Sara Gilbert ( /ˈɡɪlbərt/; born Sara Rebecca Abeles on January 29, 1975) is an American actress best known for her role as Darlene Conner from 1988–1997 in the U.S. sitcom Roseanne.
Gilbert was born Sara Rebecca Abeles in Santa Monica, California. Her parents are Barbara Crane (née Cowan) and Harold Abeles. Her two older separately-adopted siblings, Melissa Gilbert and Jonathan Gilbert, were stars of Little House on the Prairie. Melissa and Jonathan were both adopted by Barbara and her first husband Paul Gilbert (born Ed 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.