Gilbert was born Sara Rebecca Abeles in Santa Monica, California. Her parents are Barbara Crane (née Cowan) and Harold Abeles. Her two older adopted half-siblings, Melissa Gilbert and Jonathan Gilbert, were stars of Little House on the Prairie. Melissa and Jonathan were adopted by Barbara and her first husband Paul Gilbert (born Paul MacMahon); Paul died in 1975. Abeles changed her surname to Gilbert to become an actress in 1984.
Gilbert decided at age six that she wanted to be an actress after her older sister, Melissa Gilbert, got a plaque on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Following appearances in television movies and a commercial for Kool Aid, at the age of thirteen she landed the role of Darlene Conner, the sarcastic middle child, in Roseanne. Sara was a cast member during the show's nine-year run from 1988 to 1997, for which she also wrote a fourth-season episode called "Don't Make Me Over". Her contribution was considered so important to Roseanne that the show's producers juggled storylines and taping schedules to allow her to study at Yale University while remaining part of the cast, shooting remote segments of Darlene at a soundstage in New York. At Yale, she majored in art with an emphasis on photography; she graduated with honors in 1997.
Gilbert has made guest appearances on shows such as The Simpsons, 24, Will & Grace, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Starting in 2004, she had a recurring role as medical student Jane Figler on the long-running hospital drama ER.
She returned to prime time television in the fall of 2005 in the sitcom Twins on The WB network. The sitcom was canceled after one season, when the WB and UPN networks merged to become The CW and had to drop a number of shows. She also had a recurring role on the short-lived CBS sitcom The Class as Fern Velch.Since 2007 she has appeared in many episodes of The Big Bang Theory on CBS as Leslie Winkle, a scientist friend (with benefits) to the character played by Johnny Galecki, who also portrayed her longtime boyfriend and husband David Healy on Roseanne. Starting with the second episode of the second season of The Big Bang Theory, Gilbert was elevated to the show's main cast, portraying once again a potential love interest of Galecki's character. At the end of January, it was announced that the writers didn't know how to write for her character full time and her status was, once again, reduced from regular to recurring.
Film careerEditGilbert has appeared in two films alongside Drew Barrymore, in Poison Ivy in 1992 and Riding In Cars With Boys in 2001. She has had several other minor roles following Roseanne, including short film $30 (aka 30 Bucks) as part of the Boys Life 3 feature, and High Fidelity. She directed her own short film Persona Non Grata in 1998.
In her teens, Gilbert became a vegetarian. Today, she supports numerous organizations such as PETA, Meals on Wheels, Freedom of Speech, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and AIDS Project Los Angeles. She stated on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in November 2008 that she has now adopted a vegan lifestyle.
She has been in a relationship with Allison Adler since 2002, and she came out as a lesbian in 2010. They have a son, Levi Hank, born in October 2004 and a daughter, Sawyer, born on August 2, 2007. Adler is the birth mother of Levi and Gilbert is the birth mother of Sawyer.
|1992||Poison Ivy||Sylvie Cooper||Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1997||Walkin' on Sunshine: The Movie||NeuralNurse 256|
|1999||Light It Up||Lynn Sabatini|
|2000||The Big Tease||Gretle Dickens|
|High Fidelity||Annaugh Moss|
|"Boys Life 3"||Emily/Michelle||Short film|
|2001||Riding in Cars with Boys||Tina Barr|
|2004||Laws of Attraction||Gary Gadget's Assistant||cameo|
|1988||ABC Weekend Special||Stephie||Episode: "Runaway Ralph"|
|1988–1997||Roseanne||Darlene Conner-Healy||219 episodes|
Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Comedienne in a Television SeriesYoung Artist Award for Outstanding Young Comedienne in a Television SeriesYoung Artist Award for Outstanding Young Comedienne in a Television SeriesTV Land Award for Innovator AwardNominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy SeriesNominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy SeriesNominated — TV Land Award for Character Most Desperately in Need of a TimeoutNominated — Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Comedienne in a Television Series
|1990||Sudie and Simpson||Sudie Harrigan||TV Movie
Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Cable Special
|1992||The Simpsons||Laura Powers||Voice only|
Episode: "New Kid on the Block"
|1994||Saturday Night Live||Herself – Host||Episode: "Sara Gilbert/Counting Crows"|
|1996||ABC Afterschool Special||Jessie||Episode: "Me and My Hormones"|
|1997||Broken Record||TV Movie|
|2000–2001||Welcome to New York||Amy Manning||13 episodes|
|2002||24||Paula Schaeffer||5 episodes|
|2003||Will & Grace||Cheryl||Episode: "Fanilow"|
|2004||Strong Medicine||Charlayne||Episode: "Cinderella in Scrubs"|
|2004–2007||ER||Dr. Jane Figler||15 episodes|
|2005||In the Game||Unsold TV-Pilot|
|The Clinic||Mrs. Jennings||Episode: 3.1|
|2005–2006||Twins||Mitchee Arnold||18 episodes|
|2006||Girls on the Bus||Helen||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2006–2007||The Class||Fern Velch||6 episodes|
|2007||Private Practice||Kelly||Episode: "In Which Sam Gets Taken For a Ride"|
|2007–2009||The Big Bang Theory||Leslie Winkle||recurring season 1, season 2 regular and then back to recurring on season 3|
|2008||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Caitlyn Ryan||Episode: "Trials"|
|2010||HawthoRNe||Malia Price||Episode: "No Excuses"|
Episode: "The Match"
Episode: "A Mother Knows"
|Grey's Anatomy||Kim||Episode: "Suicide is Painless"|