Sara Elena Ramírez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsaɾa eˈlena raˈmiɾes]; born August 31, 1975) is a Mexican-American actress, singer and songwriter. Born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, to Mexican parents, she graduated with fine arts degree from the Juilliard School. She began acting in Broadway productions, making her debut with Paul Simon's The Capeman, and later ventured into film and television roles. Ramirez is a receipient of a Tony Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Satellite Award among other accolades.
Ramirez's portrayal of the original Lady of the Lake in the 2005 Broadway musical Spamalot, won her acclaim and the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She gained wider recognition for her role as Dr. Callie Torres, in ABC's long-running medical drama Grey's Anatomy. The character's popularity soared as the series progressed, and Ramirez garnered multiple nominations for Best Actress at the ALMA Awards, and a Favorite Dramatic TV Actress nomination at the People's Choice Awards. She made her debut as a voice artist with the 1999 video game entitled UmJammer Lammy, and has voiced Queen Miranda in the animated series Sofia the First (2012–present).
In addition to her acting career, Ramirez released her first single "Silent Night" in 2009. Her self titled extended play debuted at no. 37 at the Billboard 200 in 2011. Ramirez is also an activist and extensively campaigns for LGBT rights. She was awarded the Ally for Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in 2015. She has been married to Ryan Debolt since 2012.
Ramirez was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, in the northwestern coast of the Pacific coast of Mexico. Her father is Mexican and her mother is of Mexican and Irish-American descent. Her parents divorced when she was eight years old, and Ramirez went to live with her mother. They eventually settled in Tierrasanta, San Diego, California. Ramirez's interest in music encouraged her mother to send her to San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, where she discovered her singing talent during an audition. Ramirez started acting in stage productions at her high school.
After having played such roles as the Witch in Into the Woods, Dolly in Hello, Dolly! and Miss Hannigan in Annie, Ramirez was recommended for the Juilliard School, New York City. She graduated with a degree in Bachelor's of Fine Arts (Dramatics). At Juilliard, she further worked on her acting skills and trained as an alto singer. Ramirez speaks both Spanish and English fluently.
Personal life and off-screen work
In June 2011, Ramirez got engaged to her longtime partner, Ryan DeBolt, a business analyst at TIMEC in Paris, France. They were married on July 4, 2012 in a private beachside ceremony in New York. Ramirez came out as bisexual at the October 2016 40 To None summit, organized by True Colors Fund's in Los Angeles, California. She wrote to The Huffington Post in an e-mail that her decision to come out publicly was a “very organic and natural” one. In September 2016, Ramirez donated her hair to "Locks of Love", an organization that makes wigs for children who suffer from medical conditions that lead to hair fall out. She sports a buzz cut.