Versatile actress Sarah Clarke undertook an unusual route into acting; a native of St. Louis, MO, Clarke first established herself, occupationally, as an architectural photographer. She soon decided to give the dramatic arts a try, however, and discovered extraordinary gifts on-stage that propelled her toward a much different career than life behind a lens. In the years that followed, Clarke moved to New York to be closer to the theater scene, and studied in such venues as The Willow Cabin Theatre Company and The Axis Theater Company; she also enjoyed a lengthy collaboration with Robert Wilson. Clarke entered films gradually, first with an appearance in the short film Pas de Deux (which won her a prestigious CiNY Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival), then with a sequence of assignments on television (in series including House, Sex and the City, and Ed), then in features. On the big screen, Clarke enjoyed a particularly fruitful series of collaborations with director Catherine Hardwicke, appearing in her films Thirteen (2002) and Twilight (2008).
Clarke remains best known, however, for her multi-season portrayal of secretly treasonous counterterrorist agent Nina Myers, opposite Kiefer Sutherland, on the series 24. She was a regular character during the first season, and a recurring one when she appeared again in seasons two and three. It was also via her participation in that show that she met and married co-star Xander Berkeley, who played George Mason, head of the L.A. Counter Terrorist Unit. Over the coming years, Clarke would remain an active force on screen, appearing on series like The Booth at the End and Covert Affairs.