Sarah Clarke Biography

Actress (1972–)
Actress Sarah Clarke is best known for her roles as Nina Myers on the television drama 24 and Renée Dwyer in the Twilight saga.


Actress Sarah Clarke was born on February 16, 1972, in St. Louis, Missouri. She studied Italian at Indiana University, but was drawn to drama during her senior year, and went on to study acting at Circle in the Square Theater School in New York. Clarke is best known for playing Nina Myers on the television drama 24, and Renée Dwyer (Bella Swan's mother) in the Twilight film saga.

Early Life

Sarah Clarke was born on February 16, 1972, in St. Louis, Missouri. Clarke attended the John Burroughs School, where she met Mad Men star Jon Hamm. The two became friends, and even went to prom together. Although both eventually found their way to Hollywood, they took separate paths.

Clarke enrolled at Indiana University to study Italian and fine arts, and her studies led her to an abroad program in Italy her senior year. While in Europe, she developed an interest in acting. When she returned home, she decided to try and pursue acting after graduation. She followed through with her plans, and after graduating, began working as an architectural photographer to support herself as an aspiring actress.

Soon, Clarke moved to New York City, where she studied acting at the renowned Circle in the Square Theater School. Her television debut was a part in a Volkswagen commercial.

Commercial Success

By the early 2000s, Clarke had begun landing small guest roles on well-known TV shows, including Sex and the City and Ed. Her big break came when she was cast as Nina Myers on the TV show 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland, in 2001. On the very first day of shooting, Clarke met her future husband, Xander Berkeley. (Though the couple kept their off-screen romance a secret while Clarke was working on the show.) Clarke's role on 24 ended after three seasons. In 2003, she received her first Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her performance on the series.

Clarke continued to appear on TV in various roles, including on the shows Happy Endings, House M.D. and Las Vegas.

Five years after her stint on 24, Clarke earned her big movie break when she was cast as Renée Dwyer, Bella Swan's mother, in Twilight (2008). The film, based on the best-selling novel by Stephenie Meyer, became an international blockbuster, and blossomed into a five-part series. Clarke went on to star in two more Twilight films: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.

Since her final Twilight appearance, Clarke has returned to the small screen. In 2012, she earned a reccurring role on the show Covert Affairs, playing CIA agent Lena Smith.

Personal Life

Clarke married husband Xander Berkeley in 2002. The couple has two daughters together, Olwyn and Rowan.

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