Orla Brady (born 28 March 1961) is an Irish theatre, television, and film actress born in Dublin. She has been nominated for several awards from the Irish Film & Television Academy for her work in televised programs, as well as starring in the RTÉ-BBC co-production A Love Divided, for which she won the 1999 Golden Nymph Best Actress Award. She began her career with the Balloonatics Theatre Company as a touring performer, later gaining her first television work in a minor role in the series Minder in 1993. Her first role in film was in Words Upon the Window Pane in 1994. Brady later appeared in recurring roles in a number of US and UK series and in two supporting character roles in the CBS-Paramount+ series, Star Trek: Picard. Brady appeared in the 2020 list of Ireland's greatest film actors, published by The Irish Times.

Orla Brady
Born (1961-03-28) 28 March 1961 (age 62)
Dublin, Ireland
OccupationActress
Years active1991–present
Spouse
(m. 2002)

Early life and education edit

Orla Brady was born in Dublin,[1] the daughter of Catherine and Patrick Brady,[citation needed] one of four children. At one time, her parents were the owners of an establishment called Oak Bar, in Temple Bar, Dublin.[2] She lived in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, from birth until the age of seven.[3][2] She was educated at a Sisters of Loreto convent in Wicklow,[citation needed] and a convent of the Ursulines in Dublin.[2]

Brady began training in performance in 1986, with a year in Paris;[1] she studied at L'École Philippe Gaulier,[4] and secured a place at Marcel Marceau's École Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris.[5] As she spoke of the time in interview, "there was a lot of clowning around, buffoonery and fencing. It was then that my own style kind of blossomed."[1]

Career edit

Brady developed a career in theatre, television and film, based in both the Irish and British industries. She began her career touring with Balloonatics Theatre Company,[6] in productions of Hamlet and Finnegans Wake.[7] Returning to Dublin after studying in Paris, she performed the role of Adela in House of Bernarda Alba in 1989[8] and Natasha in a 1990 production of Three Sisters, both at the Gate Theatre.[9] 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.[7] Brady performed as Ghislane in Stephen Poliakoff's Blinded by the Sun, staged at the Royal National Theatre in England in 1996.[1][10]

Brady's first television work came in 1993 with a minor role as a bank clerk in the series Minder; her first film part followed in 1994 when she was cast as Vanessa in Words Upon the Window Pane.[6][11][12]

Substantial roles have included the RTÉ-BBC co-production of A Love Divided where she portrayed Sheila Cloney, a woman whose conflict with the Catholic Church over her child's education leads to an anti-Protestant boycott, a story based on real events in 1950s Fethard-on-Sea in County Wexford,[13] for which she won the 1999 Golden Nymph Best Actress Award.[6][14] She also played one of the four lead characters in the BBC drama series, Mistresses, portraying lawyer Siobhan Dillon. 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).[7]

Since moving to California in 2001, Brady has also appeared in Family Law, where she played Naoise O'Niell, a series that ran for 3 years on CBS. She also starred in Nip/Tuck, a US drama about plastic surgeons (in which she played Dr. Jordan), and starred in Shark as Claire Stark, the ex-wife of James Woods' character.[citation needed] In 2008, she appeared in "Firewall", the second episode of the BBC series Wallander.[15] She also appeared as Meredith Gates, a fleecing art collector who herself is conned in the first series of the British series Hustle.[citation needed] Commencing in 2009, Brady portrayed Elizabeth Bishop, the wife of Walter Bishop and the mother of Peter Bishop in the Fox television series Fringe.[16][6] In 2010, she appeared in the TV series The Deep alongside James Nesbitt, wherein she played Catherine, and starred in the TV series Strike Back as Katie Dartmouth.[7]

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, and played Taryn in the Sky One series Sinbad.[17] 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.[18] Brady appeared in a special production in the BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who,[6] the 25 December 2013 Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor (as the character Tasha Lem).[19] In 2014, she filmed Banished, playing Anne Meredith.[20]

In addition to other independent film roles, Brady appeared as architect Eileen Gray in Irish director Mary McGuckian's The Price of Desire, which was in festivals in 2016 (and found a digital distributor in 2020).[6] From 2017 to 2019, she had a main role in the AMC martial arts drama series Into the Badlands as Lydia.[7] Brady had a recurring role in a season of the American Horror Story franchise,[6] portraying Dr. Hopple in American Horror Story: 1984, the ninth season of the FX horror anthology television series.[7]

As of 2022, Brady has had a recurring role in the science fiction television series, Star Trek: Picard — as Laris, wife of the now-deceased Zhaban (Jamie McShane), the two being former members of the Romulan Tal Shiar and now, workers in the wine production and home of Picard at his Chateau.[21][22]

Modelling images used in artwork edit

In the 1980s, while she was in her mid-20s, Brady modelled for an artists' guide publication. She recalled in 2008 that the studio shoot had paid about £50 for her day's work, at a time when she welcomed the income, with her acting career yet to take off.[23] Photographed in a number of dancing poses, the resulting series of figure studies featuring Brady appeared in the Illustrator's Figure Reference Manual.[a] More than 25 years later, it was noted that one of these images of Brady, posing as part of a dancing couple, was the basis of the main figures in a widely-known painting, The Singing Butler, by artist Jack Vettriano. As stated by Vettriano in 2013, Brady's image had "later inspired [his] most famous painting, The Singing Butler". The identification of the pose study in the Illustrator's Manual with Vettriano's painting led to media reporting that he "owed his composition in part" to that publication. Vettriano, his agent, and Brady herself, have all stated that his work makes use of the image in a way that adheres to norms of artistic practice and was in line with the publisher's intent.[25][26][b]

Awards and recognition edit

Brady has been nominated for several awards from the Irish Film & Television Academy for her work.[6] She won the 1999 Golden Nymph Award for Best Actress for her starring role as Sheila Cloney in the RTÉ-BBC co-production, A Love Divided at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.[14] In 2020, Brady was listed as number 43 on The Irish Times list of Ireland's 50 greatest film actors.[27]

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. A Georgian flat is her Dublin home when in the city.[28] She has discussed in interviews that she originally left Ireland as she found it "a repressive place to be a woman" at the time, with little opportunity.[2][5] The 2015 marriage equality and 2018 abortion referendums, as well as the expanding Irish industry, changed her mind, making her realise "Oh, this is a different Ireland and it accepts me now."[4] Brady had a "Catholic upbringing", but as of 2002 considered herself an atheist.[29]

Filmography edit

Film edit

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 [30][31]
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
2019 A Girl from Mogadishu Emer Costello
2019 Rose Plays Julie Ellen
2022 The Other Me Marina
2023 Freud's Last Session Janie Moore

Television edit

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Minder Bank Teller Episode: "Opportunity Knocks and Bruises"
1994 The Bill Amy Episode: "No Job for an Amateur"
1994 Absolutely Fabulous Nurse Mary Episode: "Hospital"
1994 The Rector's Wife Sister Josephine Episode: "1.2"
1995 Dangerfield Diane Foster 2 episodes
1995 New Voices Ruby Episode: "The Treasure of Zavimbi"
1995 Casualty Wendy Episode: "Outside Bulawayo"
1995–1996 Out of the Blue D.S. Rebecca "Becky" Bennett 12 episodes
1996 Pie in the Sky Kit Kelly de Goris Episode: "Irish Stew"
1996 The Vicar of Dibley Aoife[32] Episode: "The Christmas Lunch Incident"
1997 The Heart Surgeon Marcella Duggan Television film
1997 Noah's Ark Clare Somers 9 episodes
1998 Wuthering Heights Cathy Television film
1999 Pure Wickedness Jenny Meadows 4 episodes
1999 The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns Kathleen Fitzpatrick Television movie
2000–2002 Family Law Naoise O'Neill 43 episodes
2003 Servants Flora Ryan 6 episodes
2003 The Debt Angela Jahnsen Television movie
2003 Chris Ryan's Strike Back Katie Dartmouth 2 episodes
2004 Hustle Meredith Gates Episode: "Picture Perfect"
2004 Nip/Tuck Dr. Monica Jordan Episode: "Christian Troy"
2004 Lawless Liz Bird Television movie
2004–2005 Proof Maureen Boland 8 episodes
2005 Revelations Nora Webber 6 episodes
2005 Empire Atia 2 episodes
2005 World of Trouble Joan Denny Television movie
2006 Sixty Minute Man Kate Henderson Television movie
2006 Jesse Stone: Death in Paradise Lilly Summers Television movie
2007 Protect and Serve Dr. Lorna Herrera Television movie
2007–2008 Shark Claire Stark 4 episodes
2008 Wallander Ella Lindfeldt Episode: "Firewall"
2008–2010 Mistresses Siobhan Dillon 16 episodes
2010 The Deep Catherine Donnelly 5 episodes
2010–2012 Fringe Elizabeth Bishop 5 episodes
2012 Sinbad Taryn 9 episodes
2012 Eternal Law Mrs. Sheringham 6 episodes
2013 Jo Beatrice Dormont 8 episodes
2013 Agatha Christie's Poirot Countess Rossakoff Episode: "The Labours of Hercules"
2013 Doctor Who Tasha Lem Episode: "The Time of the Doctor"
2015 Banished Anne Meredith 7 episodes
2015 American Odyssey Sofia Tsaldari 9 episodes
2015–2019 Into the Badlands Lydia 25 episodes
2018 Collateral Phoebe Dyson 3 episodes
2019 American Horror Story: 1984 Dr. Karen Hopple 4 episodes
2020–2023 Star Trek: Picard Laris / Tallinn 11 episodes
2020 The South Westerlies Kate Ryan 6 episodes
2022 Death in Paradise Maggie Harper Episode: "11.8"

Notes edit

  1. ^ This publication is: Illustrator's Figure Reference Manual. London: Bloomsbury. 1987 ISBN 978-0-74750-008-7.[24]
  2. ^ The Guardian article attributes the source of certain figures in Vettriano's paintings to the Illustrator's Manual, but it does not mention Brady as the model for the manual's illustration.[26] The news item on the Jack Vettriano Website does explicitly name Brady as the model photographed in the dancing couple reference illustration, used by Vettriano as the source for the figures in his The Singing Butler, and other paintings,[25] as does The Courier of Dundee's summary of Brady's 2008 Daily Mirror interview.[23]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Philby, Charlotte (5 January 2008). "How Do I Look?: Orla Brady, actress, 46". The Independent. Interview with Orla Brady. Archived from the original on 24 May 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2008. Orla Brady was born in Dublin on 28 March 1961. She trained in Performing Arts in Paris, before starting her professional career in Blinded by the Sun at the National Theatre. Currently based in Los Angeles, she is a regular in US drama series World of Trouble and NBCs Revelations. Other television credits include Nip/Tuck, Proof, Absolutely Fabulous and Lawless. She is currently filming American legal drama Shark and stars in Mistresses on BBC1 this month. She lives with her husband and they divide their time between LA, Dublin and London."
    [In the interview, Brady is quoted as saying]: "I went to Paris for a year in 1986 to study theatre; there was a lot of clowning around, buffoonery and fencing. It was then that my own style kind of blossomed ...
  2. ^ a b c d Armstrong, Maggie (3 April 2016). "Gray matters: Actress Orla Brady on playing Irish designer Eileen Gray". Irish Independent.
  3. ^ O'Callaghan, Miriam (12 January 2014). "Interview with Orla Brady". Sunday with Miriam. Dublin: Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ Radio 1.
  4. ^ a b Clarke, Donald (15 September 2021). "Orla Brady: 'I felt Ireland was a very repressive place to be a woman'". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 27 October 2023. Retrieved 1 May 2023. When Brady left the nation – first for Paris, where she trained at École Philippe Gaulier – work was thinner on the ground.
  5. ^ a b Brady, Tara (30 May 2016). "Orla Brady: from Dublin to Hollywood to kicking ass in the Badlands". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 May 2023. Sure, Brady was already well-travelled: she had trained in performing arts at Marcel Marceau's École Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris and later at the L'École Philippe Gaulier in Paris.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Balfour, Brad (11 June 2020). "Actor Orla Brady Brings Masterful Architect Eileen Gray to Life Through The Price Of Desire — Director Mary McGuckian's Re-Issued Film". The Irish Examiner. Interview with Orla Brady. Retrieved 25 February 2023. The Dublin-born Brady has been nominated for several awards from the Irish Film & Television Academy as well as starring in A Love Divided for which she won the 1999 Golden Nymph Best Actress Award. Her career began by touring with the Balloonatics Theatre Company; later she was cast in a minor TV role in 1993. In '94, Brady got her first film part; over the years she has worked with McGuckian and other indie films, but lately she's landed roles (some recurring) in a number of genre US and UK series such as Fringe and American Horror Story as well as being in a Doctor Who special. And most recently she was in Star Trek: Picard.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Orla Brady: Academy member". The Irish Film & Television Academy. 2022. Archived from the original on 25 February 2023.
  8. ^ "The House of Bernarda Alba". Playography Ireland. Irish Theatre Institute. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  9. ^ "Three Sisters". Playography Ireland. Irish Theatre Institute. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  10. ^ Wolf, Matt (23 September 1996). "Review: Blinded by the Sun". Variety.com. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  11. ^ "Orla Brady". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  12. ^ "Words Upon the Window Pane (1994), Directed by Mary McGuckian". AllMovie.com. Goshen, NY: Netaktion LLC. 23 September 1996. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  13. ^ Hunter, Stephen (21 September 2001). "A Love Divided: In Ireland, The Zeal of Disapproval". Washington Post.
  14. ^ a b "Brits strike gold at Monte Carlo". Broadcast Now. London: Media Business Insight Limited. 1 March 2000. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  15. ^ "BBC One Programmes: Wallander | 'Firewall'". BBC. 30 November 2008. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 30 November 2008.
  16. ^ "Meet Mrs. Bishop: Orla Brady Joins Fringe". TV.com. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Robinson, Jennifer (9 December 2014). "Agatha Christie's Poirot: Season 13". KPBS Public Media. Archived from the original on 16 December 2023.
  19. ^ "Watch: Irish actress Orla Brady makes her Doctor Who debut in 'Time of the Doctor' trailer". Entertainment.ie. 11 December 2013. Archived from the original on 15 December 2023.
  20. ^ "Banished - Cast & Characters". BBC Two. BBC. Archived from the original on 11 October 2023.
  21. ^ Donaldson, Mark (24 December 2022). "Every Picard TNG Love Interest (Before Laris)". Screen Rant. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  22. ^ Parker, Ryan (4 April 2022). "Picard Star Orla Brady Credits Character's Total Sense of Self to 'Reasonably Rare' Female Director". HollywoodReporter.com. Retrieved 25 February 2023. Brady was thrilled to learn that she would return for the second season of the Paramount+ series in a double role as both Jean-Luc's (Patrick Stewart) love interest, Laris, and also as a new character, Tallinn, a mysterious figure who serves as a guide to Picard in the 21st century.
  23. ^ a b Brown, Kate (7 February 2023). "The scandal and success behind Fife artist Jack Vettriano's The Singing Butler". The Courier. Orla later told Mail Online: 'I didn't know about the picture's existence until someone asked me about it a few years ago. As soon as I saw it, it was obvious it was me. I didn't find it weird. The book was designed for artists who couldn't afford life models – and he'd used it as it was intended.'
  24. ^ Hince, Peter (1987). Illustrator's Figure Reference Manual. Contributions by Mick Dunn, Dick Hatfield; photography by Peter Hince. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-74750-008-7. OCLC 18256305.
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^ a b Jones, Sam (4 October 2005). "Vettriano brought to book by illustrator's manual". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  27. ^ Clarke, Donald; Brady, Tara (13 June 2020). "The 50 greatest Irish film actors of all time – in order". The Irish Times. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  28. ^ O'Doherty, Cara (4 October 2020). "Orla Brady interview: 'I would see certain people walking in the door and blanching'". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 4 October 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  29. ^ Allen Smith, Warren (2002). Celebrities in Hell: A Guide to Hollywood's Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Free Thinkers, and More. Barricade Books Inc. p. 130. ISBN 1-56980-214-9. Brady had a Catholic upbringing but now considers herself an atheist
  30. ^ French, Philip (15 February 2004). "If it's bad in Afghanistan, it's abysmal in Hollywood". The Observer.
  31. ^ Brady, Tara; Clarke, Donald (2 May 2020). "The 50 best Irish films ever made, in order". The Irish Times.
  32. ^ "BBC One London Schedule, Wed 25th Dec 1996, 22:00 Regional Variations – The Vicar of Dibley, 'The Christmas Lunch Incident': Contributors". BBC Programme Index | Genome. BBC. December 1996.

Further reading edit

External links edit