May. 14th, 1971
Canoga Park, Los Angeles, California, USA
Deanne Bray's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles
Deanne Bray (born May14, 1971) is an American actress. Bray was born mostly deaf from unknown cause (possibly German measles). Completely deaf in right ear, some residual hearing in left ear in which she uses a hearing aid. She considers herself bilingual in American Sign Language and English.
Born in Canoga Park, Los Angeles, California and has spent most of her life in southern California, although she lived in Seattle for a few years with her mother. She is married to 'Troy Kotsur', who is also a deaf actor. On 8 September 2005, she gave birth to daughter Kyra Monique Kotsur. She lives with her family in North Hollywood, a district of Los Angeles.
Bray’s parents made certain their daughter was instructed from an early age to speak and write English and learn American Sign Language as well, sending her through a variety of learning programs and centers to strengthen her language skills. A California native, Bray broke into the entertainment industry after she was discovered performing with a deaf dancing group called "Prism West" at a deaf festival at California State University, Northridge, where she earned a B.A. degree in Biology.
Deanne Bray stars as Sue Thomas, a profoundly deaf woman whose unique lip reading ability lands her on the F.B.I.’s elite surveillance team. “A singular delight’ (The Hollywood Reporter) who ‘lights up the screen every scene she’s in’ (New York Post), Bray is known within the Hollywood industry and beyond as someone who brings honesty, depth, and her own unique charm to her growing list of roles. For her portrayal of Sue Thomas and for her role as a regular on the NBC hit show Heroes where she played the role of ‘hero’ Emma Coolidge, Bray has received raves from critics and fans alike. Heroes director 'SJ Clarkson' said about working with Deanne, “She’s spectacular. Her natural instincts are right on when she performs". Heroes executive producer 'Dennis Hammer' says, “She’s an extraordinary actress. Her talent and heart have made us all proud".
Bray’s myriad credits include the CBS TV Movie Sweet Nothing In My Ear, the TV shows CSI, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Curb Your Enthusiasm and numerous performances at the prestigious Deaf West Theatre and CTG Theater Group, earning her accolades and awards.
For Deanne, working in Hollywood is a bit like coming home. As a little girl, she grew up riding her bike around studio lots while her single father worked as a lighting technician. Little did she know that she’d end up being in front of the camera.
Perhaps Sue Thomas: F. B.Eye creator, writer and executive producer 'Dave Alan Johnson' best summed up the experience of working with Deanne Bray when he said, “Deanne is simply the best actress and nicest person I’ve worked with in my twenty years of writing, producing and directing in Hollywood. She’s one of a kind and no one should ever put limits on what she can do".
- A strong literacy advocate, she established "The Little Bookworm Club" to promote literacy.
- In her spare time she enjoys reading with deaf children, as well as going to Deaf community functions, like interacting with deaf senior citizens and listening to their stories.
- She earned a B.A. degree in Biology at California State University at Northridge.
- She encourages the cast and crew of _"Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye" (2002)_ (qv) to learn American Sign Language, and partners with writing staff on plot-lines and scripts - her suggestions are largely based on many different deaf individuals. In addition, several deaf and hard-of-hearing people have been hired as extras, editors, and ASL Masters on the show. Often because there is a different director each week, Bray works closely with him or her to block scenes, ensuring her character is able to see what other characters are saying.
- Her favorite quote is the African proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child."
- She was a science and math teacher for deaf high school students, and is pursuing a master's degree in education (probably on hold while she performs on _"Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye" (2002)_ (qv)).
- She is profoundly deaf in her right ear and has a 86 dB loss in her left. She can hear a little with her left ear if she uses a hearing aid, though the hearing aid doesn't totally fix the problem. She can read lips, sign ASL and speak, and thus considers herself bilingual: ASL and English. Her first deaf teacher was Lil Skinner at the age of three. She has never been sad over her hearing loss, and finds it a challenge dealing with people who feel sorry for her because of her deafness. She finds herself often caught in the middle between hearing and deaf culture but feels she has the best of both worlds.
- While teaching math and history to deaf and hard of hearing students in an East Los Angeles high school, she founded and personally funded, a reading club to benefit deaf and hard of hearing students. The success of the "Little Bookworm Club" earned her a grant from the Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program - a program recognizing outstanding teaching and instructional creativity in public secondary schools serving economically disadvantaged students.