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Sara Ramírez
Sara Ramírez3.jpg
Ramirez in 2008.
Sara Elena Ramírez

(1975-08-31) August 31, 1975 (age 43)
  • Mexico
  • United States
EducationJuilliard School (BFA)
  • Actress
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active1998–present
Ryan Debolt (m. 2012)

Sara Elena Ramírez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsaɾa eˈlena raˈmiɾes]; born August 31, 1975) is a Mexican American actress, singer, and songwriter. Born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, she graduated with a fine arts degree from the Juilliard School. She began acting in Broadway productions, making her debut with Paul Simon's The Capeman, and later ventured into film and television roles. Ramirez is a recipient of a Tony Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Satellite Award, among other accolades.

Ramirez's portrayal of the original Lady of the Lake in the 2005 Broadway musical Spamalot won her acclaim and the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She gained wider recognition for her role as Dr. Callie Torres in Grey's Anatomy. She made her debut as a voice artist with the 1999 video game entitled UmJammer Lammy, and has voiced Queen Miranda in the animated series Sofia the First (2012–present).

Ramirez released her first single "Silent Night" in 2009. Her self titled extended play debuted at no. 37 at the Billboard 200 in 2011. Ramirez is also an activist and extensively campaigns for LGBT rights. She was awarded the Ally for Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in 2015.

Early life

Ramirez was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, in the northwestern Pacific coast of Mexico. Her father is Mexican and her mother is of Mexican and Irish-American descent.[1] Her parents divorced when she was eight years old, and Ramirez went to live with her mother.[2] They eventually settled in Tierrasanta, San Diego, California. Ramirez's interest in music encouraged her mother to send her to San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, where she discovered her singing talent during an audition.[2] Ramirez started acting in stage productions at her high school.[3]

After having played such roles as the Witch in Into the Woods, Dolly in Hello, Dolly! and Miss Hannigan in Annie,[3] Ramirez was recommended for the Juilliard School, New York City. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (dramatics).[2] At Juilliard, she further worked on her acting skills and trained as an alto singer.[4] Ramirez speaks both Spanish and English fluently.[5]


Broadway breakthrough and other roles (1998–2005)

While still at Juilliard, Ramirez was discovered by a casting director and was offered the role of Wahzinak in Paul Simon's 1998 Broadway musical The Capeman.[6] Based on the life of the Puerto Rican gangster Salvador Agron, the production garnered negative reviews, but Ramirez was singled out for her "outstanding" performance.[7] She made her screen debut in the same year, with a minor yet "memorable" role in the romantic comedy You've Got Mail.[8] Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, the film had Ramirez play Rose, a Zabars cashier who was "very serious about her line's cash-only policy."[9] Ramirez voiced the titular character of Lammy in the video game UmJammer Lammy, a spin-off of PaRappa the Rapper, on Sony's PlayStation console. She later reprised her role in the latter's sequel for PlayStation 2, but had a smaller role.[10]

In 1999, Ramirez appeared in Mark Lamos' The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm (1999). She garnered praise for her performance and received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for her role. Charles Isherwood of Variety praised her "beautiful, smoky voice" but was critical of her "torchy" performance of "The Man I Love," which ignored "the wry irony that infuses Ira's lyrics".[11] Ramirez then appeared in the 2001 Broadway production of Edward Kleban's A Class Act. She replaced Julia Murney (from the off-Broadway) to play the role of Felecia, the protagonist Ed's boss.[12] The same year, she starred in other productions including Fascinating Rhythm and Dreamgirls, and then performed in the 2002 production of The Vagina Monologues with Tovah Feldshuh and Suzanne Bertish.[13] During this time, Ramirez also appeared in guest roles in several television series, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order: SVU, Third Watch, and Spin City among others.[14]

Ramirez's breakout role came when she was cast as the Lady of the Lake in Eric Idle and John Du Prez's musical Spamalot.[15] Based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the musical opened on Broadway in 2005 to widespread acclaim.[16] Ramirez was singled out for her performance, winning several awards including the 2005 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.[17] Ben Brantley of The New York Times described her as "a toothsome devourer of scenery",[18] and another reviewer for The Playgoer emphasizing her stage presence remarked, "Her intensity is totally serious and totally ludicrous and totally on key".[19] An Entertainment Weekly review gave her the highest praise by calling her a show-stealer.[20]

Grey's Anatomy and other projects (2006–2016)

After her success on Broadway, Ramirez joined the cast of Grey's Anatomy in a recurring role as Dr. Calliope 'Callie' Torres, a love interest for Dr. George O'Malley, in the show's second season. On a special Grey's Anatomy-themed episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she revealed that top executives from ABC, who were greatly impressed by her performance in Spamalot, offered her a role in any ABC show she wanted. She picked Grey's, as she was already a fan of the show.[21] Ramirez further explained that at her initial audition, the producers liked her and intended to add her to the show but did not know who to cast her as.[22] She also said she was in awe of how the executives said, "Pick a show, any show", explaining that it is rare.[23] The series creator and executive producer, Shonda Rhimes explained, "I was looking for a girlfriend for George, but it was in the infancy stages, so I had no idea what I was looking for." Rhimes built the character around Ramirez after she met her.[24] Ramirez, who was initially given a recurring status at the time of the character's inception, received a star billing in the show's third season, alongside fellow cast member Eric Dane, who portrayed Dr. Mark Sloan.[25]

Ramirez provided a cappella vocals in the song "Silent Night" for the soundtrack of the show's sixth-season episode "Holidaze," airing on November 19, 2009. Ramirez served as the main vocalist for the musical episode of Grey's Anatomy, "Song Beneath the Song", which on aired March 31, 2011. Marcus James Dixon of Gold Derby calling her the "show-stopper", wrote that she "stole the show in a gut-wrenching performance worthy of an Emmy award."[26] In May 2016, Ramirez left the show at the conclusion of the twelfth season, after having played the character for a decade.[27] She released a statement saying, "I'm deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey's Anatomy and ABC, but for now I'm taking some welcome time off".[27]

As the series progressed, the character's popularity soared and Ramirez garnered widespread recognition and critical acclaim for her portrayal of a complex character on television.[28][29] Maggie Fremont, a TV critic forVulture, reviewed Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw’s performances during an eleventh season episode, calling them "goddesses walking amongst mere mortals".[30] Rhimes wrote of Ramirez's work on the show, "Dr. Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago, and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey. Sara Ramirez's performance inspired me as well as millions of fans each week."[31] Ramirez was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Television Series at the Alma Awards in 2007 and 2008.[32] Also in 2007, at the 13th Screen Actors Guild Awards, the cast of Grey's Anatomy received the Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.[33] She and the cast were nominated for the same award in 2008.[34] In 2011, at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, Ramirez was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.[35]

Ramirez turned producer with the 2016 teen comedy film, Loserville. The project was released in partnership with the Pacer Foundation's Center for Bullying Prevention & Stomp Out Bullying.[36]

Most recently, Ramirez joined the cast of Madam Secretary as series regular Kat Sandoval, Secretary McCord's new policy advisor.

Personal life and off-screen work

Ramirez at the Designs for Cure Gala, 2011
Ramirez at the Designs for Cure Gala, 2011

In June 2011, Ramirez got engaged to her longtime partner, Ryan DeBolt, a business analyst at TIMEC in Paris, France.[37] They were married on July 4, 2012, in a private beachside ceremony in New York.[38][39] Ramirez came out as bisexual at the October 2016 40 To None summit, organised by True Colors Fund's in Los Angeles, California.[40][41] She wrote to The Huffington Post in an e-mail that her decision to come out publicly was a "very organic and natural" one.[42] In September 2016, Ramirez donated her hair to "Locks of Love", an organization that makes wigs for children who suffer from medical conditions that lead to hair loss. She sports a buzz cut,[43] styled as an undercut.

Singing career

Ramirez released her first single, a rendition of Silent Night, in 2009.[44] Her debut self titled extended play came out in March 2011, on the iTunes Store under the label of Atrevida Records. The EP included four songs, including a cover of "The Story", which was originally recorded by Brandi Carlile in her 2007 album. Two of the three songs were co-written by Ramirez and the album's writer-producer Rob Giles.[45][46] Sara Ramirez debuted at number thirty-seven on the Billboard 200, number nine on Billboard's Independent Albums chart, and number thirty-eight on the Canadian Albums Chart.[47][48][49] "The Story" debuted the same week at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 72 on the Canadian Hot 100, and number 34 on the Irish Singles Chart.[50][51][52] Soundtracks for Monty Python's Spamalot (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2005) and Grey's Anatomy: The Music Event (2011) were released under the labels of Decca Records and ABC Studios respectively.[53][54]


Ramirez is an activist and extensively campaigns for LGBT rights. She is a member of the True Colors United board of directors and The Task Force, and the San Diego, New York, and San Francisco LGBT Centers. She spoke in support of homeless LGBTQ youth at a True Colors Fund conference.[42] In addition, Ramirez supports other groups including Bisexual Organizing Project, NDLON, and Mujerez De Maiz. In 2015, she was awarded the Ally for Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.[36]

Filmography and awards


Ramirez won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical and the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the 2005 Broadway musical Spamalot.[14] She gained widespread acclaim for her portrayal of Dr. Callie Torres in ABC's medical drama Grey's Anatomy. She garnered nominations for the Best Actress at the NAACP Image Award, the ALMA Award, and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.[35][32][33]


Extended plays

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions

Sara Ramirez 37 7 38



Year Title Chart positions
2005 Monty Python's Spamalot (Original Broadway Cast Recording) 69[57]
2011 Grey's Anatomy: The Music Event 24[58] 5[59]
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.


  1. ^ "Sara Ramirez- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Yang, Jeff (12 November 2015). "Video: 'Grey's Anatomy' Star Sara Ramirez Brings Empathy And Activism To Acting". NPR. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Sara Ramirez". TV Guide. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Alumni News Reflections: Sara Ramirez". The Juilliard School. May 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
  5. ^ Gostin, Nicki (3 July 2012). "AlumniSara Ramirez Talks 'Grey's Anatomy,' Being Labeled A Latina Actress". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  6. ^ Sandell, Laurie (30 November 2006). "Getting Over Myself: I'm a Size 12 in a Size 0 Town". Glamour. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Sara Ramirez". AskMen. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  8. ^ Hernandez, Lee (10 March 2011). "Sara Ramirez: A Career Retrospective". Latina. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  9. ^ Wickman, Kase (20 December 2013). "'You've Got Mail' Turns 15: Here's 10 Things You Didn't Know About The Film". MTV. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  10. ^ Nededog, Jethro (23 June 2011). "'Grey's Anatomy's' Sara Ramirez: 5 Things You Didn't Know". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  11. ^ Isherwood, Charles (26 April 1999). "Review : 'The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm'". Variety. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  12. ^ "A Class Act At The Landor". Overtures. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Bertish, Feldshuh, Class Act's Ramirez Next in Vagina Monologues Nov. 12-Dec. 1". Playbill. 12 November 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  14. ^ a b Hernandez, Ernio (11 October 2005). "Spamalot Tony Winner Sara Ramirez Leaves Lady of the Lake in December". PlayBill. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  15. ^ McNulty, Charles (9 July 2009). "Theater review: 'Spamalot' at the Ahmanson Theatre*". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  16. ^ Sage, Mark (14 January 2005). "Spamalot acclaimed". The Age. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  17. ^ "2004-5 Drama League Award Winners Announced". Broadway World. 13 March 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  18. ^ Brantley, Ben (18 March 2005). "A Quest Beyond the Grail". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  19. ^ "Review: Spamalot". The Playgoer. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Must List 2005: Sara Ramirez". Entertainment Weekly. 17 June 2005. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  21. ^ "Sara Ramirez Chandra Wilson Kate Walsh OP". YouTube. 5 April 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  22. ^ Yuan, Jada (18 September 2006). "Belle Curves: Sara Ramirez". New York Magazine. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  23. ^ Sara Ramirez, Kate Walsh, Chandra Wilson, Oprah Winfrey (5 April 2008). Sara Ramirez Chandra Wilson Kate Walsh OP. Los Angeles, California: Oprah Winfrey.
  24. ^ Hendrickson, Paula (6 May 2009). "Casting chemistry keeps 'Grey's' fresh". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew (16 November 2005). "Spamalot's Ramirez Lands Role on TV's "Grey's Anatomy"". Playbill. Philip S Birsh. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  26. ^ Dixon, Marcus (1 April 2011). "Sara Ramirez is show-stopper in musical 'Grey's Anatomy'". Gold Derby. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  27. ^ a b "'Grey's Anatomy' Star Sara Ramirez Exits Series After 10 Years as Callie: See Her Emotional Comments". Us Weekly. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  28. ^ Yuan, Jada (18 September 2006). "Belle Curves: Sara Ramirez". Bustle. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  29. ^ Hendricks, Jaclyn (10 October 2016). "'Grey's Anatomy' star Sara Ramirez comes out as bisexual". Page Six. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  30. ^ Fremont, Maggie (6 May 2016). "Grey's Anatomy Recap: Calzona Implodes". Vulture. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  31. ^ Ausiello, Michael (19 May 2016). "Sara Ramirez Confirms Grey's Anatomy Departure: 'I'm Taking Some Time Off'". TV Line. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  32. ^ a b "Past ALMA Recipients". Alma Awards. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  33. ^ a b "The 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  34. ^ "The 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  35. ^ a b "The 42nd NAACP Image Awards". NAACP Image Awards. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  36. ^ a b "Sara Ramirez". TED. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  37. ^ Chaney, Jen (24 June 2011). "Sara Ramirez engaged; Curtis Stone and Lindsay Price expecting baby". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  38. ^ Hernandez, Lee (9 July 2012). "Sara Ramirez, Grey's Anatomy Star, is Married! (EXCLUSIVE)". Huffington Post. Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  39. ^ "Tony Winner and Grey's Anatomy Star Sara Ramirez Ties the Knot!". 9 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  40. ^ Erin Rook (8 October 2016). "'Grey's Anatomy' star Sara Ramirez comes out as bisexual and queer". LGBTQ Nation. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  41. ^ Sara Ramirez [@SaraRamirez] (8 October 2016). "#40ToNoneSummit #SpeakingMyTruth! Will post full video of speech soon! #ThankYou @TrueColorsFund #WomanOfColor #Bisexual #Queer #Immigrant" (Tweet). Retrieved 8 October 2016 – via Twitter.
  42. ^ a b Wong, Curtis (11 October 2016). "'Grey's Anatomy' Star Sara Ramirez Comes Out As Bisexual". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  43. ^ Aiello, McKenna (16 September 2016). "Former Grey's Anatomy Star Sara Ramirez Gets a Buzz Cut for a Worthy Cause". E!. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  44. ^ "Silent Night". Amazon. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  45. ^ Gans, Andrew (25 March 2011). "Tony Winner Sara Ramirez's EP Will Be Available on ITunes March 27". Playbill. Philip S Birsh. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  46. ^ "Sara Ramirez". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  47. ^ Caulfield, Keith; Trust, Gary (7 April 2011). "Chart Moves: Katy Perry, Rihanna, Elton John, Lil Wayne, Celtic Thunder". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  48. ^ "Independent Albums: Week of April 16, 2011". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  49. ^ "ALBUMS : Top 100". JAM! Music. Nielsen Soundscan. 7 April 2011. Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  50. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith; Trust, Gary (7 April 2011). "Chart Moves: Katy Perry, Rihanna, Elton John, Lil Wayne, Celtic Thunder". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  51. ^ "Canadian Hot 100: Week of April 16, 2011 (Biggest Jump)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  52. ^ "Irish Music Charts Archive: Top 50 Singles, Week Ending 7 April 2011". Chart-Track. GfK. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  53. ^ Hernandez, Ernio (26 November 2007). "Monty Python's Spamalot Climbs Billboard Cast Albums Chart". PlayBill. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  54. ^ "Grey's Anatomy: The Music Event". i Tunes Store. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  55. ^ "Independent Albums: Week of April 16, 2010". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  56. ^ "ALBUMS : Top 100". JAM! Music. Nielsen Soundscan. 7 April 2011. Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  57. ^ "The Week of July 09, 2005". Billboard. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  58. ^ Kaufman, Gil (6 April 2011). "Britney Spears' Femme Fatale Debuts At #1 On Billboard". MTV. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  59. ^ "Soundtracks: Week of April 16, 2011" (Note: to access peak, click the white area around the song). Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 3 May 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 March 2019, at 15:02
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