episodes
2001 Further Tales of the City Bambi Kanetaka Miniseries
2001 Six Feet Under Porn Starlet Episode: "An Open Book"
2001 Judging Amy Detective Shelly Tran 3 episodes
2001-2002 The Proud Family Marsha Mitsubishi (voice) 5 episodes
2005-2013 American Dad! Katie / Hiko Yoshida (voice) 6 episodes
2005-2014 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Cristina Yang Main role (seasons 1-10)
2006 Odd Job Jack Vanessa 2 episodes
2006-2007 American Dragon: Jake Long Sun Park (voice) 6 episodes
2008-2012 Phineas and Ferb Dr. Doofenshmirtz's Girlfriend (voice) 2 episodes
2008 Sesame Street Fairy Cookie Person Episode: "The Cookie Touch"
2009 Robot Chicken Kate Winslet / Sarah Connor (voice) Episode: "Cannot Be Erased, So Sorry"
2010 Thorne Sarah Chen Episode: "Scaredycat"
2011 Michael: Every Day Dr. Judy Song Episode: "Ridicule"
2014 Betas Sharron Episode: "Steppin' Out"
2015 Shitty Boyfriends Kathy 6 episodes
2016 Peg + Cat President (voice) Episode: "The Package Problem / The Train Problem"
2017 American Crime Abby Tanaka 4 episodes
2018-present Killing Eve Eve Polastri Main role; also executive producer
2018-2020 She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Castaspella (voice) 8 episodes
2019 76th Golden Globe Awards Herself (co-host) Television special
2019 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Sandra Oh / Tame Impala"
2020 Invincible Debbie Grayson (voice) Upcoming

Awards and nominations

Among her accolades, she received two Golden Globe Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards, as well as nominations for twelve Primetime Emmy Awards.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://overseas.mofa.go.kr/ca-ko/brd/m_5349/view.do?seq=1158080&srchFr=&srchTo=&srchWord=&srchTp=&multi_itm_seq=0&itm_seq_1=0&itm_seq_2=0&company_cd=&company_nm=&page=15
  2. ^ "Sandra Oh first Asian woman to host, win at Golden Globes". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ Butler, Karen (March 10, 2019). "Sandra Oh to guest host 'SNL'; Awkwafina celebrates". UPI. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Sandra Oh". www.goldenglobes.com.
  5. ^ Rhimes, Shonda. "Sandra Oh: The 100 Most Influential People of 2019". TIME. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d Posner, Michael (May 12, 2007). "Sandra Oh's Doing Just Fine: Profile". The Globe and Mail. pp. R6-R7. Archived from the original on June 5, 2014. Retrieved 2007.
  7. ^ "Sandra Oh Biography". Film Reference. Retrieved 2007.
  8. ^ "The Winding Career of Sandra Oh". NPR. November 23, 2004. Retrieved 2007.
  9. ^ a b "Sandra Oh on the Challenge of Being Korean in Hollywood". The Chosun Ilbo. April 13, 2007. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  10. ^ "Sandra Oh: "Asians ROCK Month"". Asia Society. April 30, 2008. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ "Sandra Oh Live On Kelly And Michael Talks About Leaving Greys Anatomy". Kelly and Michael. October 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ The Canada Goose: a musical play in three acts from Canada is- music 3-4 (Musical score, 1988). WorldCat.org. May 15, 2018. OCLC 83101677.
  13. ^ a b Dodge, Brier (July 18, 2013). "Sandra Oh receives key to the city". Ottawa Community News. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ McDonald, Soraya Nadia (May 16, 2014). "Seven things you didn't know about Sandra Oh, who played Cristina Yang on 'Grey's Anatomy'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 25, 1995). "Double Happiness Movie Review". The Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ Maslin, Janet (July 28, 1995). "FILM REVIEW; A Delicate Asian Flower In a Motorcycle Jacket". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 13, 2018. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ "Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ Holden, Stephen (October 19, 2001). "FILM REVIEW; A Club Where Strippers May Also Be Dreamers". Archived from the original on July 13, 2018. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (August 13, 2013). "Sandra Oh to Exit 'Grey's Anatomy' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013.
  20. ^ "Awards Ceremony Host biography". Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2008.
  21. ^ [1] Archived May 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Thorne: Characters: Sandra Oh - Sky1 HD". Sky1.sky.com. Archived from the original on March 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  23. ^ "Press Release: Canada's Walk of Fame Announces the 2011 Inductees". Canada's Walk of Fame. June 28, 2011. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  24. ^ Bibel, Sara (August 13, 2013). "Sandra Oh Will Leave 'Grey's Anatomy' at the End of the Tenth Season". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on August 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  25. ^ Harnick, Chris (August 13, 2013). "Sandra Oh Leaving 'Grey's'". Huffington Post.
  26. ^ "Home". CBC News. July 27, 2015.
  27. ^ Evry, Max (December 23, 2015). "Catfight Stars Sandra Oh, Anne Heche and Alicia Silverstone". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 2015.
  28. ^ Roshanian, Arya (September 29, 2016). "TV News Roundup: Sandra Oh Joins 'American Crime' Season 3". Variety. Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ a b c Wittmer, Carrie (May 8, 2018). "Killing Eve is a smart and seductive spy thriller that has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes". Business Insider. Archived from the original on May 8, 2018.
  30. ^ Lee, Jess (April 8, 2019). "Killing Eve has been renewed for season 3 - with another new showrunner". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2019.
  31. ^ Scherer, Jenna (May 14, 2018). "Killing Eve: The Cracked Female Spy-Thriller Buddy Comedy of the Year". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018.
  32. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (June 27, 2018). "The Best Actress on TV Is Killing Eve's Sandra Oh". Vulture. Archived from the original on June 27, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  33. ^ Dockterman, Eliana. "Sandra Oh Is Now the First Asian Best Actress Emmy Nominee". Time. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^ Melas, Chloe. "See who won at the SAG Awards". CNN.
  35. ^ "She-Ra gets a makeover! A first look at the new Netflix series and meet the cast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2018.
  36. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (March 10, 2019). "Sandra Oh to Make SNL Hosting Debut". TVLine.
  37. ^ Unni Krishnan, Adersh (March 13, 2020). "Invincible TV Show Release Date, Cast, Plot, Trailer And What Fan Theories You Should Know". Pop Culture Times. Retrieved 2020.
  38. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (February 21, 2020). "Sandra Oh To Star In 'The Chair' Dramedy Series From Amanda Peet & 'Game Of Thrones' Creators At Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved 2020.
  39. ^ Lee, Ken; Silverman, Stephen M. (December 27, 2006). "Sandra Oh's Marriage Is Officially Over". People Magazine. Retrieved 2007.
  40. ^ "Actor Sandra Oh to get Ottawa's Key to the City". CBC News. May 30, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  41. ^ a b Jung, E. Alex (August 21, 2018). "The Protagonist After decades in supporting parts, Emmy nominee Sandra Oh plays the hero in Killing Eve". Vulture.com. Archived from the original on August 22, 2018.
  42. ^ Night Live (March 30, 2019). Sandra Oh Monologue - SNL. YouTube. Retrieved 2019.
  43. ^ "Sandra Oh celebrates U.S. citizenship anniversary on 'Saturday Night Live': The Canadian-born Sandra Oh announced the special occasion during the monologue of "Saturday Night Live."". NBC News. April 1, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  44. ^ "Award Recipients - Governor General's Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA)". ggpaa.ca. Retrieved 2019.

External links


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