Clarke was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Carolyn, a homemaker, and Ernest Clarke, an engineer.
Clarke attended Indiana University, where she studied Fine Arts and Italian. While a student at IU, Clarke became a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She was initiated into the Beta chapter in 1990.
Clarke first became interested in acting while studying abroad during her senior year in Bologna, Italy. Upon returning to the United States, she began studying architectural photography. She received free acting lessons in return for taking photographs of a cultural arts center, and she studied acting at Circle in the Square Theatre School, Axis Theater Company, and The Willow Cabin Theatre Company.
Clarke began her acting career with an appearance in a 1999 award-winning commercial for Volkswagen. She followed this with a role in the 2000 short film Pas de deux and received an Outstanding Performance award at the Brooklyn Film Festival. Clarke's career soon blossomed with minor roles, including films All About George in 2000 and The Accident in 2001, as well as television shows such as Ed and Sex and the City. In 2001, Clarke auditioned for the role of CTU agent Nina Myers on 24. She won the role on the day that filming began. The wardrobe department didn't have time to fit her, so she had to wear her own outfit for the entire season of filming. In her three seasons with the show, Clarke was featured in a total of 36 episodes. Clarke won a Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Drama Series for this role. Clarke also lent her voice to 24: The Game, as her 24 character, Nina Myers.
Clarke guest starred in the episode of House entitled "Control" as a workaholic CEO with congestive heart failure, and in the episode of Life entitled "A Civil War" as Mary Ann Farmer, the owner of a gas station. Clarke also played Renée Dwyer in Twilight, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephenie Meyer. Currently, Sarah Clarke has taken a leading role on a brand new series on TNT entitled Trust Me, alongside Eric McCormack and Thomas Cavanagh. The series premiered on January 26, 2009 to positive reviews.
In 2010 and 2011, Clarke reprised her role as Renée Dwyer in Eclipse and Breaking Dawn - Part 1.
Clarke met her husband, Xander Berkeley, while on the set of 24 (he played her husband's supervisor, George Mason) and they were married in September 2002, a year after meeting. They have one daughter Olwyn Harper (b. September 23, 2006) together. They would eventually co-star in the internet short-film The Booth At The End.
|2000||Pas de deux||The Clown||Film||as Sarah Lively|
|All about George||Catherine||Film||as Sarah Lively|
|Sex and the City||Melinda Peters||1 episode||as Sarah Lively|
|2001||24||Nina Myers||36 episodes||2001–2004|
|Ed||Kara Parsons||1 episode||as Sarah Lively|
|2002||Emmett's Mark||Sarah||Film||aka Killing Emmett Young|
|The Third Date||Katrina||Film|
|Karen Sisco||Barbara Simmons||1 episode||Uncredited|
|2004||Below the Belt||Company Spokesperson||Film||aka Human Error|
|House||Carly Forlano||1 episode|
|E-Ring||Jim's Wife||1 episode||Unaired Pilot (date/year unknown)|
|Las Vegas||Olivia Duchey||2 episodes|
|2006||A House Divided||Jackie||TV - Film|
|24: The Game||Nina Myers||Video-game||voice over|
|Commander in Chief||Christine Chambers||1 episode|
|The Lather Effect||Claire||aka One More Night|
|2007||Alibi||Sarah Winters||TV - Film|
|Life||Mary Ann Farmer||1 episode|
|The Cleaner||Lauren Keenan||1 episode|
|Wainy Days||Rebecca||1 episode|
|2009||Women in Trouble||Maxine McPherson||Film|
|Trust me||Erin McGuire||13 episodes|
|2010||The Twilight Saga: Eclipse||Renée Dwyer||Film|
|Below the Beltway||Anne||Film|
|Men of a Certain Age||Dori||TV series||5 episodes|
|2011||The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1||Renée Dwyer||Film|
|2003||Satellite Awards||Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Drama||Won||Nina Myers in 24|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated||24 (shared)|