Sarah Wayne Callies

Sarah Wayne Callies Headshot

Actress

Birth Date: June 1, 1977

Age: 47 years old

Birth Place: La Grange, Illinois

A thoughtful, willowy leading lady on television and in the occasional film, actress Sarah Wayne Callies portrayed intelligent women faced with life-changing challenges in two hit series, "Prison Break" (Fox, 2005-09) and "The Walking Dead" (AMC, 2010- ). With "Prison Break," Callies became a favorite among television viewers as a prison doctor who aids two inmates in an elaborate escape plan, while "The Walking Dead" was a bona fide pop culture phenomenon that elevated her profile considerably.

Prior to either show, Callies was a guest star on popular series like "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ), "Numb3rs" (CBS, 2005-2010) and "House" (Fox, 2004-2012), while also managing to break into the feature world with smaller films like "The Celestine Prophecy" (2006) and "Whisper" (2007).

Born Sarah Anne Callies in La Grange, IL on June 1, 1977, Sarah Wayne Callies was the daughter of law professor David Callies and his wife, English professor Valerie Wayne, who moved their daughter from England, where an uncle, John Moore, had served in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet, to Honolulu, HA to teach at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A solid student at the independent Punahou School, she fell in love with acting as a junior, but worried that the extra-curricular interest would have a negative impact on her grades. She shifted her focus to feminist studies while at Dartmouth College, with the intention of following her parents' footsteps into education, but the rigor and loneliness of constant study proved too great of a grind for her. She soon decided that her time on stage in high school had been a more freeing experience for her, and so pursued a master of fine arts degree from the National Theater Conservatory in Denver, CO, from which she graduated in 2002.

Callies launched her onscreen career with the short-lived legal drama "Queens Supreme" (CBS, 2003), which was followed by several stints as a guest star on episodic series like "L.A. Dragnet" (NBC, 2003) and "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ). In 2003, she was cast as Jane to Travis Fimmel's updated Lord of the Jungle in an updated "Tarzan" (The WB, 2003). Callies' Jane was a New York police detective who found herself teamed with Fimmel's long-lost scion of an industrial empire, returned to civilization after two decades in the jungle and now dedicated to helping those in need. The series lasted just eight episodes.

In 2005, Callies earned her star-making role as Sara Tancredi on "Prison Break." A dedicated doctor, and the daughter of Illinois governor Frank Tancredi (John Heard), Sara becomes involved with the series' main characters, Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and his brother, Lincoln (Dominic Purcell), through the former's regular visits for insulin injections. Over time, she learned about Michael's quest to free his brother from jail, and became involved in the elaborate scheme to break him out before he was executed for an alleged murder. She also fell in love with Michael, and aided him in his escape, leading to her pursuit and apparent murder by The Company, a shadowy agency with control over the United States government. Tancredi's death was spurred by Callies' real-life pregnancy; series producer Paul Scheuring had planned to use her leave of absence to set up a story arc which would lead to her demise, but due to contract disputes between the actress and the show's producers, Tancredi was abruptly and gruesomely killed off-screen at the beginning of the third season.

However, the popularity of the character and her relationship to Michael Scofield spurred negative fan response, and Callies was brought back for the show's fourth and final season, in which Sara teamed with Michael to help bring down The Company. Critical reaction to Callies' performance throughout the series was universally positive and led to several opportunities in features throughout the show's network run. In 2006, she played Marjorie, a young woman who translated several mystic scrolls in pursuit of enlightenment in "The Celestine Prophecy," a misbegotten film adaptation of the best-selling New Age novel. More watchable was "Whisper" (2007), a supernatural thriller about a quartet of kidnappers, including a felon (Josh Holloway) and his fiancée (Callies), who are hired to abduct a young boy, only to discover that he possesses unearthly powers of suggestion, causing the group to turn on each other. Despite critical approval, the film failed to reach a broad audience.

Callies bounced between guest work on shows like "House" (Fox, 2004-2012), where she played a woman in an open marriage, and indie dramas like "Bittersweet" (2008) and "Lullaby for Pi" (2010). She scored a second major series hit with "The Walking Dead" (AMC, 2010- ), Frank Darabont's grisly adaptation of Robert Kirtman's graphic novel series about the survivors of a worldwide plague that turned its victims into flesh-eating zombies. Callies played Lori Grimes, wife of sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincon), who becomes separated from her husband after the plague outbreak, only to think he's dead and carry on with his best friend, Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal).

But complications ensue when they reunite on the outskirts of Atlanta, with Rick unaware of her affair while he tries to lead a motley crew of survivors. A massive ratings hit, "The Walking Dead" elevated Callies' profile until her departure from the show in 2012 following a deeply emotional scene where Laurie gives birth to Rick's daughter in an episode many fans considered one of the show's best. Meanwhile, Callies worked outside the "Walking Dead" universe, appearing in the spy drama "Tangled" (CBC, 2010) and starring opposite Milla Jovovich in the horror-thriller "Faces in the Crowd" (2011). After starring in the action drama "Into the Storm" (2014) and Nicolas Cage horror "Pay the Ghost" (2015), Callies returned to TV as one of the stars of science fiction drama "Colony" (USA 2016- ).

Credits

The Walking Dead: Best of Michonne

Actor
Show
2024

The Walking Dead: Best of Rick

Actor
Show
2024

The Company You KeepStream

Actor
Birdie
Series
2023
85%

Fire CountryStream

Director
Series
2022
44%

Council of Dads from NBC

Actor
Show
2020

Council of Dads from NBC

Actor
Show
2020

Council of Dads from NBC

Actor
Show
2020

Council of Dads from NBC

Actor
Show
2020

Council of Dads from NBC

Actor
Show
2020

Friday Night In with The MorgansStream

Guest
Talk
2020

Josh Gates Tonight

Guest
Show
2020

Council of DadsStream

Actor
Robin Perry
Series
2020
50%

Access Daily

Guest
Show
2019

Unspeakable: Extras

Actor
Show
2019

UnspeakableStream

Actor
Margaret Sanders
Miniseries
2019

The Long Road HomeStream

Actor
LeAnn Volesky
Series
2017
77%

The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking

Voice
Lori Grimes
Special
2017

The Good DoctorStream

Director
Series
2017

The ShowStream

Actor
Karina
Movie
2017

Prison Break: Extras

Actor
Show
2016

ColonyStream

Actor
Katie Bowman
Series
2016
92%

The Other Side of the DoorStream

Actor
Maria
Movie
2016
36%

Colony: Behind the Wall

Actor
Show
2015

Colony: Extras

Actor
Show
2015

Pay the Ghost

Actor
Kristen
Movie
2015

Hollywood Today Live

Guest
Show
2014

Into the StormStream

Actor
Allison
Movie
2014
21%

Rise of the Wahine

Narrator
Movie
2014

Take Part Live

Guest
Show
2013

Entertainment Studios.TV

Guest
Show
2012

Larry King NowStream

Guest
Talk
2012

Black November

Actor
Kate Summers
Movie
2012

The Walking Dead: Live at the Paley Center

Guest
Show
2011

Black Gold

Actor
Kate Summers
Movie
2011

Faces in the Crowd

Actor
Francine
Movie
2011

Foreverland

Actor
Fran
Movie
2011

The Walking DeadStream

Actor
Lori Grimes
Series
2010
79%

The TalkStream

Guest
Talk
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

Tangled

Actor
Show
2010

Lullaby for Pi

Actor
Josephine
Movie
2010

Prison Break: The Final Break

Actor
Sara Tancredi
Movie
2009

Bittersweet

Actor
Robyn
Movie
2008

Whisper

Actor
Roxanne
Movie
2007

The Celestine Prophecy

Actor
Marjorie
Movie
2006

Prison BreakStream

Actor
Dr. Sara Tancredi
Series
2005
61%

Prison BreakStream

Guest Star
Dr. Sara Tancredi
Series
2005
61%

NUMB3RSStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

HouseStream

Guest Star
Julia
Series
2004
90%

Tarzan

Actor
Show
2003

Dragnet

Guest Star
Show
2003

Queens Supreme

Guest Star
Show
2003

Last Call With Carson Daly

Guest
Talk
2002

Law & Order: Special Victims UnitStream

Guest Star
Jenny Rochester
Series
1999
78%

News aboutSarah Wayne Callies

Milo Ventimiglia in 'The Company You Keep'
Exclusive

‘The Company You Keep’ Sneak Peek: Family Meeting Reveals Where Charlie’s Confession Left Him & Emma (VIDEO)

Catherine Haena Kim & Milo Ventimiglia in 'The Company You Keep'
Review

Roush Review: Playing a Lying Game in ABC’s ‘The Company You Keep’ Caper

daryl norman reedus walking dead season 10 episode 18
Spoiler Alert

‘The Walking Dead’: 11 of the Biggest Changes Made From Comics to TV

Wentworth Miller as Michael Scofield in Prison Break - Season 1

Wentworth Miller Is Done With ‘Prison Break’: ‘No More Michael’

Prison Break cast - Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Marshall Allman, Robin Tunney, Stacy Keach, Amaury Nolasco, Peter Stormare, Robert Knepper, Sarah Wayne Callies, Wade Williams, Paul Adelstein

‘Prison Break’ Premiered 15 Years Ago: See the Cast Then & Now

Kevin Daniels as Peter and J. August Richards as Oliver in Council of Dads - Season 1
Exclusive

‘Council of Dads’ Finale: Oliver & Peter Aren’t on the Same Page About Adopting (VIDEO)

Council of Dads - Michael O'Neill as Larry Mills, Emjay Anthony as Theo Perry, Michele Weaver as Luly Perry, J. August Richards as Dr. Oliver Post, Clive Standen as Anthony Lavelle, Blue Chapman as JJ Perry, Sarah Wayne Callies as Robin Perry, Thalia Tran as Charlotte Perry, Steven Silver as Evan Norris

‘Council of Dads’ Cast Reacts to NBC’s Cancellation

Sarah Wayne Callies as Robin Perry in 'Council of Dads'
Q&A

Sarah Wayne Callies on Robin’s Grief & the ‘Council of Dads’ ‘Boundaries’

Friday Night in with the Morgans
Exclusive

Sneak Peek at a ‘Walking Dead’ Reunion on ‘Friday Night in With the Morgans’ (VIDEO)

Council of Dads - J. August Richards, Clive Standen, Michael O'Neill
Exclusive

Sarah Wayne Callies Says ‘Council of Dads’ Is ‘Not a Show about Grief’ (VIDEO)

Sarah Wayne Callies, Michael O'Neill, Michele Weaver at the Council of Dads preview
Q&A

‘Council of Dads’ Cast on the Family’s Relationships & Challenges

Colony - Season 2
Q&A

‘Colony’ & ‘Walking Dead’ Star Sarah Wayne Callies on Her Preference for ‘Really Extreme’ Stories

The Walking Dead Chandler Riggs Carl

‘The Walking Dead’s Five Most Shocking Deaths

Jason Ritter as Capt. Troy Denomy on the set of The Long Road Home at U.S. Military post, Fort Hood

Roush Review: Riveting ‘Long Road Home,’ Intriguing ‘Damnation’

The Long Road Home - Sarah Wayne Callies and Kate Bosworth

Sarah Wayne Callies: Nat Geo’s ‘The Long Road Home’ Is ‘a War Story That Passes the Bechdel Test’

Prison Break event series Blu-ray
Exclusive

New ‘Prison Break’ DVD Offers Glimpse Behind the Scenes of the Event Series (VIDEO)

Jeremy Sisto as Staff Sgt. Robert Miltenberger in National Geographic's upcoming The Long Rpad Home

‘The Long Road Home’: A First Look at NatGeo’s Iraq War Series (VIDEO)

Prison Break - Sarah Wayne Callies
Exclusive

‘Prison Break’: Sara Receives Proof Michael Is Alive (VIDEO)

Prison Break - Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies
Q&A

Sarah Wayne Callies On The Return of ‘Prison Break’: ‘It Was Emotional’

Prison Break - Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies
Exclusive

What Is Sara Tancredi’s Life Like in New ‘Prison Break’ Revival? (VIDEO)

Prison Break - Wentworth Miller as Michael Scofield, Kunal Sharma as Sid, Dominic Purcell as Lincoln Burrows, Augustus Prew as Whip

Inside Fox’s 9-Hour ‘Prison Break’ Revival: ‘It Gives Fans What They Always Wanted’

Colony - Season 2

‘Colony’: First Look at Josh Holloway Looking for His Missing Son

Carl Weathers, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Josh Holloway

NBCUniversal Upfront: Stars Tell Us Their Favorite Shows

New USA Slogan

USA Network’s New Brand: Bold or Blah?

Colony - Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies

Why ‘Colony’ Is ‘a David and Goliath’ Story of Fighting the Impossible (VIDEO)

Colony - Pilot

How Similar Is ‘Colony’ to ‘Lost’ and ‘The Walking Dead’? Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies Answer

Josh Holloway in the pilot of Colony

‘Colony’: Occupied (and Trapped) by Borders in Los Angeles