Sara Ramirez

Last updated

Sara Ramírez
Sara Ramirez3.jpg
Ramirez in 2008.
Born
Sara Elena Ramírez

(1975-08-31) August 31, 1975 (age 43)
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Citizenship
  • Mexico
  • United States
Education Juilliard School (BFA)
Occupation
  • Actress
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active1998–present
Spouse(s)
Ryan Debolt(m. 2012)
Website www.sararamirez.com

Sara Elena Ramírez (Spanish pronunciation:  [ˈsaɾa eˈlena raˈmiɾes] ; born August 31, 1975) is a Mexican American actress, singer, and songwriter. Born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, she graduated with a fine arts degree from the Juilliard School. She began acting in Broadway productions, making her debut with Paul Simon's The Capeman , and later ventured into film and television roles. Ramirez is a recipient of a Tony Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Satellite Award, among other accolades.

Mexican Americans Americans of Mexican heritage

Mexican Americans are Americans of full or partial Mexican descent. As of July 2016, Mexican Americans made up 11.2% of the United States' population, as 36.3 million U.S. residents identified as being of full or partial Mexican ancestry. As of July 2016, Mexican Americans comprised 63.2% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. Many Mexican Americans reside in the American Southwest; over 60% of all Mexican Americans reside in the states of California and Texas. As of 2016, Mexicans make up 53% of total percent population of Latin foreign-born. Mexicans are also the largest foreign-born population, accounting for 25% of the total foreign-born population, as of 2017.

Mazatlán Place in Sinaloa, Mexico

Mazatlán is a city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. The city serves as the municipal seat for the surrounding municipio, known as the Mazatlán Municipality. It is located at 23°13′N106°25′W on the Pacific coast, across from the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula.

Sinaloa State of Mexico

Sinaloa, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Sinaloa, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, compose the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 18 municipalities and its capital city is Culiacán Rosales.

Contents

Ramirez's portrayal of the original Lady of the Lake in the 2005 Broadway musical Spamalot won her acclaim and the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She gained wider recognition for her role as Dr. Callie Torres in Grey's Anatomy . She made her debut as a voice artist with the 1999 video game entitled UmJammer Lammy , and has voiced Queen Miranda in the animated series Sofia the First (2012–present).

Lady of the Lake ruler of Avalon in the Arthurian legend

The Lady of the Lake is an enchantress in the Matter of Britain, the body of medieval literature and legend associated with King Arthur. She plays a pivotal role in many stories, including giving Arthur his sword Excalibur, enchanting Merlin, and raising Lancelot after the death of his father. Different writers and copyists give the Arthurian character the name Nimue, Nymue, Nimueh, Viviane, Vivien, Vivienne, Niniane, Ninniane, Ninianne, Niviene, Nyneve or Nineve, among other variations. At least two different sorceresses bearing the title "the Lady of the Lake" appear as separate characters in some versions and adaptations since the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Le Morte d'Arthur.

<i>Spamalot</i> musical

Monty Python's Spamalot is a musical comedy adapted from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Like the motion picture, it is a highly irreverent parody of the Arthurian legend, but it differs from the film in many ways. The original 2005 Broadway production, directed by Mike Nichols, received 14 Tony Awards nominations, winning in three categories, including Best Musical. During its initial run of 1,575 performances, it was seen by more than two million people and grossed over $175 million.

The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical has been presented since 1950. The award was not given at the first three Tony Award ceremonies. Nominees were not announced publicly until 1956.

Ramirez released her first single "Silent Night" in 2009. Her self titled extended play debuted at no. 37 at the Billboard 200 in 2011. Ramirez is also an activist and extensively campaigns for LGBT rights. She was awarded the Ally for Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in 2015.

Silent Night 1818 Christmas song by Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr

"Silent Night" is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. The song has been recorded by a large number of singers across many music genres. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all-time.

<i>Sara Ramirez</i> (EP) 2011 EP by Sara Ramirez

Sara Ramirez is the debut extended play (EP) by the Mexican-American recording artist and actress of the same name, released on March 27, 2011. Released to the iTunes Store through Atrevida Records, the EP features four songs, including a cover of "The Story" which was written by Phil Hanseroth and originally performed by Brandi Carlile on her 2007 album The Story and two songs co-written with Los Angeles writer-producer Rob Giles of the band The Rescues, who also produced the EP. For the week of April 16, 2011, Sara Ramirez debuted at number thirty-seven on the Billboard 200, number nine on Billboard's Independent Albums chart, and number thirty-eight on the Canadian Albums Chart. "The Story" debuted the same week at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 72 on the Canadian Hot 100, and number 34 on the Irish Singles Chart.

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

Early life

Ramirez was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, in the northwestern Pacific coast of Mexico. Her father is Mexican and her mother is of Mexican and Irish-American descent. [1] Her parents divorced when she was eight years old, and Ramirez went to live with her mother. [2] They eventually settled in Tierrasanta, San Diego, California. Ramirez's interest in music encouraged her mother to send her to San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, where she discovered her singing talent during an audition. [2] Ramirez started acting in stage productions at her high school. [3]

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, known as SDSCPA, is an audition only public arts magnet school in southeastern San Diego, California, US. The San Diego SCPA is a non-tuition, public, dedicated magnet school in the San Diego Unified School District serving families throughout San Diego County. The San Diego SCPA provides pre-professional training in the arts alongside a college preparatory curriculum. All students audition and complete a required series of specialized arts training in Theater, Music, Dance, Visual and Cinematic Arts, or Creative Writing. Upon graduation, most SDSCPA students continue to universities or conservatories for further study in the arts and academics. Recent acceptances include the Juilliard School, Cornish, Art Institute of Chicago, Curtis, New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Boston Conservatory, Peabody Institute, and CalArts.

After having played such roles as the Witch in Into the Woods, Dolly in Hello, Dolly! and Miss Hannigan in Annie, [3] Ramirez was recommended for the Juilliard School, New York City. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (dramatics). [2] At Juilliard, she further worked on her acting skills and trained as an alto singer. [4] Ramirez speaks both Spanish and English fluently. [5]

Juilliard School American performing arts conservatory in New York City

The Juilliard School, informally referred to as Juilliard and located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City, is a performing arts conservatory established in 1905. The school trains about 850 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music. It is widely regarded as one of the world's leading drama, music and dance schools, with some of the most prestigious arts programs. In 2016, QS Quacquarelli Symonds ranked it as the world's best institution for Performing Arts in their inaugural global ranking of the discipline.

The musical term alto, meaning "high" in Italian, refers to the second highest part of a contrapuntal musical texture and is also applied to its associated vocal range, especially in choral music. It is also the root word of contralto, the lowest standard female voice type. When designating instruments, "alto" likewise can refer either to the corresponding vocal range or to musical role. The term "alto" is also used to designate a specific kind of musical clef; see alto clef.

Career

Broadway breakthrough and other roles (1998–2005)

While still at Juilliard, Ramirez was discovered by a casting director and was offered the role of Wahzinak in Paul Simon's 1998 Broadway musical The Capeman . [6] Based on the life of the Puerto Rican gangster Salvador Agron, the production garnered negative reviews, but Ramirez was singled out for her "outstanding" performance. [7] She made her screen debut in the same year, with a minor yet "memorable" role in the romantic comedy You've Got Mail . [8] Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, the film had Ramirez play Rose, a Zabars cashier who was "very serious about her line's cash-only policy." [9] Ramirez voiced the titular character of Lammy in the video game UmJammer Lammy , a spin-off of PaRappa the Rapper , on Sony's PlayStation console. She later reprised her role in the latter's sequel for PlayStation 2, but had a smaller role. [10]

Paul Simon American musician, songwriter and producer

Paul Frederic Simon is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's musical career has spanned seven decades with his fame and commercial success beginning as half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1956 with Art Garfunkel. Simon was responsible for writing nearly all of the pair's songs including three that reached number one on the U.S. singles charts: "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge over Troubled Water".

Broadway theatre class of professional theater presented in New York City, New York, USA

Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

Musical theatre work that combines songs, music, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

In 1999, Ramirez appeared in Mark Lamos' The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm (1999). She garnered praise for her performance and received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for her role. Charles Isherwood of Variety praised her "beautiful, smoky voice" but was critical of her "torchy" performance of "The Man I Love," which ignored "the wry irony that infuses Ira's lyrics". [11] Ramirez then appeared in the 2001 Broadway production of Edward Kleban's A Class Act . She replaced Julia Murney (from the off-Broadway) to play the role of Felecia, the protagonist Ed's boss. [12] The same year, she starred in other productions including Fascinating Rhythm and Dreamgirls , and then performed in the 2002 production of The Vagina Monologues with Tovah Feldshuh and Suzanne Bertish. [13] During this time, Ramirez also appeared in guest roles in several television series, including NYPD Blue , Law & Order: SVU , Third Watch , and Spin City among others. [14]

Ramirez's breakout role came when she was cast as the Lady of the Lake in Eric Idle and John Du Prez's musical Spamalot . [15] Based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail , the musical opened on Broadway in 2005 to widespread acclaim. [16] Ramirez was singled out for her performance, winning several awards including the 2005 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance. [17] Ben Brantley of The New York Times described her as "a toothsome devourer of scenery", [18] and another reviewer for The Playgoer emphasizing her stage presence remarked, "Her intensity is totally serious and totally ludicrous and totally on key". [19] An Entertainment Weekly review gave her the highest praise by calling her a show-stealer. [20]

Grey's Anatomy and other projects (2006–2016)

After her success on Broadway, Ramirez joined the cast of Grey's Anatomy in a recurring role as Dr. Calliope 'Callie' Torres, a love interest for Dr. George O'Malley, in the show's second season. On a special Grey's Anatomy-themed episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show , she revealed that top executives from ABC, who were greatly impressed by her performance in Spamalot, offered her a role in any ABC show she wanted. She picked Grey's, as she was already a fan of the show. [21] Ramirez further explained that at her initial audition, the producers liked her and intended to add her to the show but did not know who to cast her as. [22] She also said she was in awe of how the executives said, "Pick a show, any show", explaining that it is rare. [23] The series creator and executive producer, Shonda Rhimes explained, "I was looking for a girlfriend for George, but it was in the infancy stages, so I had no idea what I was looking for." Rhimes built the character around Ramirez after she met her. [24] Ramirez, who was initially given a recurring status at the time of the character's inception, received a star billing in the show's third season, alongside fellow cast member Eric Dane, who portrayed Dr. Mark Sloan. [25]

Ramirez provided a cappella vocals in the song "Silent Night" for the soundtrack of the show's sixth-season episode "Holidaze," airing on November 19, 2009. Ramirez served as the main vocalist for the musical episode of Grey's Anatomy, "Song Beneath the Song", which on aired March 31, 2011. Marcus James Dixon of Gold Derby calling her the "show-stopper", wrote that she "stole the show in a gut-wrenching performance worthy of an Emmy award." [26] In May 2016, Ramirez left the show at the conclusion of the twelfth season, after having played the character for a decade. [27] She released a statement saying, "I'm deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey's Anatomy and ABC, but for now I'm taking some welcome time off". [27]

As the series progressed, the character's popularity soared and Ramirez garnered widespread recognition and critical acclaim for her portrayal of a complex character on television. [28] [29] Maggie Fremont, a TV critic for Vulture, reviewed Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw’s performances during an eleventh season episode, calling them "goddesses walking amongst mere mortals". [30] Rhimes wrote of Ramirez's work on the show, "Dr. Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago, and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey. Sara Ramirez's performance inspired me as well as millions of fans each week." [31] Ramirez was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Television Series at the Alma Awards in 2007 and 2008. [32] Also in 2007, at the 13th Screen Actors Guild Awards, the cast of Grey's Anatomy received the Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. [33] She and the cast were nominated for the same award in 2008. [34] In 2011, at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, Ramirez was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. [35]

Ramirez turned producer with the 2016 teen comedy film, Loserville. The project was released in partnership with the Pacer Foundation's Center for Bullying Prevention & Stomp Out Bullying. [36]

Most recently, Ramirez joined the cast of Madam Secretary as series regular Kat Sandoval, Secretary McCord's new policy advisor.

Personal life and off-screen work

Ramirez at the Designs for Cure Gala, 2011 Sara Ramirez6 (cropped).jpg
Ramirez at the Designs for Cure Gala, 2011

In June 2011, Ramirez got engaged to her longtime partner, Ryan DeBolt, a business analyst at TIMEC in Paris, France. [37] They were married on July 4, 2012, in a private beachside ceremony in New York. [38] [39] Ramirez came out as bisexual at the October 2016 40 To None summit, organised by True Colors Fund's in Los Angeles, California. [40] [41] She wrote to The Huffington Post in an e-mail that her decision to come out publicly was a "very organic and natural" one. [42] In September 2016, Ramirez donated her hair to "Locks of Love", an organization that makes wigs for children who suffer from medical conditions that lead to hair loss. She sports a buzz cut, [43] styled as an undercut.

Singing career

Ramirez released her first single, a rendition of Silent Night, in 2009. [44] Her debut self titled extended play came out in March 2011, on the iTunes Store under the label of Atrevida Records. The EP included four songs, including a cover of "The Story", which was originally recorded by Brandi Carlile in her 2007 album . Two of the three songs were co-written by Ramirez and the album's writer-producer Rob Giles. [45] [46] Sara Ramirez debuted at number thirty-seven on the Billboard 200, number nine on Billboard 's Independent Albums chart, and number thirty-eight on the Canadian Albums Chart. [47] [48] [49] "The Story" debuted the same week at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 72 on the Canadian Hot 100, and number 34 on the Irish Singles Chart. [50] [51] [52] Soundtracks for Monty Python's Spamalot (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (2005) and Grey's Anatomy: The Music Event (2011) were released under the labels of Decca Records and ABC Studios respectively. [53] [54]

Philanthropy

Ramirez is an activist and extensively campaigns for LGBT rights. She is a member of the True Colors United board of directors and The Task Force, and the San Diego, New York, and San Francisco LGBT Centers. She spoke in support of homeless LGBTQ youth at a True Colors Fund conference. [42] In addition, Ramirez supports other groups including Bisexual Organizing Project, NDLON, and Mujerez De Maiz. In 2015, she was awarded the Ally for Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. [36]

Filmography and awards

Accolades

Ramirez won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical and the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the 2005 Broadway musical Spamalot . [14] She gained widespread acclaim for her portrayal of Dr. Callie Torres in ABC's medical drama Grey's Anatomy . She garnered nominations for the Best Actress at the NAACP Image Award, the ALMA Award, and won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. [35] [32] [33]

Discography

Extended plays

List of albums, with selected chart positions
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US
[50]
US
Indie

[55]
CAN
[56]
Sara Ramirez 37738

Singles

Soundtracks

YearTitleChart positions
US US
Indie
2005 Monty Python's Spamalot (Original Broadway Cast Recording) 69 [57]
2011 Grey's Anatomy: The Music Event 24 [58] 5 [59]
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.

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References

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  3. 1 2 "Sara Ramirez". TV Guide . Retrieved 24 April 2017.
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