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Betsy Brandt

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Classically trained stage actress Betsy Brandt worked steadily if somewhat anonymously in television and the occasional feature for over a decade before landing her star-making role as Marie Schrader on "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008-2013). The critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning series provided her an extraordinary platform for her talents in a complex role that allowed her to display moments of broad comedy as well as high drama as Marie contended with not only her husband's career as a DEA agent, but also her splintering extended family and recurring bouts of kleptomania. The acclaim afforded to Brandt for her performance led to work in other series, as well as inroads to a film career, all of which pointed to Brandt's status as a star on the rise.Born Nov. 14, 1976 in Bay City, MI, Betsy Brandt took an interest in theater from an early age, but unlike many of her peers, she was more interested in directing stage musicals than starring in them. But after winning the lead in a high school production of "Exit the Body," she shifted her focus to acting, which she studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as the Moscow Theater School at Harvard and the Royal Scottish Academy...

Classically trained stage actress Betsy Brandt worked steadily if somewhat anonymously in television and the occasional feature for over a decade before landing her star-making role as Marie Schrader on "Breaking Bad" (AMC, 2008-2013). The critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning series provided her an extraordinary platform for her talents in a complex role that allowed her to display moments of broad comedy as well as high drama as Marie contended with not only her husband's career as a DEA agent, but also her splintering extended family and recurring bouts of kleptomania. The acclaim afforded to Brandt for her performance led to work in other series, as well as inroads to a film career, all of which pointed to Brandt's status as a star on the rise.

Born Nov. 14, 1976 in Bay City, MI, Betsy Brandt took an interest in theater from an early age, but unlike many of her peers, she was more interested in directing stage musicals than starring in them. But after winning the lead in a high school production of "Exit the Body," she shifted her focus to acting, which she studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as the Moscow Theater School at Harvard and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. After graduation, Brandt moved to Seattle, WA, where she worked in theater while appearing in several short films, beginning with "Confidence" in 1998. She eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she soon landed guest roles on "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) and "NCIS" (CBS, 2003- ), among other series. In 2005, she was top-billed in the indie comedy "Shelf Life," as a rebellious young woman who takes a job at a small town library after a stint in rehab.

After auditioning for three different roles on "Breaking Bad," Brandt was finally cast as Marie Schrader, wife of DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) and sister-in-law to Bryan Cranston's terminally ill teacher-turned-meth kingpin, Walter White. Like many of the characters on the critically acclaimed series, Marie was initially viewed as possessing one dominant character trait - specifically, a tendency to give advice where it was not warranted - but displayed a deeper and more complex personality in subsequent seasons. Marie suffered from kleptomania, which lent dark comic relief to the show's often-unrelieved dramatic tension, but also displayed an unwavering loyalty to her husband and family, especially after a shooting left Hank gripped by post-traumatic stress. For her work on "Breaking Bad," Brandt not only received a 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award nomination along with her castmates for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama, but also a higher profile that led to guest turns on major series like "Private Practice" (ABC, 2007-2013) as well as a minor role in Steven Soderbergh's dramatic comedy feature "Magic Mike" (2012).

As "Breaking Bad" wound down its final episodes, Brandt moved immediately into a much different series, playing Annie, the long-suffering wife of Michael J. Fox's lead character Mike Henry, a former star news anchor with Parkinson's Disease who decides to go back to work, in the sitcom "The Michael J. Fox Show" (NBC 2013- ).

By Paul Gaita

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CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Magic Mike (2012)
2.
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