Strong in 2009
|Born||Brenda Lee Strong
March 25, 1960
Brightwood, Oregon, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Tom Henri (1989–2011) 1 child|
Brenda Lee Strong (born March 25, 1960) is an American actress and yoga instructor, best known for her role as Mary Alice Young on the ABC television comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives (2004–2012), for which she was nominated for two Emmy Awards. She also is known for role as Sally Sasser on the ABC comedy-drama Sports Night (1998–2000) and currently starring as Ann Ewing on the TNT drama series Dallas.
Strong was born in Brightwood, Oregon, and grew up near Portland, Oregon, graduating in 1978 from Sandy Union High School in Sandy, Oregon. She later moved to Arizona to attend college, and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Music in musical theater. Strong was crowned Miss Arizona in 1980; she is 6'0" (1.83 m) tall.
Her first break after college was a spot in Billy Crystal's 1984 music video "You Look Marvelous". Her first television appearances came in 1985 with brief stints on St. Elsewhere, MacGyver, and Cheers. She also made guest appearances on Matlock, Murphy Brown, Herman's Head, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Blossom, and had a brief role on the cult favorite Twin Peaks.
By the mid-1990s, she was a regular guest player on dozens of series, with prominent recurring roles on 3rd Rock from the Sun and Party of Five. Strong also appeared on ER, Picket Fences, Silk Stalkings, and Dawson's Creek. She played Captain Deladier in the 1997 science fiction movie Starship Troopers.
One of Strong's most prominent roles during the 1990s was a recurring stint as Elaine's nemesis Sue Ellen Mischke, the "bra-less wonder" and "Oh Henry!" candy bar heiress, on several episodes of Seinfeld.
She is well known for her recurring role on Sports Night as Sally Sasser, the nemesis of Felicity Huffman's Dana Whitaker. She also guest-starred on The WB's popular 7th Heaven, Gilmore Girls,and Everwood. While working for The WB, she also had guest appearances on Ally McBeal, Nip/Tuck, CSI, Malcolm in the Middle and the short-lived The Lyon's Den. She also starred on the short-lived series Scorch (1992) and The Help (2004).
Strong appeared in movies such as The Craft, Spaceballs, The Deep End of the Ocean, Red Dragon, Black Dog, Exposed, Starship Troopers and Starship Troopers 2 (her character died in the original, but she returned in a different role in the second movie). More recently, she could be seen in the dramatic Lifetime movie Family in Hiding, which premiered on August 6, 2006, as well as Curb Your Enthusiasm, where she plays a love interest of Larry David. Strong also appeared in the 2009 movie Ocean of Pearls.
Between 2004 and 2006, she costarred in the motion picture trilogy The Work and the Glory, based on a bestselling nine-volume series of the same name by Gerald N. Lund. Strong made an appearance on Boston Legal as a judge presiding over a murder trial in 2008.
Strong starred, mostly off-screen, on Desperate Housewives, opposite Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher from 2004 to 2012, during the show's run. She plays the deceased Mary Alice Young, who narrates the events of her friends' and neighbors' lives from beyond the grave. Her narrations yielded an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 2011 and 2012. Strong's character has narrated all but two episodes of the series. One of the two exceptions is the Season 3 episode narrated by Steven Culp, after his character, Rex Van de Kamp, is killed by George Williams and he observes the lives of the men on the street. The other episode is narrated by Nicollette Sheridan, in which her character, Edie Britt, dies.
Strong has appeared several times in flashbacks and in a dream episode in which Lynette struggles to understand why she could not stop Mary Alice's suicide. She played another deceased wife on the television series Everwood, appearing mainly in flashback sequences as the late Julia Brown. Coincidentally, Marcia Cross played Dr. Linda Abbott, a love interest for Brown's widower, during the second season of Everwood. Both Strong and Cross appear in Season 9 of Seinfeld (episodes 9 and 8 respectively).
In 2012, Strong began starring as Ann Ryland Ewing on the TNT original drama series Dallas. The series is a continuation of the original series of the same name that aired on CBS from 1978 to 1991. The show premiered on June 13, 2012.
Strong married Tom Henri in July 1989; they have a child, Zakery Henri. She filed for divorce on January 14, 2011.
|1987||Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues||Desiree||Television movie|
|1989||Skin Deep||Real Estate Agent||Uncredited|
|1990||People Like Us||Brenda Primrose||Television movie|
|1992||Stepfather III||Lauren Sutliffe||Television movie|
|1994||Island City||Dr. Sammy Helding||Television movie|
|1997||Starship Troopers||Captain Deladier|
|1998||Get a Job||Emily LaCrosse|
|1999||The Deep End of the Ocean||Ellen|
|2000||Terror Tract||Dr. Helen Corey|
|2002||Teddy Bears' Picnic||Jackie Sloane Chevron|
|2002||Red Dragon||Dinner Guest|
|2003||Missing Brendan||Joyce Calden|
|2004||Going to the Mat||Patty Newfield||Television movie|
|2004||The Work and the Glory||Mary Ann Steed|
|2004||Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation||Sgt. Dede Rake|
|2005||The Work and the Glory II: American Zion||Mary Ann Steed|
|2005||The Kid & I||Bonnie Roman|
|2006||Family in Hiding||Carol Peterson||Television movie|
|2006||The Work and the Glory III: A House Divided||Mary Ann Steed|
|2007||A Plumm Summer||Viv|
|2008||Ocean of Pearls||Mary Stewart|
|1985||St. Elsewhere||Nadine Aurora||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Naked and the Dead")|
|1985||Misfits of Science||Miss Speedway||(TV series, 1 episode: "Twin Engines")|
|1985||Shadow Chasers||Angela Taylor||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Many Lies of Johnathan")|
|1986||MacGyver||Lila||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Assassin")|
|1986||Cheers||Vicki||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Cape Cad")|
|1986||Sledge Hammer!||Miss Hotchkins||(TV series, 1 episode: "Miss of the Spiderwoman")|
|1987||Dallas||Cliff's One Night Stand||(TV series, 1 episode: "Cat and Mouse")|
|1987||Hotel||Hilary Sinclair||(TV series, 1 episode: "Revelations")|
|1988||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Rashella||(TV series, 1 episode: "When the Bough Breaks")|
|1989||Midnight Caller||Kristen||(TV series, 1 episode: "No Exit")|
|1989||Hooperman||Nun||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Nun and I")|
|1989||Matlock||Jan Sinclair||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Model")|
|1990||Father Dowling Mysteries||Miss Cantrell/O'Grady||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Perfect Cover Mystery")|
|1991||Anything but Love||Unknown||(TV series, 1 episode: "My New Best Friend")|
|1991||Twin Peaks||Jones||(TV series, 4 episodes)|
|1991–1992||Blossom||Diane||(TV series, 2 episodes)|
|1991||Murphy Brown||Janine||(TV series, 1 episode: "Eldin Inmates Life")|
|1992||Rachel Gunn, R.N.||Sheila||(TV series, 1 episode: "I Dream of Squidhead")|
|1992||Scorch||Allison King||(TV series, 6 episodes)|
|1992||Sibs||Unknown||(TV series, 1 episode: "Warren and the Married Woman")|
|1992||Grapevine||Allison||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Allison and Ken Story")|
|1992||Dark Justice||Jessica Sadler||(TV series, 1 episode: "Happy Mothers Day")|
|1992–1993||Herman's Head||Dr. Holland||(TV series, 2 episodes)|
|1993||The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles||Beatrice Kaufman||(TV series, 1 episode: "Young Indian Jones and the Scandal of 1920")|
|1993||The Second Half||Heather||(TV series, 1 episode: "Guess Who's Channeling Dinner?")|
|1993||Picket Fences||Sarah Evans||(TV series, 1 episode: "Unlawful Entries")|
|1993||Silk Stalkings||Candy Grayson||(TV series, 1 episode: "Ladies Night Out")|
|1994||ER||Sally Niemeyer||(TV series, 1 episode: "Into that Good Night")|
|1996||Murphy Brown||Tara Baker||(TV series, 1 episode: "Casa Nova")|
|1996||The John Larroquette Show||Christine Taylor||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Master Class")|
|1996||Party of Five||Kathleen Isley||(TV series, 6 episodes)|
|1996–1997||3rd Rock from the Sun||Miss Frost||(TV series, 2 episodes)|
|1996–1997||Seinfeld||Sue Ellen Mischke||(TV series, 4 episodes)|
|1997||Roar||Megan||(TV series, 1 episode: "Traps")|
|1997||Chicago Sons||Nina||(TV series, 1 episode: "Infrequent Flyers")|
|1998–2000||Sports Night||Sally Sasser||(TV series, 7 episodes)|
|1998||The Closer||Susan Bend||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Rebound")|
|1999||Odd Man Out||Kasey Morton||(TV series, 1 episode: "Good Will Hunting")|
|1999||Any Day Now||Jana Durham||(TV series, 1 episode: "It's Not You, It's Me")|
|1999||Safe Harbor||Marilyn Conray||(TV series, 1 episode: "Older Women, Younger Men")|
|2000||Get Real||Olivia Clark||(TV series, 1 episode: "Guilt")|
|2000||The Michael Richards Show||Beth||(TV series, 1 episode: "Discrimination")|
|2000–2002||7th Heaven||Mrs. Carmen Mackoul||(TV series, 8 episodes)|
|2001||Ally McBeal||Jerry Hill||(TV series, 1 episode: "Mr. Bo")|
|2001||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Dr. Leigh Sapien||(TV series, 1 episode: "Overload")|
|2001||Thieves||Loretta||(TV series, 1 episode: "Liver Let Die")|
|2001||Gilmore Girls||Eva||(TV series, 1 episode: "Like Mother, Like Daughter")|
|2001||Dawson's Creek||Kay Liddell||(TV series, 1 episode: "High Anxiety")|
|2002||Bram and Alice||Theresa||(TV series, 1 episode: "Scribbling Rivalry")|
|2002||The Court||Marsha Palmer||(TV series, 4 episodes)|
|2002||Malcolm in the Middle||Amelia||(TV series, 1 episode: "Family Reunion")|
|2002–2005||Everwood||Julia Brown||(TV series, 5 episodes)|
|2003||A.U.S.A.||Judge Kimberly Flynn||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Joint Report...A Love Story")|
|2003||Nip/Tuck||Irish||(TV series, 2 episodes)|
|2003||The Lyon's Den||Rebecca McCandless||(TV series, 1 episode: "Things She Said")|
|2004||The Help||Arlene Ridgeway, the Rich Lady||(TV series, 7 episodes)|
|2004–2012||Desperate Housewives||Mary Alice Young||Narrator (179 episodes)
Guest actress (17 episodes)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2005–2006)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2007–2009)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (2011–2012)
|2006||Just Legal||Liza Lynch||(TV series, 1 episode: "The Bar")|
|2006–2007||Help Me Help You||Linda||(TV series, 4 episodes)|
|2007||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Dr. Flomm||(TV series, 1 episode: "The N Word")|
|2007||Shark||Olivia Hartnell||(TV series, 1 episode: "In Absentia")|
|2008||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Kathy Jarrow||(TV series, 1 episode: "Betrayed")|
|2008||Boston Legal||Judge Judy Beacon||(TV series, 1 episode: "True Love")|
|2010||Scoundrels||Penny Priest||(TV series, 1 episode: "Birds of a Feather Flock Together")|
|2010||Rizzoli & Isles||Mel Gaynor-Randle||(TV series, 1 episode: "I Kissed a Girl")|
|2012–present||Dallas||Ann Ewing||(TV series, 25+ episodes)|
|2013–2014||Scandal||Joan Reston||(TV series, 2 episodes: "All Roads Lead to Fitz", "The Fluffer")|
|2012–present||Blood Relatives||Narrator||(TV Series, 4+ episodes)|
- Awards for Brenda Strong
- Brenda Strong: Biography, TV Guide
- Martin, John (25 June 1998). "Seinfeld Episode Reruns in Reverse". Telegraph Herald. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- Mitovich, Matt Webb (April 5, 2011). "Dallas Scoop: Housewives Vet Is Bobby's Wife". TVLine. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "Linda Gray Saddles Up For 'Dallas' Return". Access Hollywood. February 10, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- Brenda's Bio, yoga4fertility.com
- Desperate Housewives' Brenda Strong Files for Divorce, Us Weekly, January 15, 2011 AT 1:28PM By Us Weekly Staff
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brenda Strong.|