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Sarah Chalke
Sarah Chalke

Birth Name: Sarah Cassandra Chalke

Birth Date: August 27, 1976

Birth Place: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Height: 5' 6"

 

Sarah Chalke Biography

A bubbly, comedically-gifted performer and a veteran of two major network TV series, Sarah Chalke’s first claim to fame was as Lecy Goransen’s replacement as the troubled daughter, Becky Conner, on the seminal sitcom, “Roseanne” (ABC, 1988-1997). Chalke would later shine even brighter on another popular sitcom – a one-two punch most television actors experience just once if they are lucky. As the deadpan and adoringly lovelorn Dr. Elliot Reid of the NBC medical dramedy “Scrubs” (NBC, 2001- ), Chalke mastered the deadpan delivery and goofy antics the hit medical comedy was known for, as well as held her own alongside such seasoned comic actors as Ken Jenkins (Dr. Kelso) and John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox).

Born in Ottawa, Ontario on Aug. 27, 1976, Sarah Cassandra Chalke was the middle child of three. Raised by their parents to enjoy culture and have an appreciation for the arts, Chalke and her two sisters participated in local stage shows and musical theater productions throughout her childhood. At 16, she got her first job in front of the cameras as an on-air reporter for a popular television show in Canada called KidZone (CBC, 1992). Chalke’s screen acting debut, a small role in a made-for-TV movie called “City Boy” (1992), was enough to establish her credentials in casting circles.

In 1993, when Lecy Goransen – one of the stars of the hit comedy “Roseanne” – announced she was leaving the show to attend college, producers were left in a quandary. Goransen’s character of Becky, the eldest of the Connor clan’s children, had been conceived as a core element of the show. Rather than write the character out completely, producers decided to simply recast the role and hope for the best. Chalke was one of the young actresses who auditioned, but considered herself a long shot due to her own limited resume and Canadian nationality.

To her complete shock, Chalke won the role. Seemingly unintimidated in her audition, Chalke’s natural spunk and instant chemistry with star Roseanne Arnold had sealed the deal. The fact that Chalke bore little physical resemblance to Lecy Goransen was a non-issue and was, in fact, even played for laughs. Without ever addressing the issue directly, producers invited audiences to share in on the joke by deciding to reshoot the classic “Roseanne”’ opening, with the Connors sitting around the table. The sequence, which used morphing technology to show the actors’ progressions over the seasons, had Becky’s face literally begin as Goransen’s before changing to Chalke’s – one of many knowing winks of acknowledgement to viewers at home.

Chalke graduated high school in 1995 while shooting the seventh season of “Roseanne” – her last full season before Goransen returned to resume the role. At one point, the two actresses even alternated playing Becky towards the end of the run, as the show’s tone started heading into more surreal territory. For instance, the eighth season premiere kicked off with Goransen (as Becky) entering the living room, prompting her family to chide, "Where the hell have you been? It feels like you've been gone for three years!" To which Becky responds, "Why does everyone keep saying that?" The matter of Chalke’s exit/ Goransen’s return as Becky continued to be a running gag until Chalke’s last show.

After “Roseanne,” Chalke appeared in a handful of television movies; the most notable being “Stand Against Fear” (1996), in which she played a teenage cheerleader who must stand up alone against sexual harassment. In 1997, Chalke returned to Canada to shoot a made-for-TV film called “Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy,” based on the book by author Richmond P. Hobson. Chalke was singled out by critics for her performance as lovelorn teen Gloria McIntosh and the movie did well enough to spawn a brief weekly CBC series of the same name. Chalke reprised her role, but the show lasted only one season and went off the air in 1999.

In 2000, the actress seriously considered taking a break from acting to attend college. As fate would have it, at that same moment of indecision, Chalke landed the biggest role of her career to date – Dr. Eliot Reed in the medical comedy-drama “Scrubs.” The story of three interns learning the ways of love, life, and medicine in a fictional hospital, “Scrubs” was an immediate hit with critics and fans alike. By the end of its first year, its audience had grown exponentially, making it one of NBC’s most popular shows and one of the last of the peacock network’s successful 90’s holdover sitcoms.

Sarah Chalke Filmography

Mama's Boy (2007) .... Maya
Chaos Theory (2007)
Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy (2006) (TV) .... Geralyn Lucas
... aka Why I Wore Lipstick (USA: informal short title)
Cake (2005) .... Jane
Alchemy (2005) .... Samantha Rose
Awesometown (2005) (TV) .... Pamela Fenton/Melissa
"Clone High" .... Marie Antoinette / X-Stream Erin (3 episodes, 2002-2003)
... aka Clone High U.S.A. (USA)
- Makeover, Makeover, Makeover: The Makeover Episode (2003) TV Episode (voice) .... Marie Antoinette
- A Room of One's Clone: The Pie of the Storm (2003) TV Episode (voice) .... Marie Antoinette
- Election Blu-Galoo (2002) TV Episode (voice) .... X-Stream Erin
XCU: Extreme Close Up (2001) .... Jane Bennett
Kill Me Later (2001) .... Linda
"Scrubs" .... Dr. Elliot Reid (2001 - )
Cinderella: Single Again (2000) .... Cinderella
Spin Cycle (2000) .... Tess
"First Wave" .... Chloe Wells (1 episode, 1999)
Y2K (1999) .... Myra
... aka Terminal Countdown (USA: DVD title)
All Shook Up (1999) .... Katy Dudston
I've Been Waiting for You (1998) (TV) .... Sarah Zoltanne
Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy (1998) (TV) .... Gloria McIntosh
"Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy" (1998) TV Series .... Gloria McIntosh Hobson (unknown episodes)
"Dead Man's Gun" .... Murial Jakes (1 episode, 1997)
Dying to Belong (1997) (TV) .... Drea Davenport
A Child's Wish (1997) (TV) .... Melinda
... aka A Fight for Justice (UK)
Daughters (1997) (TV) .... Annie Morrell
... aka Our Mother's Murder
Stand Against Fear (1996) (TV) .... Krista Wilson
... aka Moment of Truth: Stand Against Fear (USA)
... aka Unlikely Suspects (UK)
Dead Ahead (1996) (TV) .... Heather Loch
Robin of Locksley (1996) (TV) .... Marion Fitzwater
Beyond Obsession (1994) (TV) .... Laura Sawyer
... aka A Daughter's Secret: The Traci di Carlo Story
Ernest Goes to School (1994) (as Sarah Chalk) .... Maisy
"Roseanne" .... Becky Conner-Healy (1993-1997)
Woman on the Ledge (1993) (TV) .... Elizabeth
Relentless: Mind of a Killer (1993) (TV) .... Carrie
"The Odyssey" .... Estate Agent (1 episode, 1992)
"Neon Rider" .... Annie (1 episode, 1992)
City Boy (1992) (TV) .... Angelica

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