Sandra Oh Biography

Sandra Oh is a Canadian actress known for her role in the hit medical drama series ‘Grey's Anatomy.’ Check out this biography to know about her childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about her.

Sandra Oh
Quick Facts

Birthday: July 20, 1971

Nationality: Canadian

Famous: Actresses Canadian Women

Age: 48 Years, 48 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Cancer

Also Known As: Sandra Miju Oh

Born in: Ontario, Canada

Famous as: Actress

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Alexander Payne

father: Joon-Soo Oh

mother: Young-Nam Oh

siblings: Grace Oh, Ray Oh

More Facts

education: National Theatre School of Canada

Continue Reading Below

Sandra Miju Oh is a Canadian actress who became popular for her role as Cristina Yang on the hit medical drama series ‘Grey's Anatomy’, which earned her two Screen Actors Guild awards, a Golden Globe, and five nominations for Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Her significant performances in feature films like ‘The Princess Diaries’, ‘Sideways’, ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’, and ‘Last Night’, have earned her critical acclaim. Starting her acting career as a child, Sandra got her breakthrough role in the television biopic ‘The Diary of Evelyn Lau’, at the age of 19. Her performance earned her a Gemini nomination and the Cannes FIPA d'Or for Best Actress. The significant role she played in the hit TV series ‘Grey's Anatomy’garnered her a solid position in the entertainment industry.While her performance as the sassy assistant Rita Wu in HBO comedy ‘Arliss’ won her a Cable Ace award, she received critical acclaim for her supporting role as a wine pourer in ‘Sideways’. She has not only carved her niche in Hollywood, but has also set an example to highlight the potentiality of Asian actors.

Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Continue Reading Below
Sandra Oh
Childhood & Early Life
  • Sandra Miju Oh was born on July 20, 1971, in the Ottawa suburb of Nepean, to Korean immigrant parents Oh Junsu and Oh Young-Nam, who had shifted to Canada in the 1960s.Her mother is a biochemist, and her father is a businessman. She has a brother, Ray, and a sister, Grace.
  • She learned ballet and began acting at a very early age. When she was 10, she played The Wizard of Woe in a musical, ‘The Canada Goose’.
  • She attended Sir Robert Borden High School, where she founded the environmental club Borden Active Students for the Environment, and led a campaign against the use of styrofoam cups. At her high school, she was also the Student Council President.
  • During her high school days, she started playing the flute, took ballet training and studied acting. She also joined the drama club, and participated in the comedy group called Canadian Improv Games and Skit Row High.
  • Going against her parents' wishes, she rejected a four-year journalism scholarship at Carleton University to study drama at National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. She is the only person in her family who doesnot have a master's degree.
    Continue Reading Below
  • On graduating from the National Theatre School in 1993, Sandra Oh was cast in a London, Ontario (in Canada) stage production of David Mamet's two-character play ‘Oleanna’. Around the same time, she won roles in ‘The Diary of Evelyn Lau’, the biographical TV film on the author’s life, and in a biopic of Adrienne Clarkson's life. Sandra won the former role after competing with more than 1,000 participants who auditioned.
  • She came to prominence with her lead role in the Canadian film ‘Double Happiness’ in 1994, where she portrayed Jade Li, an actress struggling to assert her independence from the expectations of her Chinese-Canadian family.
  • In 1997, she portrayed Bernice, the art gallery PR manager, in the film ‘Bean’. In 1998, she starred in ‘Last Night’ a Canadian apocalyptic black comedy-drama film. She then appeared in ‘Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity’, a 2002 Canadian film.
  • She starred in ‘Stop Kiss’, a play written by the American playwright Diana Son, and produced Off-Broadway in 1998 at The Public Theater in New York City.
  • She starred in an American drama film ‘Dancing at the Blue Iguana’ in 2000, where she played a stripper at an adult dance club. In the same year, she was featured in ‘Waking the Dead’, a drama film directed by Keith Gordon.
  • In 2002, she appeared in the American teen comedy film ‘Big Fat Liar’, followed by a minor role in Steven Soderbergh's ‘Full Frontal’.
  • She appeared as Rita Wu, the assistant to the president of a major sports agency, for six seasons on ‘Arliss’. The American sitcom premiered on HBO in 1996 and ended in 2002.
    Continue Reading Below
  • She starred in the world premiere of Jessica Hagedorn's ‘Dogeaters’ at the La Jolla Playhouse. The play addresses social, political and cultural issues in the Philippines during the 1950s.
  • Sandra made several guest appearances on the American teenage comedy-drama ‘Popular’, playing a humanities teacher. The show ran for two seasons on The WB from 1999 to 2001.
  • She also guest-starred in the television series ‘Kung Fu: The Legend Continues’, ‘Six Feet Under’,‘Judging Amy’, and ‘Odd Job Jack’.
  • In 2003, she starred in a supporting role in ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’, followed by a supporting role in the American black comedy drama ‘Sideways’ in 2004. In 2005, she appeared in a number of films, including David Slade's thriller ‘Hard Candy’, and the independent anthology drama ‘3 Needles’, in which she played a Catholic nun in an AIDS-stricken African village.
  • In the same year, she was featured on the hit ABC medical series ‘Grey's Anatomy’ as Cristina Yang. In August 2013, she announced that the show’s tenth season would be her final season.
  • While working on ‘Grey's Anatomy’, she simultaneously appeared in several films. She appeared in the thriller ‘The Night Listener’ in 2006; in the comedy ‘Defendor’ in 2009; ‘Ramona and Beezus’ in 2010; and in the critically acclaimed drama ‘Rabbit Hole’ in 2010.
  • She did a few voice roles in animation, providing the voice of Princess Ting-Ting in ‘Mulan II’ and the voice of Doofah in ‘The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends’. She hosted the 28th Genie Awards on March 3, 2008.
    Continue Reading Below
  • In 2009, she performed in ‘The People Speak’, a documentary film that featured dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans. She also appeared in the British crime drama ‘Thorne’. She had taken dialect coaching in order to play her British character.
  • In October 2014, she announced that she would collaborate with Canadian director Ann Marie Fleming for an animated feature film, ‘Window Horses’; the film was released in 2016. In 2015, she appeared on the comedy web series ‘Shitty Boyfriends’. The following year, she appeared in the comedy film, ‘Catfight’.
Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Major Works
  • The film ‘Double Happiness’ won her critical acclaim, with Roger Ebert praising her “warm performance." ‘The New York Times’ also praised her performance, saying that people will not forget her soon.
  • Her performance in the film ‘Dancing at the Blue Iguana’ was praised, and ‘The New York Times’ said, "Sandra makes the most of her opportunity". She also received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Rita Wu on the television series ‘Arliss’.
Awards & Achievements
  • Sandra Oh won the Genie Award for Best Actress for the film ‘Double Happiness’ in 1994. She also won a Best Actress Genie for her role in the film ‘Last Night’ in 1998.
  • She received NAACP Image Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and a Cable Ace award for Best Actress in a Comedy for ‘Arliss’.
  • Her role in ‘Grey's Anatomy’ earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series in 2005. She also earned five Emmy nominations for this role.
Personal Life
  • After being in a relationship with filmmaker Alexander Payne for five years, Sandra Oh married him on January 1, 2003. However, they separated in 2005, and divorced in 2006.
  • On July 8, 2013, she received the Key to the City of Ottawa, Ontario—an honor bestowed upon esteemed residents—from Mayor Jim Watson.

1. Le violon rouge (1998)

  (Music, Drama, Mystery, Romance)

2. Sideways (2004)

  (Comedy, Drama, Romance)

3. Last Night (1998)

  (Drama, Romance, Comedy)

4. Owning Mahowny (2003)

  (Drama, Crime, Thriller)

5. Hard Candy (2005)

  (Drama, Crime, Thriller)

6. Rabbit Hole (2010)


7. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

  (Comedy, Drama, Romance)

8. Defendor (2009)

  (Drama, Crime, Comedy)


Golden Globe Awards
2019 Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama Killing Eve (2018)
2006 Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Grey's Anatomy (2005)
People's Choice Awards
2015 Favorite TV Character We Miss Most Grey's Anatomy (2005)

Follow Sandra Oh On:


See the events in life of Sandra Oh in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Sandra Oh Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- October 30, 2017

People Also Viewed

Sunny Leone
(American, Canadian, Indian)
Rachel McAdams
Cobie Smulders
Avril Lavigne
(Canadian, French)

Ellen Page
Shay Mitchell
Evangeline Lilly
Mackenzie Davis