July 14, 1987
Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
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Growing up in Canada, actress Sara Canning was a competitive figure skater until age 16 and developing an interest in theater on the side, though she had no time to really pursue the craft. After a fruitless year of study for a general arts degree, she realized her interest in acting was too strong to ignore and transferred to the Vancouver Film School. A year after graduation, she landed her first role as celebrity personality Paris Hilton's sister Nicky in the television movie "Paparazzi Princess." Similarly low-tier parts followed, including starring opposite former teen heartthrob James Van Der Beek in the kidnapping television movie "Taken In Broad Daylight." She also had a two-episode appearance on the moody Superman drama "Smallville" and a guest role on the teen suspense series "Kyle XY." While shooting her first film--the 2009 Canadian 19th-century drama "Black Field"--she learned that a pilot she had shot was picked up, making Canning one of the main stars of popular supernatural drama "The Vampire Diaries." As Jenna Sommers, the aunt and caretaker of the show's main characters, she remained blithely oblivious to the supernatural creatures surrounding her for two seasons before her part came to an end. Having moved to Atlanta for the role, Canning then returned to her native Vancouver and frequent parts in television movies.