Sasha Alexander is the American actress that portrays Dr. Maura Isles in the TV series, Rizzoli & Isles. She is known for several roles, including Gretchen Witter on Dawson's Creek and former Secret Service/NCIS Special Agent Kate Todd in the first two seasons of NCIS.
Sasha Alexander, of ethnic Serbian descent, was born Suzana S. Drobnjaković in Los Angeles, California. She began acting in school productions in the seventh grade. She was also an ice skater, but stopped due to a knee injury. She continued acting through high school and college, then moved to New York to act in summer stock and Shakespeare festivals. She graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television, where she was a member of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta.
Alexander got her acting start on two short-lived series: the medical drama Presidio Med and ABC's twenty-something drama Wasteland. She achieved widespread media attention and critical praise when she appeared in the fourth season of Dawson's Creek as Gretchen Witter, the sister of Pacey Witter, and dated the title character. Alexander was also in an episode of the short-lived Fox comedy series Greg the Bunny, in which she played the role of a lesbian TV Guide reporter and shared an onscreen kiss with Sarah Silverman.
Alexander also appeared in the films Lucky 13 and All Over the Guy, as well as He's Just Not That Into You (in the role of Catherine), the independent movie The Last Lullaby, and Yes Man (as Lucy) starring Jim Carrey. She also appeared as District Attorney Robin Childs in the CSI episode "Alter Boys".
Alexander joined NCIS as Secret Service/NCIS Special Agent Caitlin "Kate" Todd in 2003. She replaced Vivian Blackadder played by Robyn Lively, who only appeared in the back-door pilot episodes, "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown" on JAG. The official pilot episode "Yankee White" aired September 23, 2003, on CBS. Alexander's year and a half tenure on the show ended in May 2005 when her character, Kate, is killed by a terrorist who shoots her in the head during the last few seconds of the season-two finale, "Twilight". The "official explanation" for the actress's departure was that "she asked to be let out of her contract to pursue other opportunities". In her final appearances in the "Kill Ari" two-parter, Alexander was credited as a special guest star. Alexander reappeared as Todd in a "what if" scenario with Anthony DiNozzo for the NCIS 200th episode "Life Before His Eyes" in 2012.
She also had a small role in 2006's Mission: Impossible III. She joined the cast of The Nine in the role of Nick's ex-wife, and also appeared in one episode of Friends ("The One with Joey's Interview"), playing a Soap Opera Digest reporter who interviewed Joey.
Since 2010, Alexander has played Dr. Maura Isles on the TNT series Rizzoli & Isles – the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Chief Medical Examiner, who works with the Boston Police Department. Alexander costars with Angie Harmon, who plays Boston Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli, Isles' best friend on the show.
In 2015, Alexander began a recurring role on Showtime's Shameless portraying one of Lip Gallagher's college professors Helene Runyon. Her character Helene maintains an open relationship with her husband Theo (played by Michael Reilly Burke) which allows her to sleep with Lip. The relationship between Helene and Lip is both romantic and one which provides him with guidance in his college career.
On September 18, 1999, Alexander married Luka Pecel, but this marriage was later annulled, without issue.
On August 11, 2007, Alexander married director Edoardo Ponti, son of actress Sophia Loren and the late film producer Carlo Ponti, in Geneva, Switzerland. They have two children, a daughter born in 2006 and a son born in 2010. She speaks Serbian, English, and Italian.
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