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Brenda Strong

Strong at the Miss America 2006 pageant
Born Brenda Lee Strong
March 25, 1960 (1960-03-25) (age 49)
Brightwood, Oregon, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Tom Henri (1989-present) 1 child

Brenda Lee Strong (born March 25, 1960) is an American actress and yoga instructor, known for her role as Mary Alice Young on the television show Desperate Housewives.

She is also known for portraying Sally Sasser on Sports Night and her lead role as Arlene Ridgeway on the short-lived series The Help.

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Early life

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 Bachelor of Music in musical theatre. Strong was crowned Miss Arizona in 1980. Strong stands 6'0" (1.83 m).

Career

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, as well as 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 the sitcom Seinfeld.

She is well known to viewers for recurring roles 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 managed to squeeze in 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."

Strong made an appearance on Boston Legal as a judge hearing Denny Crane's case.

Desperate Housewives

Strong currently appears on the ABC hit dramedy Desperate Housewives, opposite Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Nicollette Sheridan, Dana Delany and Teri Hatcher. She plays the deceased Mary Alice Young, who narrates the events of her friends' and neighbors' lives from beyond the grave. She can be heard in every episode of the series (which was sparked by Mary Alice's death) with the exception of one narrated by Rex Van de Kamp (portrayed by Steven Culp from 2004-2005) and one episode narrated by Nicollette Sheridan in which her character Edie Britt died in 2009. She appears several times in flashbacks from when Mary Alice was still alive and in a dream episode in which Lynette struggles to understand why she couldn't 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. Marcia Cross, her Desperate Housewives co-star, also appeared on Everwood for a season playing Dr. Linda Abbott, the love interest of the Julia Brown's widower, Dr. Andrew Brown. While Brenda remains mostly off-camera and heard rather than seen, both she and the producer Marc Cherry feel that her character is most essential to the entity of the series. Strong also admitted that she does not feel ostracized by the on-air talents.[1][2] Strong attends functions related to the show, just as the other actors do.

Personal life

As a certified yoga instructor and fertility expert[citation needed], 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 married Tom Henri in July 1989 and they have a child together, Zakery Henri.

References

External links








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