Sara Ramirez Biography
Ramírez was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, a beach resort on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Her father was Mexican and her mother was half Mexican and half Irish-American. Ramírez moved with her mother at age eight to Tierrasanta, in San Diego, California. After graduating from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego, California, she graduated from the Juilliard School in New York City, where she refined her skills as an actress. Ramírez speaks both Spanish and English fluently.
She debuted on Broadway playing Wahzinak in Paul Simon's The Capeman (1998). In 1999, she appeared in The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm (1999) and received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for her role. She has also appeared in A Class Act (2001) and Dreamgirls (2001), and she performed in The Vagina Monologues with Tovah Feldshuh and Suzanne Bertish.
In 1998, she played the voice of Lammy in the video game UmJammer Lammy, a spin-off of PaRappa the Rapper, both on Sony's PlayStation console. She later reprised her role as Lammy in the PlayStation 2 video game sequel PaRappa the Rapper 2, and has a smaller role, unlike the game that preceded it.
In 2004, Ramírez was cast as the Lady of the Lake in the Eric Idle/John Du Prez musical Spamalot, based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The musical opened on Broadway in 2005 to widespread acclaim, and Ramírez in particular was singled out for her performance, winning several awards including the 2005 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
Following her success on Broadway, Ramírez joined the cast of Grey's Anatomy in a recurring role as Dr. Calliope 'Callie' Torres in the show's second season. For the third season she became a series regular. On a special Grey's Anatomy-themed episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she revealed that top executives from ABC loved her performance in Spamalot so much that they offered her a role in any ABC show she wanted. She picked Grey's, of which she was a fan. Ramírez provided a cappella vocals in the song "Silent Night" for the soundtrack of the show's sixth season episode "Holidaze," airing November 19, 2009. On December 21, 2009, this version of the song was released as a single on iTunes. Ramirez's voice was also showcased in the musical episode of Grey's Anatomy, Ep. 718 "Song Beneath the Song", which aired 31 March 2011. Her solo music debut was an extended play released on March 27, 2011 through the iTunes Store. It included three original songs, as well as a recording of "The Story", performed on the musical episode of Grey's Anatomy.