Like her older half-sister Melissa (Little House on the Prairie), actress Sara Gilbert grew up on a television series, in this case, the long-running ABC sitcom Roseanne (1988-1997). She and her sister and her older half-brother, Jonathon Gilbert, are the third generation of a showbiz family. Her grandfather, Harry Crane, was a writer for The Honeymooners, her grandmother, Julia Crane, was a former Miss Brooklyn and a dancer, and her mother is a producer and talent manager.
Gilbert made her professional debut in a television commercial at age six, and from there appeared in the television series Tales of the Apple Dumpling Gang (1982). She then played a small role in the made-for-TV movie Calamity Jane, which starred Jane Alexander. Gilbert's career slowed down after that and she did not appear on television until 1988 when she appeared in Runaway Ralph as part of the ABC Weekend Special. As Darlene Connor in Roseanne, Gilbert believably played a cynical, smart-mouthed, but sensitive foil for Roseanne. Gilbert showed versatility as a confused Daddy's girl who is victimized by a calculating Drew Barrymore in Poison Ivy (1989) and as a Southern child with a dark secret who is befriended by a gentle black man in the well-wrought Sudie and Simpson (1990). Gilbert has been twice nominated for an Emmy and has won three Youth in Film Awards. During the last couple seasons of Roseanne, Gilbert began attending Yale University where she studied art and photography. She has also been an avid supporter for various environmental causes through her affiliation with Earth Communications Office (ECO).
She stayed away from acting for the most part until 2007 when she began making occasional appearances on the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory often playing opposite her former Roseanne co-star Johnny Galecki. In 2010, she created the talk show The Talk, a knockoff of The View, and serves as an executive producer and co-host of the series.