Sarah Catharine Paulson (born December 17, 1975) is an American film, stage, and television actress. She began acting on stage, and in the 1990s starred in American Gothic (1995–96), and Jack & Jill (1999–2001). She later appeared in comedy films such as What Women Want (2000) and Down with Love (2003), and had dramatic roles in 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 was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. In 2008, she starred as Ellen Dolan in the superhero noir film The Spirit.Paulson appeared in a Broadway plays The Glass Menagerie in 2005, and Collected Stories in 2010. She also starred in the number of made for television movies and independent films, and had a leading role on the ABC comedy series Cupid in 2009. She later starred in the independent drama Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), and received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her performance as Nicolle Wallace in the HBO movie Game Change (2012). In 2011, Paulson began starring in the FX anthology series American Horror Story. For her performance in the second season, she won the Critics' Choice Television Award and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2013. Also in 2013, Paulson starred as Mary Epps in the critically acclaimed historical drama film 12 Years a Slave.