Sarah Polley (born January 8, 1979) is a Canadian actress, singer, Genie Award-winning film director and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. She has starred in such films as The Sweet Hereafter, Guinevere, Go, The Weight of Water, My Life Without Me, and Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
Polley, the youngest of five children, was born in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of Diane, an actress and casting director, and Michael Polley, a British-born actor and insurance agent (he attended acting classes with Albert Finney in England before moving to Canada). Polley's mother died of cancer just after Polley's 11th birthday. Polley attended Subway Academy II then Earl Haig Secondary School, but dropped out before graduating.
Her first cinematic appearance was at the age of four, as Molly in the Disney film One Magic Christmas. At age eight, she was cast in the title role in the television series Ramona, based on Beverly Cleary's books. That same year, she also played one of the lead characters in Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Polley burst into the public eye the following year as Sara Stanley on the popular CBC television series Road to Avonlea. The series made her famous and financially independent, and she was hailed as "Canada's Sweetheart" by the popular press.