Mar. 25th, 1960
Brightwood, Oregon, USA
Brenda Strong's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Brenda 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. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Music in musical theatre. Strong was crowned Miss Arizona in 1980.
Her first break after college was a spot in Billy Crystal’s 1984 music video You Look Marvelous. Her first television appearances began 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, Blossom, and had a recurring role on the cult favorite Twin Peaks.
By the mid-90s, 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.
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 candy bar heiress, on several episodes of Seinfeld.
She is well known to viewers for her recurring role on Sports Night, in which she played 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 a guest appearances on Ally McBeal, Nip/Tuck, CSI, Malcolm in the Middle, and the short-lived The Lyon’s Den.
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 can 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 co-starred in a motion picture trilogy entitled The Work and the Glory based on a bestselling nine-volume series of the same name by author Gerald N. Lund.
Strong currently appears, mostly off-screen, on Desperate Housewives, opposite Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher. She plays the deceased Mary Alice Young, who narrates the events of her friends' and neighbors' lives from beyond the grave.
Strong's character has narrated all but two episodes of the series. One of the two exceptions was the episode narrated by Steven Culp when his character Rex Van de Kamp was killed by George Williams in Season 1. The other episode was narrated by Nicollette Sheridan during the episode in which her character Edie Britt was killed in 2009.
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 Brown, a love interest for Brown's widower, during the second season of Everwood.
As a certified yoga instructor and fertility expert, Strong has experience teaching at UCLA's Mind/Body Institute. She is currently working on her first book about yoga and the woman's journey. She has appeared in two Desperate Housewives movies, one of which is shown only in select theatres across the U.S.
She married Tom Henri in July 1989; they have a child, Zakery Henri.
She filed for divorce on January 14, 2011.
- Both in _"Everwood" (2002)_ (qv) and _"Desperate Housewives" (2004)_ (qv), she plays a family mother whose death in the pilot of the series sets the events of the show in motion. She reappears throughout the shows in flashback scenes and dream sequences.
- Graduated from Arizona State University with Bachelor of Music in musical theatre.
- Was among the guests at 'Marcia Cross' (qv)' wedding to Tom Mahoney.
- Replaced 'Sheryl Lee' (qv) who was originally cast as Mary Alice Young for the ABC series _"Desperate Housewives" (2004)_ (qv) in its pilot episode.
- She and her future _"Desperate Housewives" (2004)_ (qv) co-star 'Marcia Cross' (qv) both starred in _"Everwood" (2002)_ (qv). Strong guest-starred in a few episodes while Cross was a steady cast-member from 2003-2004. They never were in the same episodes. They also both guest-starred in different episodes of _"Ally McBeal" (1997)_ (qv). They separately guest starred in back-to-back episodes of _"Seinfeld" (1990)_ (qv) during season nine. Cross appeared dating Jerry as life-saving dermatologist Dr. Sara Sitarides, and Strong in her recurring role as Sue Ellen "The Bra-less Wonder" Mischke.
- Miss Arizona 1980 in the 1981 Miss America pageant.
- Also worked with 'Felicity Huffman' (qv) on the short lived _"Sports Night" (1998)_ (qv) program created by 'Aaron Sorkin' (qv) of _"The West Wing" (1999)_ (qv).
- 1978: Graduated from Sandy High School in Sandy, OR.