Katee Sackhoff - American Actress, Producer and Philanthropist

Katee Sackhoff - American Actress, Producer and Philanthropist

Katee Sackhoff is an American actress and producer. She is best known for her role as Kara Thrace/Starbuck in the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009). This role brought her international fame and made her an iconic face of science fiction and fantasy.

Sackhoff graduated from Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon in 1998. While in school, she took up swimming and ballet. But at the age of 15, she injured her knee and had to stop dancing. She then turned to yoga, a sport she continues to practice today, and to acting.

She moved to Los Angeles and began her career with guest roles in series. Three years later, she landed her first lead role in the television movie Fifteen and Pregnant, in which she plays Karen Gotus, opposite the actress Kirsten Dunst.

Thereafter, she gets regular roles in the series Family the Fearing Mind and The Education of Max Bickford. She also made her film debut in the movie My First Meter, in 2002, then Halloween: Resurrection, eighth film of the Halloween saga.

In 2003, she got her first leading role when she was chosen to play Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica. Her character, originally male (played by Dirk Benedict), is questioned by fans of the original series. But Sackhoff's performance quickly put everyone in agreement. Over the course of four seasons, the series is acclaimed by fans and critics alike for the quality of its writing and characters, and Sackhoff is also given credit for bringing to life a complex female character who challenges traditional gender stereotypes in science fiction media of the time. As such, she was nominated for several Saturn Awards, and in 2004 won the award for Best Supporting Television Actress.

In 2007, Sackhoff was cast as Sarah Corvus in the remake of the 1970 series, Bionic Woman. Her character, originally intended to appear only in the pilot, eventually became a recurring character.

At the same time, she started dubbing and lent her voice to several characters, in the video game Halo 3, the animated series Robot Chicken, and more.

In 2010, she refused the lead role in the fantasy series Once Upon A Time, which was eventually given to Jennifer Morrison, in favor of the series Boston's Finest. Unfortunately, the series does not work and is not ordered, while Once Upon A Timefinds great success. She then joined the main cast of the eighth season of the hit series 24, as Dana Walsh. She also landed the recurring role of Detective Reed in the series CSI, and participated in the animated series Futurama and The Cleveland Show.

From 2012 to 2017, she played one of the main roles in the series Longmire, and in parallel, was involved in the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars. Her role in Longmire earned her a nomination, in 2013, at the Women's Image Network Awards, in the category of Best Actress in a dramatic television series.

That same year, she played a bounty hunter, Dahl, in the film Riddick, which was a big hit in theaters and took the number one spot at the box office upon its release. She also stars in the horror film The Mirror, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013, before its worldwide release in 2014.

Since 2020, she has played the character of Bo-Katan Kryze in the hit series The Mandalorian, a spin-off of the cult Star Wars saga.

Outside of her acting career, Katee Sackhoff is also a passionate philanthropist, dedicated to the causes she cares about, specifically animals, children's rights, education, creative arts, family and parenting support, health, cancer research, AIDS and HIV, world hunger and poverty.

She uses her fame and platform to raise awareness of important issues and to make a positive impact on the world. She especially encourages her fans to adopt rescued animals, and to support local animal shelters.

She is also an avid supporter of PETA, an animal rights organization. PETA works to end animal cruelty around the world by encouraging compassionate lifestyle choices through education campaigns, especially targeting youth ages 13-25. She also supports the Humane Society, an organization that promotes animal advocacy internationally.

 Sackhoff is also heavily involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which helps cure multiple sclerosis while empowering those affected by the disease to live better lives. She has been an advocate for this organization and has participated in various fundraisers to support its efforts. 

She also advocates for mental health awareness. She is not afraid to speak openly about her own anxiety and depression issues, and has used her experience to raise awareness and break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. She encourages her fans to seek help and support if they are struggling with mental health issues.

Sackhoff has also supported the Entertainment Industry Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for important causes such as childhood hunger, cancer research, creative arts, education and cardiovascular research ; the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which is working to create a hopeful future for children and families around the world by ending pediatric AIDS ; The American Foundation for AIDS Research, dedicated to supporting AIDS research, prevention, treatment, education and the promotion of sound public policy ; Stand Up To Cancer, which raises funds to enable cancer researchers and scientists to come together to find a cure for cancer ; and YouthAIDS, committed to the fight against AIDS.

In 2010, Katee Sackhoff and Tricia Helfer co-founded Acting Outlaws, a non-profit organization that raises awareness and funds for various charitable causes.

The organization's name refers to the characters played by the two actresses, who break down the stereotypes associated with their profession. Through Acting Outlaws, they aim to challenge stereotypes and encourage people to think outside the box when it comes to philanthropy.

The organization has been involved in various charitable initiatives over the years, including raising money for causes such as the Gulf Restoration Network, the Red Cross and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It has also used its social platforms to raise awareness about important issues, such as mental health and animal welfare, and has allowed fans to meet Sackhoff and Helfer, by hosting motorcycle rides and other events, to engage with their fans and raise money for their causes.

Katee Sackhoff also founded Fly Free Charity with her mother in 2020, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance and resources to survivors of domestic violence looking to start a new life.

"My mother and I have set up Fly Free Charity, an organization we’ve created that will take the charitable proceeds from the items sold in the store and distribute them amongst various charities of my choosing." - Katee Sackhoff, www.kateesackhoff.com

The idea for Fly Free Charity came to her after learning about the increase in domestic violence cases during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many survivors of domestic violence face financial barriers when trying to leave an abusive relationship, and she wanted to help them overcome these obstacles. As a result, her organization provides survivors with financial assistance to cover expenses such as rent, moving costs, and legal fees, and offers resources and support to help them build a new life, including access to counseling services and job training programs.

With her versatile acting skills, Katee Sackhoff has made a name for herself in Hollywood, and has received support and recognition from her peers. She continues to receive critical and fan acclaim for her performances, and for her ability to bring depth and nuance to her characters. In addition, her philanthropic work and strong commitment to mental health, make her a role model and inspiration to many.



Article by Julie Henry Poutrel for Adama Toulon.

© Photo: Dennys Ilic