Orla Brady

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Orla Brady
Born (1961-03-28) 28 March 1961 (age 57)
Dublin, Ireland
ResidenceCalifornia, United States
Years active1991–present
Spouse(s)Nick Brandt (2002–present)

Orla Brady (born 28 March 1961) is an Irish actress.

Early life[edit]

Brady was born in Dublin, the second of four children of Patrick and his wife Catherine (Kitty). She lived in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, from birth until the age of seven.[1] She was educated at a Loreto Convent in Wicklow and an Ursuline Convent in Dublin.

At 25 years of age she moved to Paris where she studied at L'École Philippe Gaulier, securing a place at Marcel Marceau's École Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris.[2]


Brady began her career with Balloonatics Theatre Company, touring productions of Hamlet and Finnegans Wake. She then returned to Dublin to perform at the Gate Theatre[3] where she played Adele in House of Bernarda Alba and Natasha in Three Sisters. After moving to London she played Kate in Brian Friel's Philadelphia, Here I Come! which later transferred from the King's Head Theatre to the West End.

Brady's first professional work in England was in Blinded by the Sun by Stephen Poliakoff at the Royal National Theatre[2] and she has since developed a career based on both Irish and British located theatre, television and film. These have included the RTÉ/BBC co-production A Love Divided where she portrayed Sheila Cloney, for which she won the 1999 Golden Nymph Best Actress Award at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.[4] She also played one of four main characters in the BBC's drama series Mistresses, Siobhan Dillon, a lawyer who struggled to maintain her relationship with husband Hari while also having an affair with her colleague, Dominic, with whom she later went on to have a child. As well as that, she has appeared in RTÉ's Proof, and had roles in films such as Words Upon the Window Pane (1994), The Luzhin Defence (2000), How About You (2007) and 32A (2007).

Since moving to California in 2001, Brady has also appeared in Family Law where she played Naoise O'Niell. The series ran for 3 years on CBS. She has also starred in Nip/Tuck, a US drama about plastic surgeons where she played Dr. Jordan. She later starred in Shark as Claire Stark, the divorced ex-wife of James Woods. In 2008 she appeared in Firewall, and the second episode of the BBC series Wallander.[5] She also appeared as Meredith Gates, a fleecing art collector who herself is conned in the first series of the British series Hustle.

Commencing in 2009, Brady portrayed Elizabeth Bishop, the wife of Walter Bishop and the mother of Peter Bishop in the Fox television series Fringe.[6] In 2010, she appeared in the TV series The Deep alongside James Nesbitt where she played Catherine. She also starred in the TV series Strike Back as Katie Dartmouth.

In 2012 she appeared in the ITV series Eternal Law as Mrs Sheringham, an angel who fell in love with a human and became mortal. She also appeared in the Sky1 series Sinbad where she played Taryn. In late 2013 she appeared as the Countess Vera Rossakoff in the television adaptation of The Labours of Hercules, part of the final series of Agatha Christie's Poirot alongside David Suchet.

On 25 December 2013 Brady starred in the 2013 Christmas special episode The Time of the Doctor of the hit BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who as the pivotal character Tasha Lem. In 2014, she filmed Banished, playing Anne Meredith.

She is currently appearing in the AMC martial arts drama series Into the Badlands as Lydia.

Photographic model[edit]

In the late 1980s Brady posed for a series of photographic figure studies that were published in The Illustrator's Figure Reference Manual (1987). An image of Brady posing in her own dress was used by the artist Jack Vettriano as the focal subject of The Singing Butler.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

In 2001 Brady moved to Los Angeles where she met English photographer, Nick Brandt, whom she married in December 2002 in the Chyulu Hills of Kenya. She currently lives in the mountains of southern California.



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Words Upon the Window Pane Vanessa
1999 A Love Divided Sheila Kelly Cloney
2000 The Luzhin Defence Aunt Anna
2001 Silent Grace Eileen
2002 Fogbound Ann
2006 Last Night Lucy Short film
2007 32A Jean Brennan
2007 How About You... Kate Harris
2013 Wayland's Song Grace
2015 The Price of Desire Eileen Gray
2017 The Foreigner Mary Hennessy


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Minder Bank Teller "Opportunity Knocks and Bruises"
1994 The Bill Amy "No Job for an Amateur"
1994 Absolutely Fabulous Nurse Mary "Hospital"
1994 The Rector's Wife Sister Josephine "1.2"
1995 Dangerfield Diane Foster "Victim of Rape: Parts 1 & 2"
1995 New Voices Ruby "The Treasure of Zavimbi"
1995 Casualty Wendy "Outside Bulawayo"
1995-1996 Out of the Blue D.S. Rebecca "Becky" Bennett Main role; 12 episodes
1996 Pie in the Sky Kit Kelly de Goris "Irish Stew"
1996 The Vicar of Dibley Aoife "The Christmas Lunch Incident"
1997 The Heart Surgeon Marcella Duggan TV film
1997 Noah's Ark Clare Somers Main role; 9 episodes
1998 Wuthering Heights Cathy TV film
1999 Pure Wickedness Jenny Meadows Recurring role; 4 episodes
1999 The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns Kathleen Fitzpatrick TV film
2001-2002 Family Law Naoise O'Neill Regular role; 43 episodes
2003 Servants Flora Ryan Regular role; 6 episodes
2003 The Debt Angela Jahnsen TV film
2003 Chris Ryan's Strike Back Katie Dartmouth TV miniseries; 2 episodes
2004 Hustle Meredith Gates "Picture Perfect"
2004 Nip/Tuck Dr. Monica Jordan "Christian Troy"
2004 Lawless Liz Bird TV film
2004-2005 Proof Maureen Boland TV miniseries; 8 episodes
2005 Revelations Nora Webber TV miniseries; 6 episodes
2005 Empire Atia Balba Caesonia TV miniseries; 4 episodes
2005 World of Trouble Joan Denny TV film
2006 Sixty Minute Man Kate Henderson TV film
2006 Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise Lilly Summers TV film
2007 Protect and Serve Dr. Lorna Herrera TV film
2007-2008 Shark Claire Stark Recurring role; 4 episodes
2008 Wallander Ella Lindfeldt "Firewall"
2008-2010 Mistresses Siobhan Dillon Regular role; 16 episodes
2010 The Deep Catherine Donnelly TV miniseries; 5 episodes
2010-2012 Fringe Elizabeth Bishop Recurring role; 5 episodes
2012 Sinbad Taryn Regular role; 9 episodes
2012 Eternal Law Mrs. Sheringham Main role
2013 Jo Beatrice Dormont Main role; 8 episodes
2013 Agatha Christie's Poirot Countess Rossakoff "The Labours of Hercules"
2013 Doctor Who Tasha Lem "The Time of the Doctor"
2015 Banished Anne Meredith Main role; 7 episodes
2015 American Odyssey Sofia Tsaldari Regular role; 9 episodes
2015-present Into the Badlands Lydia Main role; 17 episodes
2018 Collateral Phoebe Dyson Main role; 4 episodes


  1. ^ Interview with Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ Radio 12 January 2014
  2. ^ a b Philby, Charlotte (2008-01-05). "How Do I Look?: Orla Brady, actress, 46". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  3. ^ "Biography". orlabrady.org. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  4. ^ "Brits strike gold at Monte Carlo". Broadcastnow.co.uk. 1 March 2000. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  5. ^ BBC One Programmes: Wallander, bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 30 November 2008.
  6. ^ Editor@BuddyTV. "Meet Mrs. Bishop: Orla Brady Joins 'Fringe'". TV.com. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  7. ^ Jack Vettriano.com, Profile of Orla Brady
  8. ^ The Guardian, 4 Oct 2005, Vettriano brought to book by illustrator's manual

External links[edit]