Mia Sara biography
Making her big-screen debut in the 1985 Tom Cruise film Legend, Mia Sara went on to greater fame with her role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Mia Sara was born Mia Sarapocciello in Brooklyn Heights, New York, in 1967. She started her acting career in TV commercials, and with a recurring role on the daytime soap opera All My Children (1982). At the age of 16, while still attending high school, she landed the role of Princess Lili in the 1986 film Legend, opposite Tom Cruise. Her next film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, was a smash hit, and Sara’s role as Sloane Peterson, Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend, put her instantly on the Hollywood map.
Further Acting Endeavors
After Ferris Bueller, most of Mia Sara’s subsequent performances were forgettable thrillers and action films such as Apprentice to Murder (1988) and By the Sword (1991). She found a wider audience co-starring with Jean-Claude Van Damme in Timecop (1994) but soon slipped into the shadows again with roles in The Pompatus of Love, Midnight in Saint Petersburg, and The Maddening (all 1996). While her film career after Ferris Bueller never fully gained traction, she moved into TV, appearing in many television movies and shows.
TV Work: 1980s–2000s
Mia Sara’s first television role came in 1986, in the mini-series biopic Queenie, based loosely on the life of actress Merle Oberon. After that role, Sara found a great deal of work on TV, appearing in Judith Krantz's Till We Meet Again (CBS, 1989), Big Time (PBS, 1989), Daughter of Darkness (CBS, 1990), and as Loretta Young in Call of the Wild (CBS, 1993). Further TV work from the era includes Chicago Hope (series, 1996), Bullet to Beijing (movie, 1997), Undertow (movie, 1996), and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (movie, 1997).
Film and TV: 2000s
The early 2000s brought more of the same for Mia Sara: low-budget films, TV series appearances, and TV movies. A standout role for Sara came in 2002 when she landed a starring spot on TV’s Birds of Prey, a Batman spin-off, as Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn. Sara stepped into the role after Sherilyn Fenn left the series after the pilot episode.
What followed Birds of Prey’s demise were a few more films and two big-budget TV miniseries: Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (2006) and The Witches of Oz (2011).