Date of Birth : Jan 8th 1979
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Sarah Polley is the youngest of five children born to Michael Polley, a British-born actor (he attended acting classes with Albert Finney in England before moving to Canada), and actress and casting director Diane Polley, who died of cancer just after Polley’s 11th birthday. She attended Earl Haig Secondary School, but dropped out before graduating.
Her first cinematic appearance was at the age of four, as Molly in the Disney film One Magic Christmas. At age eight, she was cast in the title role in the television series Ramona, based on Beverly Cleary’s books. Though the series lasted but one season, Polley burst into the public eye the following year as Sara Stanley on the popular CBC television series Road to Avonlea, produced by Kevin Sullivan. The series made her famous and financially independent, and she was hailed as “Canada’s Sweetheart” by the popular press.
After seven years with the program, she became irate over the Americanization of the series after it was picked up by the Disney Channel for distribution in the U.S., eventually dropping out of the show. A short time later, the show itself was canceled (to which she publicly claimed indifference), although she did return as Sara Stanley for the final episode.
Polley appeared as Lily on the CBC television series, Straight Up. It ran from 1996–1998 and she won the Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series for her role. Polley’s subsequent role as Nicole Burnell in the 1997 film The Sweet Hereafter, brought her considerable attention in the United States; she was a fan favourite at the Sundance Film Festival. She performed a cover of the song “courage” in the film and can be heard at the end. This particular cover was also played in the ending of an episode in Charmed, “Long live the Queen” (Season 4 Episode 20).