Childhood & Early Life
Sara Canning was born on July 14, 1987, in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, to Wayne and Daphne Canning. Her early childhood [till 11] was spent in Brown’s Arm, Newfoundland, and later she grew up in Sherwood Park, near Edmonton, Alberta. Interested in figure skating, she practiced it for 10 years, and also participated in competitions.
Canning studied at ‘F.R. Haythorne Junior High,’ and here she got interested in theater. She completed her schooling at the ‘Bev Facey Community High School,’ where she took part in many stage productions. She was a part of theater productions at the ‘Festival Place’ in her town.
In 2006, she made her professional acting debut at the age of 18, at Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, in the play ‘1984,’ by George Orwell.
Canning joined the ‘University of Alberta’ to study general arts, and aspired to become a journalist. However, she dropped out of the university at 19, and went to Vancouver where she did 1 year screen acting program at ‘Vancouver Film School’ and graduated in 2007.
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After graduating from the film school, she searched for roles through an agent and in the meanwhile, worked in a restaurant. According to her, she didn’t pick and choose roles.
In 2008, Canning acted in the television film ‘Paparazzi Princess: The Paris Hilton Story,’ where she played ‘Nicky Hilton,’ a woman who is prominent in media. It was a challenge for Canning, and so, she researched and focused on Hilton’s business side.
In 2008, Canning played guest roles in ‘Smallville,’ a series based on DC comics, and in a science fiction TV series, ‘Kyle XY.’ In 2009, she portrayed the 17 year old abducted girl, ‘Anne Sluti’ in the TV movie ‘Taken in Broad Daylight,’ which was based on true life story.
Again in 2009, Canning appeared as a British girl, ‘Maggie McGregor’ [who, with her sister, tries to make way through Canadian Prairies] in the Canadian historical drama film, ‘Black Field.’ This Danishka Esterhazy directed film was premiered at ‘2009 Vancouver International Film Festival.’
After this, she began working on the American TV series ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ where she played ‘Jenna Sommers,’ a former wild child turned a responsible aunt. Canning was of nearly same age as the actors playing her niece and nephew; so she was made to look older with the help of make-up and wardrobe. She starred opposite Matthew Davis, who played her romantic interest, ‘Alaric Saltzman.’ Canning worked in this series in 2009–14 and 2017, during which time she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where the series was being filmed.
In 2012, Canning was seen in the crime drama short film ‘Corvus,’ followed by Lifetime Network’s‘Hunt For the I-5 Killer,’ and then Hallmark Channel’s ‘Hannah’s Law,’ all three produced in Canada. She appeared in the dark romantic comedy of 2014, ‘I Put a Hit on You.’ She essayed an event manager ‘Audrey’ in the 2013 romantic comedy, ‘I Think I Do,’ which was shot in Edmonton, Canada. Her next film was the Canadian romantic comedy, ‘The Right Kind of Wrong’  that premiered at the ‘2013 Toronto International Film Festival.’
In the TV series ‘Primeval: New World’ [2012-2013][a spin-off of the British sci-fi ‘Primeval’], Canning played ‘Dylan Weir,’ a predator control expert. In the 2015 psychological drama film ‘Eadweard,’ she played ‘Flora,’ the wife of the title character.
The role that Canning liked most because of it’s challenge of playing a high-strung surgeon, was ‘General Surgeon Melissa Conner’ in the medical series ‘Remedy’[2014–15] for Global TV Network, Canada. This role won her ‘2014 UBCP/ACTRA Best Actress’ award and ‘2015 Leo Award for Best Lead Performance.’
In 2017’s American sci-fi film ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ [third installment in the ‘Planet of the Apes’ film series], she played ‘Lake.’ In 2016’s Canadian TV film ‘On the Farm’ [about the serial killer Robert Pickton] Canning was seen as ‘Sinead McLeod.’ This performance fetched her nomination for ‘2016 Leo Award for Best Supporting Performance by Female in a TV Movie.’
In American black comedy Netflix series ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events,’ Canning portrayed ‘Jacquelyn Scieszka,’ and received nomination for ‘2017 Leo Award for Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series.’
Canning appeared in 2 movies for the Canadian film director Danishka Esterhazy, first as ‘Ms. Brixil’ in the thriller ‘Level 16’ , and then in 2019’s ‘The Banana Splits Movie.’
Family & Personal Life
In July 2008, Canning married her banker boyfriend, Michael Morris. The wedding was attended by only close friends and family. Tragically, he died in 2011. The cause or other details are not known as Canning values her privacy.
She is interested in writing and directing, and writes a lot in her spare time.
Canning is a part of ‘Project Limelight,’ and ‘Fulfilling Young Artists,’ for which she is a mentor for 2019.