Having grown up in Hawaii and after earning her master's in fine arts at Denver's National Theatre Conservatory, Callies moved to New York and quickly landed a recurring role on the short-lived courtroom drama Queens Supreme in 2003. That same year she got her second shot at series television as a no-nonsense NYPD officer on the offbeat drama Tarzan, but it, too, was promptly canceled. Three times was the charm for Callies, who landed a part as Dr. Sara Tancredi on the breakout hit Prison Break in 2005. Controversy arose as Tancredi appeared to meet a gruesome death when Callies left the show for family reasons after the second season. But through the magic of storytelling and to satisfy fans, she returned for the fourth and final season.