Sara Canning (born July 14, 1987) is a Canadian actress. She co-starred on The CW television series The Vampire Diaries as Jenna Sommers, and starred in the 2009 feature film, Black Field. She starred as Dylan Weir in the Canadian television series Primeval: New World.
Early Life:Canning was born in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, the daughter of Wayne and Daphne Canning. She lived in Gander until age eleven, and was then raised in Sherwood Park, near Edmonton, Alberta. She competed as a figure skater in her childhood and early adolescent years, and became interested in theatre as a student at F.R. Haythorne Junior High. Canning starred in several stage productions while attending Bev Facey Community High School, and acted in shows at her hometown stage at Festival Place.
Canning made her professional acting debut in George Orwell's 1984 at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton at the age of 18. She began studying general arts at the University of Alberta, and considered going into journalism. Still interested in performing, Canning left university at 19 and moved to Vancouver to pursue a career in acting. She graduated from a year-long screen acting program at Vancouver Film School in 2007.
Career:In 2009, Canning filmed a pilot for The Vampire Diaries, a CW network television series. She then starred in the feature film Black Field, a 19th-century gothic period piece, directed by Danishka Esterhazy. Canning shot the drama in May 2009, near Tyndall, Manitoba, Canada. She played Maggie McGregor, the older of two Scottish sisters struggling take make their way on the Canadian Prairies. The film premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2009. The Vampire Diaries was picked up as a television series three weeks after she completed work on the film.
Canning co-starred on The Vampire Diaries as Jenna Sommers, the aunt and guardian of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), and her younger brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen). Canning was the same age, or younger, than her fellow cast members who played high school students. Makeup artists and the wardrobe team worked to make her look older than she usually did. Canning also downplayed her Canadian accent for the role. Her character's love interest, Alaric, was played by Matthew Davis. Canning appeared on the second season of The Vampire Diaries from 2010–2011, until her character was killed in the episode, "The Sun Also Rises".