Susan Miju Oh OC is a Canadian and American actress who was born on July 20, 1971. Her leading appearances as Rita Wu in the HBO comedy series Arliss (1996–2002), Dr. Cristina Yang in the ABC medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy (2005–2014), and Eve Polastri in the BBC America spy thriller series Killing Eve (2018–2022) have made her well known. She has won four Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Golden Globes. Oh was listed among the top 100 most powerful individuals in the world by Time magazine in 2019.
Oh originally attracted attention for her performances in the 1994 Canadian movies Double Happiness and The Diary of Evelyn Lau. She also voiced characters on American Dad!, American Dragon: Jake Long, The Proud Family, Phineas and Ferb, Chop Socky Chooks, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and Invincible in subsequent television appearances. Her later television credits also include Judging Amy and American Crime. She co-executive produced the Netflix comedic drama series The Chair in addition to playing the series’ main character in 2021.
She made notable supporting and leading appearances in movies like Bean (1997), Last Night (1998), The Princess Diaries (2001), Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity (2002), Sideways (2004), Wilby Wonderful (2004), Hard Candy (2005), Rabbit Hole (2010), Tammy (2014), Catfight (2016), and Meditation Park (2017). She also provided voices for Mulan II (2004), The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends (2007), Over the Moon (2020), Raya and the Bee, and The
Oh earned two Genie Awards for Double Happiness and Last Night’s Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, as well as a Gemini Award for The Diary of Evelyn Lau’s Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series. She was the first woman of Asian ancestry to host the Golden Globe Awards at the 76th ceremony in 2019, having previously hosted the 28th Genie Awards in 2008.
She was the third actress of Asian ancestry to host Saturday Night Live following Awkwafina in 2018 and Lucy Liu in 2000. She became the first Asian-Canadian woman to do so in March 2019. She was also the first person of Asian ancestry to win two Golden Globes and the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Sandra Oh Early life
Susan Miju The daughter of middle-class South Korean immigrants Oh Young-nam, a biochemist, and Oh Jun-su (John), a businessman, Oh was born in Nepean, Ontario, on July 20, 1971. Early in the 1960s, her parents settled in the neighborhood. She was raised in a Christian home on Camwood Crescent in Nepean with a brother named Ray and a sister named Grace. At the age of four, she started acting and training in ballet to rectify her pigeon-toed stance. Oh was one of the few young people of Asian heritage in Nepean when he was a child.
Oh performed The Wizard of Woe in The Canada Goose, a class musical, when he was ten years old. She then started the environmental club BASE (Borden Active Students for the Environment) at Sir Robert Borden High School and led a campaign against the usage of styrofoam cups.
She won the presidency of the student council while still in high school. She continued to study acting and ballet despite the fact that she “was not good enough to be a professional dancer” and eventually concentrated on acting. She also played the flute. She participated in school productions, took acting classes, and joined the theatre club where she participated in the Canadian Improv Games and the comic ensemble Skit Row High. Against her parents’ advice, she turned down a four-year journalism scholarship to Carleton University in favor of studying acting for her own money in Montreal at the National Theatre School of Canada.
Oh promised her parents that she would attempt acting for a few years and that, if it didn’t work out, she would go back to school. She has stated that she is “the only person in her family who doesn’t have a master’s in something” in her reflections on forgoing college. She appeared in a theater production of David Mamet’s Oleanna in London, Ontario not long after receiving her degree from the National Theatre School in 1993. She was cast as two prominent female Chinese-Canadians in biographical television movies at around the same time: Adrienne Clarkson in a CBC biopic of Clarkson’s life, and Vancouver novelist Evelyn Lau in The Diary of Evelyn Lau, for which she beat out more than 1,000 applicants.
Canadian-American actress Sandra Oh has amassed a net worth of $25 million as a result of her prosperous career.
She received a great deal of appreciation for her outstanding roles in the critically acclaimed television series Grey’s Anatomy and Killing Eve.
Sandra Oh Career
1994–2004: Early work
Oh gained notoriety in her own country for her leading role as Jade Li in the Canadian movie Double Happiness (1994), a Chinese-Canadian woman in her twenties balancing her desires and her parents’. Roger Ebert praised Oh’s “warm performance” and the movie earned favorable reviews. She received accolades from Janet Maslin of The New York Times, who wrote: “Ms. Oh’s performance makes Jade a smart, spiky heroine you won’t soon forget.” For the part, Oh received the Genie Award for Best Actress. She made a multi-scene, uncredited appearance in the Canadian film Little Criminals in 1995.
She made a cameo as Bernice, the PR manager for an art gallery, in the 1997 movie Bean. Her other Canadian movies include Last Night (1998), for which she once more received a Best Actress Genie, and Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity. She was cast as a dancer at an adult dance club opposite Daryl Hannah in the drama Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000). Despite mixed reviews for the movie, Oh got accolades for her performance.
Oh “makes the most of [her] opportunity to explore the vulnerability beneath her characters’ hard-edged surface,” according to the New York Times review. She had an appearance in the drama Waking the Dead that same year. Oh made an appearance in the family comedy Big Fat Liar in 2002 before playing a supporting role in Steven Soderbergh’s Full Frontal.
Oh received praise from critics for her six seasons on the HBO series Arliss as Rita Wu, the president’s assistant at a major sports agency. She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a Cable Ace Award for Best Actress in a Comedy for her performance. She also appeared as a humanities teacher in multiple episodes of Popular (1999) and had guest roles in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Judging Amy, Six Feet Under, and Odd Job Jack.
Oh has also been in theater’s La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere of Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters and New York City’s Joseph Papp’s Public Theater’s production of Diana Son’s Stop Kiss.
She was cast in a supporting part opposite Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun in 2003, and then she appeared in the drama Sideways (2004) directed by Alexander Payne. She believes that The Diary of Evelyn Lau and Sideways are her two best works.
2005–2013: Grey’s Anatomy
Oh starred in a number of movies in 2005, including David Slade’s contentious thriller Hard Candy and the independent anthology drama 3 Needles, in which she portrays a Catholic nun in an AIDS-stricken African hamlet alongside Chlo Sevigny and Olympia Dukakis. Oh received her role as Cristina Yang in the inaugural season of Grey’s Anatomy, the popular ABC medical drama that year. Oh’s long-running performance on the show saw her win the 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series in addition to the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series.
She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Primetime Emmy Award in July 2009 for her work on the show, marking her fifth consecutive nomination. Oh declared that the tenth season of the show would be her last one in August 2013.
Oh continued to appear in movies in addition to her work on Grey’s Anatomy. Alongside Robin Williams and Toni Collette, she co-starred in the thriller The Night Listener (2006). She also appeared in Defendor (2009), Ramona and Beezus (2010), and the critically praised drama Rabbit Hole (2010).
She portrayed Brigid O’Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (2008), a Grammy-nominated dramatization that also starred Michael Madsen and Edward Herrmann, in her sole audiobook. She has also voiced characters in a few animated films, notably Princess Ting-Ting in Mulan II, Jake Long in American Dragon, and Doofah in The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends.
On March 3, 2008, Oh served as the 28th Genie Awards’ host. Oh appeared in the 2009 documentary film The People Speak, which is based on historian Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States and uses dramatic and musical renditions of letters, diaries, and speeches from common Americans. In 2010, while Grey’s Anatomy was taking a break from filming, Oh took on the role of Sarah Chen in the British crime drama Thorne. To play her British role, she underwent extensive accent training.
Oh’s star on Canada’s Walk of Fame was announced on June 28, 2011, and she was officially honored on October 1 at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre. Oh made her official departure from Grey’s Anatomy at the conclusion of the ninth season known in 2013. Oh left the show at season 10’s conclusion.
2014–present: Film roles and Killing Eve
Oh said in October 2014 that she would be working on an animated feature picture named Window Horses with Canadian filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming. She also played Kathy Bates’ character’s wife in a minor role in the comedy Tammy (2014).
She appeared in the comic online series Shitty Boyfriends on Refinery29 in 2015. In December 2015, Oh started shooting the comedy Catfight in New York City. In the third season of the anthology drama series American Crime in 2017, Oh played Abby Tanaka.
Oh debuted as the primary character in the BBC iPlayer spy thriller series Killing Eve in April 2018. She plays British intelligence agent Eve Polastri, who develops an attraction with Jodie Comer’s psychotic killer Villanelle. Oh claimed that after years of playing the best friend to the leads, she had become “brainwashed” and had no idea she was being considered for a main part until she read the series script. The show received a second season renewal before it even made its debut, and a third was confirmed less than a day after the second season’s American premiere. Not long later, a fourth season of Killing Eve was also confirmed.
Oh has received praise from the critics for her work on the show; Jenna Scherer called her in Rolling Stone “a compulsively watchable actor – expressive and complex, blending wry wit and deep pathos.” Oh was named the best actress currently performing on television by Vulture, and critic Matt Zoller Seitz noted that the performance was “a tour de force, yet so self-effacing and invisible in its effects that you come away thinking that you’ve seen a crackling yarn with compelling characters rather than a cultural landmark.”
This is a very impressive magic trick. For that portrayal, Oh was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead woman in a Drama Series in 2018, becoming the first woman of Asian heritage to do so. She became the first person of Asian origin to win two Golden Globe Awards when she won the award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. Oh received the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series in 2019.
Oh voiced Castaspella in the superhero animated series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power from 2018 to 2020. She and Andy Samberg co-hosted the 76th Golden Globe Awards in 2019. Oh made history by becoming the first woman of Asian heritage to host the ceremony. After Lucy Liu in 2000 and Awkwafina in 2018, she became only the third actress of Asian origin to host Saturday Night Live in March 2019. She was also the first Asian-Canadian woman to do so. Oh provided the voice of Virana, the Fang tribe’s chieftain, in the Disney animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon in 2021.
In the animated superhero drama series Invincible, Oh voiced Debbie Grayson. The Amazon Prime Video series, which is based on the identical comic book series, debuted in 2021.
Oh played the title character in the Netflix comedy-drama series The Chair in 2021 while also serving as executive producer.
Oh provided the severe and overbearing mother of the main character in the Pixar animated picture Turning Red in 2022. Her character was voiced by Ming Lee. She joined the Margaret Atwood short story collection adaption by Lynne Ramsay. Bed of stones
Sandra Oh Personal life
Alexander Payne, a director, and Oh dated for five years. They got hitched in January 2003, got divorced in late 2006 after becoming separated in early 2005.
Mayor Jim Watson gave Oh the city of Ottawa’s key on July 8, 2013.
Oh engages in the Buddhist meditation technique known as vipassana. Her acting is influenced by a loosely organized creative group that teaches “creative dream work,” which is said to combine method acting with Jungian dream analysis in order to bring one’s “subconscious work into consciousness.”
In 2018, Oh obtained US citizenship. She spoke about her citizenship on the occasion of its first anniversary while presenting Saturday Night Live, identifying herself as a “Asian-Canadian-American.”
As part of the 2019 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, Oh received the National Arts Centre Award from the Governor General of Canada.
Oh was made an officer of the Order of Canada in June 2022. Later that year, she was one of several recently inducted members of the Order who traveled with the Canadian delegation to Queen Elizabeth II’s royal burial.
Sandra Oh Activism
In response to the shootings at the Atlanta spa, Oh spoke at a Stop Asian Hate event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 22, 2021. Because they were “very scared,” she urged others to “reach out to the Asian American community.”
I’ll keep this brief, but I just want to say that I know a lot of people in our community are really terrified, and I totally get that. One way to try to kind of get past our anxiety is to go out to our communities. I’ll put it to you all here: would you help me if you saw something? Will you assist us if you notice one of our sisters or brothers in need?..
Being Asian makes me happy! I’d like to hear you declare, “I’m proud to be Asian!” I belong here. Being Asian makes me happy! I belong here. Many of us don’t have the opportunity to express it, so I just wanted to give us a chance to yell it out.
Sandra Oh Facts
began studying ballet at age 4 and continued for 14 years.
Acting in plays since age 10
fluent in both French and English
Was a member of the Canadian improv team that won the national championship in the Canadian Improv Games while in high school.
won two Genie Awards (Canada’s Oscar equivalent) for best actress, the first for her performance in the 1994 feature film Double Happiness and the second for her work in the 1998 film Last Night.
Her other honors include a 1997 CableACE for her depiction of Rita Wu on the HBO series Arli$$, a Best Performance Award at the Milan Film Festival for her role as a stripper in the independent film Dancing at the Blue Iguana, and a 2006 Screen Actors Guild Award for her work on Grey’s Anatomy.
Sandra Oh Trivia
(July 12, 2018) made history by being the first Asian actor to ever be nominated for a best actress Emmy for her work in the 2018 season of Killing Eve.
speaks English, French, Spanish, and Korean with ease.
First Asian-American woman to receive numerous Golden Globe nominations.
was a member of a Canadian improv team that won the national championship at the Canadian Improv Games in the late 1990s.
In 2018, she attained American citizenship.
has always been a fan of Yoko Ono, a Japanese artist.
She adores Spain, and Barcelona in particular.
Her character traveled from Seattle, Washington to work in Southern California in Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000). Her character in Grey’s Anatomy (2005) relocated from Southern California to Seattle to work.
attended Montreal, Quebec’s National Theatre School.
has a brother named Ray who is a genetics doctor and a sister named Grace who is a lawyer.
went to Ontario’s Nepean Sir Robert Borden High School.
Sandra Oh Awards & Nominations
- 2006, 2019 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
- 2019 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- 2018, 2019 British Academy Television Award for Best Actress
Other Awards & Nominations
- 2006, 2019, 2020, 2022 Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
- 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022 Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series
- 2006, 2007, 2019, 2020 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
- 2015 People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Character We Miss Most
- 2013 Order of Canada
Sandra Oh Social Media
- Instagram: @iamsandraohinsta
- Twitter: @IamSandraOh
- 1995: Double Happiness
- 1997: Bean
- 1998: Last Night
- 1998: Permanent Midnight
- 1999: The Red Violin
- 2000: Guinevere
- 2000: Waking the Dead
- 2001: The Princess Diaries
- 2001: The Ghost of Evelyn Hardcastle
- 2002: Princess Protection Program
- 2002: Dancing at the Blue Iguana
- 2002: Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity
- 2003: Under the Tuscan Sun
- 2004: Sideways
- 2004: Mulan II (voice role)
- 2004: Wilby Wonderful
- 2005: Hard Candy
- 2006: The Night Listener
- 2007: The Land Before Time XIII: The Wisdom of Friends (voice role)
- 2009: Defender
- 2010: Ramona and Beezus
- 2010: Rabbit Hole
- 2014: Tammy
- 2016: Catfight
- 2017: Meditation Park
- 2020: Over the Moon (voice role)
- 2021: Raya and the Last Dragon (voice role)
- 2022: Turning Red (voice role)
- 1993: The Diary of the Heart
- 1994–1998: Arliss
- 1996: Kung Fu: The Legend Continues
- 1996: Highlander: The Series
- 1996: Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years
- 1997: The Outer Limits
- 1997: Relic Hunter
- 1999: Judging Amy
- 2000: Popular
- 2000: Six Feet Under
- 2002: Judging Amy
- 2005–2014: Grey’s Anatomy
- 2006: American Dad! (voice role)
- 2007: American Dad! (voice role)
- 2009: American Dad! (voice role)
- 2012: Saturday Night Live (host)
- 2013: American Dad! (voice role)
- 2015–2018: Killing Eve
- 2018: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (voice role)
- 2018–present: Invincible (voice role)
- 2020: Saturday Night Live (host)
- 2023: Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai (voice role)
Is Sandra Oh Chinese or Korean?
In the Canadian city of Nepean, a suburb of Ottawa, Sandra Oh was born to Korean parents. Her mother, Oh Young-Nam, a biochemist, and her father, businessman Oh Junsu, were wed in Seoul, South Korea. They both studied at the University of Toronto for their masters degrees.
What made Sandra Oh famous?
Sandra Oh is a talented actor who has received praise for her work in both film and television. Before receiving widespread acclaim for her work in the popular ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy (2005–14), she won Genie Awards for her roles in Double Happiness (1994) and Last Night (1998).
Is Sandra Oh religious?
Oh engages in the Buddhist meditation technique known as vipassana.
How much does Sandra Oh make a year?
According to Stylecaster, Oh made about $8.4 million annually from “Grey’s,” making her, along with co-stars Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo, the sixth highest paid TV celebrity at the time. Do You Think Student Loan Debt Should Be Forgiven? Take Our Poll to Find Out.
Did Sandra Oh go to the funeral?
Oh, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and other Order members, including Olympic gold medalist swimmer Mark Tewksbury and performer Gregory Charles, attended the funeral as part of Canada’s delegation.