Sandra Oh's Roles You May Have Completely Forgotten About

Her resume is much larger than Killing Eve and Grey's Anatomy, you know...

By Billy Nilles Sep 15, 2018 10:00 AMTags
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Sandra Oh is having a moment.

After a four-year break from appearing as a series regular somewhere on our TVs (which felt like an eternity, if we're being honest), the Grey's Anatomy vet returned to reclaim her throne earlier this year with the breakout BBC America hit Killing Eve. In the series, created by Fleabag wunderkind Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Oh stars as Eve Polastri, a once-desk-bound MI5 operative trapped in a twisty cat-and-mouse pursuit with psychopath assassin Villanelle (played by the luminous Jodie Comer).

The series, which is fantastic and a must-watch if you haven't yet, proved to be one of the rarest of beasts in today's fractured TV landscape, watching its audience grow week after week thanks to an impressive word-of-mouth campaign. And Emmy voters took notice of Oh's fantastic work, allowing the Canadian actress to make history as she became the first person of Asian descent to ever be nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. (Our only complaint? That Comer didn't get a much-deserved nomination, as well.)

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As we wait to find out if the Television Academy will do the right thing and award Oh with the trophy her work in Killing Eve so clearly deserves when the industry's best and brightest gathers at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live on Monday, Sept. 17 for the 70th Emmy Awards, we'd be remiss if we didn't take the time to remind you that, while having Dr. Cristina Yang (a role that earned her five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress, but no wins) and Eve Polastri on one's resume would be enough to consider a career well spent, Oh's been dazzling on screens both big and small for years. Here's a few of the roles she's shone in that you may have forgotten about...


Arliss, 1996-2002

OK, so this HBO comedy isn't exactly one of the premium cable network's most beloved programs, we'll admit. Set in the sports world (think of it as a way, way less cool Ballers), it focused on Robert Wuhl's Arliss Michaels, the president of a sports agency. Oh starred for seven seasons as Rita Wu, Arliss' personal assistant. And while the show pretty much stunk, Oh tended to be its one bright spot, earning the actress an NAACP Image Award for her service.

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The Princess Diaries, 2001

Say it with us now: "Gupta. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. [Hangs up phone] The Queen is coming." In just 10 seconds, Oh gave us one of the funniest moments of this Disney classic when her Vice Principal Gupta is scolding Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) about the media frenzy the student's newly-discovered royal lineage has brought to the high school, gets a phone call and, well, you know the rest...

Universal Pictures

Big Fat Liar, 2002

Oh co-starred at Mrs. Caldwell, the perpetually disappointed English teacher of chronic liar Jason Shepherd (Frankie Muniz). It's her creative writing essay assignment that kicks off the film's entire quest to prove that Jason isn't lying after all when Paul Giamatti's scheming movie producer Marty Wolf plagiarizes Jason's essay and turns it into a movie. And whatever you do, don't call her Phyllis.


Under the Tuscan Sun, 2003

Diane Lane's entire life-changing trip in this beloved rom-com is thanks to Oh's Patti, her best friend whose pregnancy prevents her from being able to travel abroad, paving the way for the depressed divorcée to find herself in the Italian countryside. Come for the gorgeous locales, stay for the crazy Grey's Anatomy connection as Kate Walsh pops up as Grace, Patti's partner.

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Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock

Sideways, 2004

Oh starred in Alexander Payne's Oscar-winning adaptation of Rex Pickett's novel of the same name as Stephanie, the wine pourer unlucky enough to fall for Thomas Hayden Church's sleazy and engaged Jack Cole while he and best pal Miles (Giamatti) celebrate his upcoming wedding in Santa Barbara wine country. She gets to break his nose in the end, though, so it's not all so bad news.

Ramona and Beezus, 2010

Oh popped up in this family-friendly adaptation of the beloved Beverly Cleary book series alongside Selena Gomez and Joey King in the titular roles, playing Ramona's often-exasperated third-grade teacher Mrs. Meachum.

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Warner Bros.

Tammy, 2014

Critics didn't exactly love this Melissa McCarthy comedy, which featured Oh as the wife of McCarthy's characther's lesbian cousin Lenore, played by Kathy Bates. But that didn't stop the film from grossing over $100 million dollars. You'll remember it as the one where Susan Sarandon played McCarthy's grandma despite only being 24 years older than her.

Nicole Wilder/ABC via Getty Images

American Crime, 2017

Before Oh made her grand return to TV with Killing Eve, she stopped by for a visit at her old network with a guest-starring role in the third season of this harrowing ABC anthology series from the mind of John Ridley. Appearing in four episodes, Oh recurred as Abby Tanaka in the season, which focused on the horrors of human trafficking, among other things.