Sarah Paulson is an American actress best known for her television roles as Merlyn Temple in American Gothic and as Alice Isringhausen in Deadwood.
Paulson, originally born in Tampa, Florida, spent most of her time in New York and Maine before settling in Manhattan to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the High School for Performing Arts.
She made her Broadway debut in The Sisters Rosensweig and performed in the off-Broadway show Talking Pictures. She debuted on the small screen in an episode of Law & Order in 1994 and then in the following spring she landed her first TV-movie role on CBS' Friends at Last.
She is best known for her amazing performance in CBS' supernatural drama American Gothic as the spiritual guide to her young brother, and she was also a regular on the WB series Jack and Jill.
Other television performances were in shows such as Leap of Faith, Metropolis, Shaughnessy, The Long Way Home, Path to War, Touched by an Angel, Cracker, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and American Horror Story.
Sarah was nominated twice for her role as Harriet Hayes in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, once in 2006 for a Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series, and again in 2007 for a Golden Globe for best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series, mini-series, or made for television.
Sarah has now played in movies with stars such as Mel Gibson in What Women Want and with Diane Keaton in The Other Sister. She has also been seen in the films Held Up, Down with Love, The Spirit, Levitation, and Serenity.
Paulson dated the actress Cherry Jones, who was accused of indirectly outing Paulson in her acceptance speech after winning a Tony Award (2005). Jones thanked her by the name of the character she was currently playing, "Laura Wingfield" in The Glass Menagerie.