Who Is Sara Gilbert?
Sara Gilbert was born in 1975 in Santa Monica. Of the several roles on television and film that she has taken on, Gilbert is best known as Darlene Conner-Healy of the sitcom Roseanne. Aside from her role as the sarcastic, nonchalant sister on the hit series, Gilbert has also appeared in popular films, such as Poison Ivy (1992) and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001). In 2010, she became the creative mind behind the morning talk show The Talk, as well as a co-host.
Actress Sara Gilbert was born Sara Rebecca Abeles on January 29, 1975, in Santa Monica, California. Gilbert is part of her family's third generation in show business. Her grandparents were Harry Crane, a television writer most famous for The Honeymooners, and Julia Crane, a dancer who was once named "Miss Brooklyn." Meanwhile Gilbert's mother, Barbara Crane, was a producer and Hollywood talent manager.
Gilbert's two older half-siblings, Melissa and Jonathan Gilbert, were both child actors who starred on the NBC series Little House on the Prairie in the 1980s. Sara Gilbert says she decided to follow in her older siblings' footsteps to pursue acting because she was jealous of all the presents they received on the set of Little House on the Prairie.
Star Turn on 'Roseanne'
In 1981, at the age of 6, Gilbert made her television debut in a Kool-Aid ad. After several years of acting in commercials, Gilbert landed a part in the made-for-TV movie Calamity Jane (1984). Fours years later, in 1988, she received her big break: a central role in the ABC sitcom, Roseanne. The show focused on the blue-collar family life of Roseanne Conner (played by Roseanne Barr), her husband (John Goodman) and their three children, soon became a huge hit. Gilbert depicted Darlene Conner, the sharp-witted and down-to-earth middle daughter.
The show originally ran for nine years, from 1988-'97, and Darlene's coming-of-age from a tomboyish youth to an artistic and politically engaged teenager was largely based on Gilbert's own life. Gilbert earned rave reviews for her comic and realistic portrayal of teenage life, earning three consecutive Young Artist Awards (1991-'93) and two Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress (1993 and 1994). In addition to acting, Gilbert also wrote one episode of Roseanne, "Don't Make Me Over," which aired during the show's fourth season.
'Roseanne' Reboot and 'The Conners'
Thanks in large part to Gilbert's efforts, the Roseanne cast agreed to reunite for a reboot in 2018. With the children now adults, and the family dealing with new topical issues, like the Donald Trump presidency, the show became a ratings smash upon its March 27 premiere. However, the good times came to a crashing halt two months later, when Barr's racist tweet about former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett prompted ABC to cancel the show.
Fortunately for the cast and writers, ABC in June announced that it was moving forward with a spinoff, sans Roseanne, titled The Conners. Gilbert and several of her onscreen family members followed with a joint statement that said, "We all came back last season because we wanted to tell stories about the challenges facing a working-class family today. We are so happy to have the opportunity to return with the cast and crew to continue to share those stories through love and laughter."
Film and TV work
While still starring in Roseanne, Gilbert attended Yale University and graduated in 1997 with a B.A. in art with a concentration in photography. Since then, Gilbert has continued to appear in film and television roles. Her most notable film credits include High Fidelity (2000), with John Cusack, and a pair of films with Drew Barrymore: Poison Ivy (1992) and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001).
Gilbert returned to television in 2001, co-starring with Jim Gaffigan in the short-lived CBS show Welcome to New York. A year later, she landed a recurring role on the popular Fox drama 24, and from 2004 to 2007 she played Dr. Jane Figler on NBC's medical drama ER while also starring in the WB comedy series Twins. Gilbert has also put in guest appearances in a long list of popular TV shows, including The Simpsons, Will & Grace, and Law & Order.
From 2007 to 2010, she had a recurring role as Leslie Winkle on The Big Bang Theory and as Malia Price on the series Hawthorne (2010). She’s also appeared in the 2013 series Web Therapy and in 2014’s Bad Teacher.
Apart from her acting work, Sara Gilbert is a political activist focused on animal rights, environmental and public health issues. She is a longtime vegan who has worked extensively with the advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which named her Roseanne character as one of the most animal-friendly TV characters in history. Gilbert also works with Earth Communication Office, a foundation dedicated to raising awareness of environmental causes. She has also volunteered for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and AIDS Project L.A.
Gilbert and her longtime partner, television and film writer and producer Allison Adler, were a couple from 2002 until 2011. They have two children via artificial insemination: son Hank Levi Gilbert-Adler (b. 2004) and daughter Sawyer Gilbert-Adler (b. 2007). In 2013, Gilbert announced her engagement to Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes fame. The pair married in March 2014. In September of the same year, Gilbert announced her pregnancy on her show, The Talk. The couple welcomed a son, Rhodes Emilio Gilbert-Perry on February 28, 2015.
Sara Gilbert first publicly discussed her sexual orientation in 2010, in advance of the launch of the CBS daytime talk show, The Talk, which Gilbert co-hosted with Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, and a variety of other female celebrities.
"I don't think [being out] will be a problem," Gilbert says. "I don't ever really think of things as being out or in & I just think I am who I am, and when topics come up that are appropriate, I'll talk about them and share when it seems right." As the premiere of The Talk approached, Gilbert saw it as an opportunity to do something she has very rarely done—discuss her personal life in public. "This is a whole new world for me," she says. "I'm not an expert on this ... I'm just sort of living my life."
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