About Betsy Brandt
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).
By Paul Gaita