Sarah Gray Rafferty (born December 6, 1972) is an American television and film actress. She is known mainly for her role as Donna on the USA Network legal drama Suits. She has appeared in several other television series. Other roles include the 2007 TV movie What If God Were the Sun? and the 2011 movie Small, Beautifully Moving Parts.
Rafferty grew up as the youngest of four children (all girls) in the Riverside neighborhood of Greenwich, Connecticut. She credits her mother, Mary Lee Rafferty, the Chairwoman of the English Department at Convent of the Sacred Heart school, and her father, Michael Griffin Rafferty Jr., who enjoys two successful careers in finance and oil painting, for cultivating her passion for the arts. Her sisters are Maura, Ann, and Constance.
Rafferty studied at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1989. She majored in English and Theatre at Hamilton College, studied theatre abroad in the United Kingdom and at the University of Oxford during her junior year, and, after graduating magna cum laude from Hamilton in 1993, went on to study at the Yale School of Drama, receiving a Master of Fine Arts.
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Sarah Rafferty’s character Donna on USA network’s hit show “Suits” is one of the most formidable minds at their law firm, Pearson Hardman. With her razor sharp wit and knowledge of all the firm’s happenings, Donna is admired and feared by everyone there, and she’s not afraid to wield that power when it suits her needs.
While still in prep school, Sarah was bit by the acting bug at a very young age. When her drama teacher caught her cutting across his lawn in an effort not to be late for field hockey practice, he told her to skip practice and join the cast of “Richard III,” and thus began her adoration of acting.
Sarah decided to take her love for this craft and educate herself by double majoring in English and Theatre at Hamilton College, studying theatre abroad in London and Oxford during her junior year, and, after graduating magna cum laude from Hamilton, went on to study at Yale Drama school. Her passion for learning about the arts was supported by her parents; her mother, the Chairwoman of the English Department at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT, and her father, an accomplished painter.
Her education and natural talent clearly paid off. In addition to starring on USA Network’s “Suits” playing the role of Donna, she has appeared in numerous TV series such as “Law and Order,” “Six Feet Under,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Samantha Who?,” “Without A Trace,” “CSI: Miami,” and “Bones,” and feature films including: “Four Single Fathers” and “Falling For Grace,” along with countless professional stage productions like “Gemini” and “As You Like It.”
In addition to her acting roles on television, Sarah is an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association and consistently speaks on the matter. Sarah has hosted their annual Sardi’s event three years in a row and presented at the organization’s final Sardi’s event in March 2016.
Sarah currently resides on both east and west coasts with her husband and two daughters and travels back and forth to Toronto for work.
Sarah Rafferty stars as Donna in SUITS.
Rafferty grew up the youngest of four daughters in Connecticut. While in high school at Philips Academy, her drama teacher caught her running across his lawn trying to get to field hockey practice on time. He told her to skip practice and join the cast of Richard III, and thus began her love of theatre. Rafferty went on to double major in English and Theatre at Hamilton College, and after graduating magna cum laude, went on to receive her MFA from The Yale School of Drama.
Rafferty has numerous theatre credits in New York, including appearances at Second Stage, The Roundabout Theatre Company and The Lucille Lortel. While starring opposite Kathleen Turner and Charles Busch in his play, “The Third Story”, The New York Times’ Ben Brantley called Rafferty “a screwball charmer.” Rafferty has appeared at many regional theatres across the country including productions and workshops of several new plays at South Coast Rep. and Shakespeare & Company where she played Rosalind in “As You Like It.” She also voiced several radio plays for “The Plays the Thing” on NPR.
On television, Rafferty has guest starred on several comedies and dramas including “Brothers and Sisters,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “Six Feet Under,” “Without a Trace,” “Bones,” “Samantha Who?” and “8 Simple Rules.” She starred opposite Gena Rowlands in the television movie, “What if God were the Sun.” She was also seen in independent features “Falling for Grace” and “Small Beautifully Moving Parts,” which debuted at The Tribeca Film Festival and South by Southwest, respectively.
Don’t let her title fool you. Donna (Sarah Rafferty) may be Harvey’s executive assistant, but she’s one of the most formidable minds at Pearson Hardman. With her razor sharp wit and knowledge of all the comings and goings at the firm, Donna is admired and feared by both associates and partners alike, and she’s not afraid to wield that power when it suits her needs.
Having been with Harvey since his days in the D.A.’s office, Donna keeps the fine machinery of his life well oiled and is privy to all his secrets – including the truth about Mike. She also acts as his conscience when he needs it most, and he’ll need her now more than ever, as Mike’s new job will soon lead to conflict with his old mentor. But while Donna can see that Harvey and Mike are headed for a collision, she may not be able to stop the impact…
-via USA Network
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