28 March 1961 |
|Spouse(s)||Nick Brandt (2002–present)|
Early life and career 
The second of four children born to Dublin publican Patrick Brady (former owner of the Temple Bar) and his wife Catherine who had appeared in amateur productions at the Gate Theatre, Brady first became interested in an acting career after reading works by Germaine Greer and Simone de Beauvoir.
Brady drifted between jobs in her early 20s: My 20s were torture. I found men terrifying. I didn't know how to relate to them and, because of that, there was no way I could have stood on a stage and asked people to look at me. I just wasn't comfortable in my skin.
She gradually moved to London England, working part time as a model. Amongst other assignments she posed for DIY painting guide The Illustrator's Figure Reference Manual. After the original of Jack Vettriano's painting The Singing Butler was sold at auction in 2004 for £750,000, it was revealed the painter used the manual to form his figures for the painting, including Brady for the 'lady in red'. In February 2009, Vettriano published a previously unseen second version of The Singing Butler, which features the dancing figure for which Brady posed wearing a dark emerald green dress, hence the title, Dancer In Emerald, the original painting for which is on loan to the Kirkcaldy Museum as part of Homecoming Scotland 2009.
In 1986 at age 25 she applied via the French Embassy in London for a bursary to study theatre in Paris. After struggling through her French language interview, she studied for a year at the L'École Philippe Gaulier and secured a place at the École Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris founded by Marcel Marceau.
After graduation, she returned to Dublin and immediately won the role of Adela in the House of Bernarda Alba at the Gate Theatre, and then worked with Cambridge-based physical theatre company, Balloonatics, and discovered the fun of theatre through alternative productions of Finnegans Wake and Hamlet.
Her first piece of professional work in England was in Blinded by the Sun at the Royal National Theatre, and developed a career based on both Irish and British located theatre, television and movies. These have included the RTÉ/BBC co-production A Love Divided as Sheila Cloney, RTÉ's Proof and the BBC's Mistresses . She had a supporting role in the film 32A.
From 2001 she decided to spend a period in Los Angeles, the United States where she has appeared mainly in televisions series, including the short-lived Family Law. She has also starred in Nip/Tuck, a US drama about plastic surgeons as Dr. Jordan, a plastic surgeon who, unusually for the series, declined sex with Dr. Christian Troy. She later starred as Claire Stark, the divorced ex-wife of James Woods in hit series Shark. In 2008, she appeared in Firewall, the second episode of the BBC TV series Wallander.
She also appeared as Meredith Gates, a fleecing art collector who gets conned herself, in the first season of the British series Hustle.
Brady reprised her role in series two of Mistresses, which filmed in 2009.
Personal life 
- "Orla Brady". RTÉ. 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- O'Brien, Catherine (2008-01-18). "My life as a masterpiece by actress Orla Brady". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- Philby, Charlotte (2008-01-05). "How Do I Look?: Orla Brady, actress, 46". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- "Biography". orlabrady.org. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- BBC One Programmes: Wallander, bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 30 November 2008.
- Meet Mrs. Bishop: Orla Brady Joins 'Fringe'[dead link]
- Musetto, V.A. (2001-05-27). "Interview with Orla Brady". New York Post. Retrieved 2008-12-07.