The iconic series Desperate Housewives exudes a perfect mash-up of comedy and drama. The show has kept its viewers glued to the screen between 2004 and 2012. It is a series that reflects the literal suburban life, which comprises domestic struggles, secrets, crimes, and unwarranted romances, unlike what is often perceived. Brenda Strong narrates the show in her role as Mary Alice Young, one of the housewives and the first main mystery of the show.
About Brenda Strong
Brenda Strong is a 61-year-old American actress, director, and yoga instructor. She was born on the 25th of March 1960 in Portland, Oregon, to Jean and Jack Strong. After growing up in Brightwood, she went to school in Sandy. It was there she graduated high school in 1978 before moving to Arizona to attend college. Subsequently, she graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor of music in musical theatre.
Strong’s career on the screen did not materialize until after college. However, she always belonged to the limelight, having been crowned Miss Arizona in 1980. She first appeared in showbiz in 1984 in Billy Crystal’s music video You Look Marvelous just after college. She made her first television appearance with brief stints on St. Elsewhere, MacGyver, and cheers in 1985.
She made a couple of guest appearances on television before finally making her film debut in the 1986 comedy film Weekend warriors. As a result, she spent the remainder of the decade and early 2000s playing recurrent and guest-starring roles in several drama and comedy films. Strong played the role of the deceased Mary Alice Young on Desperate Housewives between 2004 and 2012.
Her Role in Desperate Housewives
Strong plays the role of the deceased housewife, Mary Alice Young, mostly off-screen in Desperate Housewives. She is the first mystery of the entire series, as her suicide marks the pilot episode’s opening. After her death, she assumes the role of a narrator and catalyst of the show. She shares the secrets of her friends and neighbors from the grave.
Her fictional character Mary Alice Young is portrayed as a kind and loving wife and mother whose generosity towards her family and friends was unmatched. Therefore, none of her friends and neighbors would ever guess that Mary Alice would commit suicide. However, her death gives her the gift of seeing through her friends. But she loves and pities them from her grave.
She is the main focus and the lead storyline for the first two seasons of the series through her husband and son. The first season uncovers the mystery behind her suicide as desperation fueled by Martha’s blackmail to expose her secrets behind her alias, Angela Forrest.
More About Her Character
More unknown details about Mary Alice are revealed in the following seasons through flashbacks, dream sequences, and appearances as a ghost to other characters as she wields her prowess in narration. Her character is portrayed as dark throughout the series and landed her two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Her narration is extraordinary and one of the most memorable bits of the show. Any fan of the show can easily describe how excellent and catchy her narration was throughout the series. Her voice is one of the recognizable television voices. Strong was nominated twice for the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for her narration as Mary Alice.
Strong’s character and voice-over role in Desperate Housewives was warmly received as evidence for the nominations for various accolades and the awards she received. After the show ended in 2012, she retained her recurrent roles and appeared in other films, plays, and narrator stints. She narrates the Investigation Discovery documentary series Blood Relatives to date.
Her personal life
Brenda Strong married Tom Henri, and they have a child together, Zakery Henri, but they, unfortunately, divorced in January 2011. She moved on afterward and married director-actor John Farmanesh-Bocca.
The actress is a certified yoga instructor and a fertility expert. She advocates fertility through yoga and has taught at the Mind/Body Institute of the University of California, Los Angeles. She has empowered couples on their path to parenthood for more than 20 years. The talented woman has also been featured in a couple of health journals such as Alternative Medicine Magazine and Shape Fit Pregnancy.
Apart from health journal features and due recognitions from various health and wellness organizations, Strong won the Best First Time Filmmaker Award for her directorial debut #3 Normandy Lane short film at the GI Film Festival San Diego in 2019.
Brenda Strong has also shown talent in other areas within the entertainment industry. During her tour throughout Italy with composer Beppe Cantarelli, she sang in Latin and Italian as one of his lead solo singers. In addition, she performed with the Millennium Choir at the Vatican.
Desperate Housewives should definitely be on your watch list if you have not watched it yet. Its reception was incredible. The show remains a popular television series that put the excellent Brenda Strong, who played Mary Alice Young, on the map. Strong did several other films, and her fame and breakthrough are attributed to television.