Sarah Chalke (//; born August 27, 1976) is a Canadian actress known for portraying Dr. Elliot Reid on the NBC/ABC comedy series Scrubs, Rebecca "Becky" Conner on the ABC sitcom Roseanne, and Stella Zinman in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. She has also had a recurring role in the third season of ABC sitcom Cougar Town and currently stars as Polly, the lead character in How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), also airing on ABC.
Chalke was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is the middle of three daughters born to Douglas and Angela Chalke. Her mother is originally fromRostock, Germany. According to a Scrubs commentary track, she used to attend the German school in her hometown twice a week. Her first language is English, but she speaks Germanfluently and French "fairly well". This was incorporated into her Scrubs character, Elliot Reid, who also speaks German and French at the same levels. Chalke graduated from Handsworth Secondary School in North Vancouver in 1994.
Chalke's acting career began at the age of eight when she began appearing in musical theatre productions. At 12, she became a reporter on the Canadian children's show KidZone. In 1993, she took over the role of Rebecca Conner-Healy on Roseanne after Lecy Goranson left the series; she made a cameo appearance as a different character in the Roseanne episode "Halloween: The Final Chapter" (#178, originally aired October 31, 1995) after Goranson returned. Chalke would later return to the role of Becky after Goranson departed for a second time. After the show ended, Chalke returned briefly to Canada where she starred in the CBC Television drama Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy (1998–1999).
In 2001, she was cast as Dr. Elliot Reid in the NBC comedy series Scrubs. She has appeared in several feature films, including Ernest Goes to School and Cake. She appeared in Channel 101's The 'Bu with The Lonely Island, a parody of the hit show The O.C., but was credited as "Pamela Fenton". In 2007, she appeared as a supporting character in Chaos Theory, which starred fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds. In 2008, Chalke became the spokesperson for a line of women's underwear by Hanes that included a series of commercials directed by her Scrubs co-star Zach Braff. In 2008 and 2009 she made appearances in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother as Stella Zinman. In the spring of 2011, she starred in the CBS television series Mad Love, a romantic comedy which debuted as a midseason replacement and was cancelled after only one season was produced.
Chalke was signed by former Scrubs, and Cougar Town executive producer, Bill Lawrence to play the love interest of Bobby Cobb in the series Cougar Town. She appeared in multiple episodes in the third season. Chalke starred in the ABC comedy series How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), which premiered April 3, 2013, and which was canceled one month later. She played Polly, a single and very uptight divorced mother who finds herself moving back in with her parents (Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett) due to the economic downturn.
Chalke lost her aunt and grandmother to breast cancer that was undiagnosed while in its early stages. She has since encouraged breast cancer detection and prevention, and starred in the Lifetime movie Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy. She is an ambassador for the Audrey Hepburn Children's Foundation. Chalke also made an appearance in a short video parodying the National Organization for Marriage's "Gathering Storm" advertisement opposing same-sex marriage. She was the 2009 ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Passionately Pink for the Cure(R) program, for which she also designed a T-shirt.[