Brenda Strong
General Information
Appeared as: Ann Ewing
Brenda Strong is the actress who plays Ann Ewing on Dallas. Prior to this, she played Cliff's One Night Stand in the first series.

Early Life and CareerEdit

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, and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Music in musical theater. Strong was crowned Miss Arizona in 1980; she is 6'0" (1.83 m) tall.

Her first break after college was a spot in Billy Crystal’s 1984 music video You Look Marvelous. Her first television appearances came 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, and Blossom, and had a brief role on the cult favorite Twin Peaks.

By the mid-1990s 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. She played Captain Deladier in the 1997 science fiction movie Starship Troopers.

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 "Oh Henry!" candy bar heiress, on several episodes of Seinfeld.

She is well known for her recurring role on Sports Night as 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 guest appearances on Ally McBeal, Nip/Tuck, CSI, Malcolm in the Middle, and the short-lived The Lyon’s Den. She also starred on the short-lived series Scorch (1992) and The Help (2004).

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 could 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 costarred in the motion picture trilogy The Work and the Glory, based on a bestselling nine-volume series of the same name by Gerald N. Lund. Strong made an appearance on Boston Legal as a judge presiding over a murder trial in 2008.

Desperate HousewivesEdit

Strong starred, mostly off-screen, on Desperate Housewives, opposite Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, and Teri Hatcher from 2004 to 2012, during the show's run. She plays the deceased Mary Alice Young, who narrates the events of her friends' and neighbors' lives from beyond the grave. Her narrations yielded an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 2011.

Strong's character has narrated all but two episodes of the series. One of the two exceptions is the Season 3 episode narrated by Steven Culp, after his character, Rex Van de Kamp, is killed by George Williams and he observes the live of the men on the street. The other episode is narrated by Nicollette Sheridan, in which her character, Edie Britt, dies.

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 Abbott, a love interest for Brown's widower, during the second season of Everwood.


In 2012, Strong began starring as Ann Ryland Ewing on the TNT original drama series Dallas. The series is a continuation of the original series of the same name that aired on CBS from 1978 to 1991, and is not a reboot. The show premiered on June 13, 2012.

Personal LifeEdit

A certified yoga instructor and fertility expert, Strong has experience teaching at UCLA's Mind/Body Institute. She is working on a book about yoga and the woman's journey.

Strong married Tom Henri in July 1989; they have a child, Zakery Henri. She filed for divorce on January 14, 2011.