Sarah Catharine Paulson is an American actress. After beginning her acting career on stage, she starred in the 1990s television series American Gothic (1995–96) and Jack & Jill (1999–2001). Paulson later appeared in comedy films such as What Women Want (2000) and Down with Love (2003), and had dramatic roles in films such as Path to War (2002) and The Notorious Bettie Page (2005). From 2006 to 2007, Paulson played the role of Harriet Hayes in the NBC comedy-drama series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, for which she received her first Golden Globe Award nomination. In 2008, she starred as Ellen Dolan in the superhero noir film The Spirit.
In 2011, Paulson began starring in the FX anthology series American Horror Story, playing different characters in each of the show’s seven seasons. For her work throughout the series, she has been nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards (2013–2016) and won two Critics’ Choice Television Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Miniseries (2013 and 2015). In 2016, Paulson portrayed real life prosecutor Marcia Clark in the first season of the anthology series American Crime Story, subtitled The People v. O. J. Simpson. For her work in the series, she won the Emmy Award, Critics’ Choice Television Award, TCA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Lead Actress.
In 2017, Time named Paulson one of the 100 most influential people of the year.
In an interview with Broadway.com in 2013, referring to her sexuality, she said “the situation is fluid for me.”