Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Sandra Oh started ballet lessons at the age of four and performed in her first play at the age of ten. She started working professionally at age sixteen in television, theatre and commercials.
After three years at the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada, she beat out more than 1000 other hopefuls and landed the coveted title role in the CBC telefilm The Diary of Evelyn Lau, based on the true story of a tortured poet who ran away from home and ended up a drug addict and prostitute in Vancouver. Her performance brought her a Gemini (Canada's Emmy) nomination for Best Actress and the 1994 Cannes FIPA d'Or for Best Actress.
Oh won her first Genie (Canada's Oscar) for her leading role in Double Happiness, a bittersweet coming-of-age story about a young Chinese-Canadian woman. She moved to Los Angeles in 1996 to begin the first of six seasons as Rita Wu, the smart and sassy assistant on the HBO comedy series, Arli$$, for which she won a Cable Ace Award for Best Actress in a Comedy. Her additional television credits include HBO's Six Feet Under, Showtime's Further Tales of the City and a recurring role on Judging Amy.
Her films include Under the Tuscan Sun, with Diane Lane, and Rick, with Bill Pullman and Agnes Buckner. Other film credits include Bean, Guinevere, The Red Violin, Waking the Dead, The Princess Diaries and Pay or Play. She also starred in Michael Radford's improvised Dancing at the Blue Iguana, a bleak and raw view of life in a strip club in L.A, and in the independent Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity. Her performance in Last Night, a Canadian film about the end of the world, led to her winning a second Genie Award for Best Actress in 1999.
Most recently Oh starred in Sideways for director Alexander Payne, and in the independent films Cake, Wilby Wonderful and 3 Needles.
Never straying far from her theatre roots, Oh has also starred in the world premieres of Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters at the La Jolla Playhouse and Diana Son's Stop Kiss at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in New York, a role for which she received a Theatre World Award. She was also recently seen in the Vagina Monologues in New York.
She resides in Los Angeles.