Sarah Paulson

Biography: This precocious thespian made her professional debut at age 12 in an off-Broadway show, but Paulson would have to wait two decades before landing her breakout role on Aaron Sorkin's flawed dramedy Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Not that the versatile actress ever lacked for work. After studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the eager twentysomething appeared on stage and in TV guest spots, and in 1995 she snagged her first small-screen lead — a dead woman trying to protect her brother from beyond the grave on the cult fantasy series American Gothic. Unfortunately, the show was short-lived, just like many of her future small-screen projects (Leap of Faith, The D.A.). She achieved some success with the relationship dramedy Jack & Jill, which lasted three seasons. In between screen jobs, Paulson continued to appear on the stage, making a splash in the off-Broadway blood bath Killer Joe, written by her then-boyfriend Tracy Letts. In 1999, she made her feature-film debutThis precocious thespian made her professional debut at age 12 in an off-Broadway show, but Paulson would have to wait two decades before landing her breakout role on Aaron Sorkin's flawed dramedy Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Not that the versatile actress ever lacked for work. After studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the eager twentysomething appeared on stage and in TV guest spots, and in 1995 she snagged her first small-screen lead — a dead woman trying to protect her brother from beyond the grave on the cult fantasy series American Gothic. Unfortunately, the show was short-lived, just like many of her future small-screen projects (Leap of Faith, The D.A.). She achieved some success with the relationship dramedy Jack & Jill, which lasted three seasons. In between screen jobs, Paulson continued to appear on the stage, making a splash in the off-Broadway blood bath Killer Joe, written by her then-boyfriend Tracy Letts. In 1999, she made her feature-film debut as a lesbian in the insipid drama The Other Sister, and the role proved prophetic: While filming the indie Swimmers (2005), she fell in love with costar Cherry Jones. Although they didn't speak publicly about their relationship at first, they were quite affectionate in public and even attended the 2005 Tony Awards together. When Jones won the award for her work in the play Doubt, she said, "Laura Winfield, I share this with you," a reference to the character Paulson was playing in the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie. After a stint on Deadwood, Paulson signed on to Studio 60 as a sketch-comedy star who also happens to be a devout Christian, a character reportedly inspired by series creator Aaron Sorkin's ex-girlfriend Kristin Chenoweth. Paulson was able to showcase her talent of doing impressions in the role, and she proved to be extremely sympathetic in the difficult and potentially off-putting part. Come awards season, she was the only member of the starry cast (which included Matthew Perry, Steven Weber and Amanda Peet) to be recognized for her work with a Golden Globe nomination. She returned to series work with 2009's romantic-themed Cupid, but that show ended after only a few episodes aired, and her real-life romance with Jones ended that year as well. Never one to sit idle, Paulson returned to her roots in theater, as she often does: Late in 2009, she starred in Off-Broadway's Still Life, and in 2010 she starred in Broadway's Collected Stories. She's explained that the secret of achieving success in Hollywood is to "not take any of it too seriously." Expand

Sarah Paulson's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 57
Highest Metascore: 96 12 Years a Slave
Lowest Metascore: 21 Held Up
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 23
  2. Negative: 5 out of 23
23 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Run Jan 24, 2020 Principal Cast tbd
61 Abominable Sep 27, 2019 Dr. Zara 5.3
40 The Goldfinch Sep 13, 2019 Xandra 7.3
43 Glass Jan 18, 2019 Cast / Principal Cast / Dr. Ellie Staple 6.6
51 Bird Box Dec 14, 2018 Principal Cast / Jessica 5.8
61 Ocean's 8 Jun 8, 2018 Cast / Tammy / Tammy 5.3
83 The Post Dec 22, 2017 Cast / Cast / Principal Cast / Principal Cast / Tony Bradlee / Tony Bradlee tbd
46 Rebel in the Rye Sep 8, 2017 Dorothy Olding / Dorothy Olding 6.2
69 Blue Jay Oct 7, 2016 Amanda / Amanda 7.8
95 Carol Nov 20, 2015 Abby Gerhard / Abby Gerhard 8.0
39 The Runner Aug 7, 2015 Kate Haber 5.0
96 12 Years a Slave Oct 18, 2013 Cast / Principal Cast / Mary Epps / Mistress Epps 8.1
29 The Time Being Jul 26, 2013 Sarah / Sarah tbd
76 Mud Apr 26, 2013 Mary Lee / Mary Lee / Mary Lee / Mary Lee tbd
54 Fairhaven Jan 11, 2013 Kate tbd
75 Martha Marcy May Marlene Oct 21, 2011 Lucy 7.0
30 The Spirit Dec 25, 2008 Ellen Dolan / Ellen Dolan tbd
66 Diggers Apr 27, 2007 Julie / Julie 8.6
64 The Notorious Bettie Page Apr 14, 2006 Bunny Yeager 7.3
74 Serenity Sep 30, 2005 Dr. Caron 8.4
52 Down with Love May 9, 2003 Vikki Hiller 9.0
47 What Women Want Dec 15, 2000 Annie, Nick's Secretary 6.7
21 Held Up May 12, 2000 Mary 5.3
28 The Other Sister Feb 26, 1999 Heather Tate 6.3