Actress Sarah Rafferty

Celebrities,Celebrity Q&A
January 23, 2013

‘Suits’ star got her start in theater

Suits
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What can you tell me about Sarah Rafferty from “Suits”?
—Phyllis Carpenter, Wichita, Kansas

Rafferty, who plays Harvey Specter’s assistant Donna on “Suits,” grew up in Riverside, Conn., and attended Phillips Academy, which is where her love of theater began when she was cast in “Richard III.”

She went on to double major in English and Theatre at Hamilton College, studied abroad in London and at the University of Oxford during her junior year and went on to graduate magna cum laude. She followed that up with a master of fine arts degree from the Yale School of Drama.

“I think what you learn studying acting is that you have to have the courage to just make a strong choice,” she says. “I think whether you’re working on the stage, in film or on TV, that’s what is required to make things compelling. And it’s risky, too, because you can get it wrong. So it takes a certain amount of courage.”

Rafferty, 40, has numerous theatre credits in New York, including appearances at Second Stage, The Roundabout Theatre Company and The Lucille Lortel. In addition, she has appeared at many regional theaters 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.”

On television, Rafferty has guest starred on “Brothers and Sisters,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “Six Feet Under,” “Without a Trace,” “Bones,” “Samantha Who?” and “8 Simple Rules.”

She was also seen in the indie films “Falling for Grace” and “Small Beautifully Moving Parts.”

Rafferty makes her home on both coasts with her husband and two daughters.

Of her role as Donna, she says, “I always enjoy that Donna is very strong but she’s also very feminine and she’s she is quick. She is quick witted. It may be because I have two kids that I feel like I’m not quick witted, but she really can think on her feet.”

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