Born in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on the 15th May, Brenda was raised in Portland. She started her stage career in Oregon at the age of 15, in a production of "Years Ago" at the Sunset Theater, Portland, followed by appearances in "Joan of Arc", "The Children's Hour", "The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf". Brenda left Oregon at the age of eighteen, and went on to study for three years at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. Her first screen appearance was in "Last Resort" in 1986.
Brenda has appeared in numerous film and TV shows since then. She made her New York off-Broadway debut in "Girl Gone" in 1995, to rave reviews.
Brenda continues to live and work in Los Angeles, however her career has taken her all over the United States, and also abroad.
Autographed photos of Brenda are available.
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See a listing of where and when you can see Brenda on TV this month (US TV only).
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Hot Rush(short film - 2002)
This 15 minute short film is a spoof on Hollywood. Brenda has a cameo role. A young production assistant is picked on by the assistant to a high-ranking movie producer. The tables turn however, as the assistant to the producer ends up as a used car salesman, while the young production assistant becomes a creative executive.
See this movie online, on www.ifilm.com.
Leave No Trace(2002)
Four old college friends get together for a friendly re-union, which turns sour. Originally planned as a camping trip, old feelings re-surface and the excursion does not go as planned. Brenda plays Victoria Blake, one of the four friends.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation(TV Series - 2001)
Guest spot in "Burked", ep #24.
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" follows a group of forensic investigators and their work. In this episode, a known drug addict is found dead, and the regular characters are suspicious that his death was not accidental.
Brenda plays Bonnie, the wife of one of the characters originally suspected of the murder. Bonnie goes to provide the bail money for her husband, only to bump into his mistress at the police station.
Popular(TV Series - 2000)
Guest spot in "It's Greek to Me", ep #37.
"Popular" is about a group of sophomore high school students. Brenda plays Shaggy Louise Grout, the birth mother of Nicole, one of the students.
Inside Info:Brenda's favourite scene gave her character depth, reason, emotion and subsequently humour. It was the scene she auditioned with and it took four hours to film. The scene was totally cut in the version that aired.
Dark Angel(TV Series - 2000)
Guest spot in "Female Trouble".
Max (Jessica Alba) is an escaped genetically enhanced superhuman searching for others of her own kind. She teams up with Logan, an idealistic cyber-journalist.
When Logan seeks medical help from Dr Adriana Vertes (Brenda Bakke), an ex Manticore doctor, to get him out of his wheelchair, they need to fight other Manticore doctors who are out to stop them.
Currently under production in Arizona, Brenda co-stars in the feature "Groom Lake", which is being written, directed and starred in by William Shatner.
Groom Lake is an actual dry lake in Nevada. It is officially used by the US government for testing classified aircraft, known as Area 51. Rumours abound of UFO landings and government cover-ups, much like Roswell.
Starring Brenda with Jennifer Jason Leigh and Dean Stockwell.
"Moving August" stars Brenda as Ginny Forster. A young photographer is moving out of his apartment to move in with his girlfriend. On the day he moves, he meets the lady moving in and immediately falls in love with her. This movie follows his day, while he decides what to do.
Ryan Caulfield: Year One(TV Series - 1999)
Also known as "The Badland", this TV series stars Sean Maher as a 19 year old rookie cop. Brenda plays Rachel Caulfield. Filmed in Los Angeles, the story is set in Philadelphia.
Four episodes were made, which began airing in October 1999 on Fox. Unfortunately the series was cancelled after only two episodes were shown.
Charmed(TV Series - 1999)
Guest spot in 'Power of Two' episode in this Warner Brothers TV series about three witch sisters, starring Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano, and Holly Marie Combs.
The ghost of a murderer sets out to seek revenge on those people who had a part in his conviction. Brenda plays a bad witch - an ally of the ghost, who wants the three sisters dead.
Jon Voight stars in this sometimes violent thriller as a well-known member of Chicago's criminal fraternity whose job has always been to 'fix' problems, even murder. After a brush with death, he realises his life of crime must come to an end, and he vows to turn over his corrupt associates to the police.
Brenda Bakke stars as CJ, his wife. Whilst younger than her husband, she appears to genuinely love him, until his control over the city is threatened, and his power starts to diminish.
"The Fixer" also stars Brent Jennings, who played Yancy Lydon in "American Gothic", in the episode entitled 'The Buck Stops Here'.
Shot on location in Ontario, Toronto and Chicago, this gripping drama does keep your attention, until its rather predictable climax.
Warm Texas Rain(1998)
Erotic thriller. "Warm Texas Rain" re-unites Brenda with her "Starquest" co-star, Steven Bauer.
Rush, a young ex-marine (Bauer), is manipulated into committing a crime of passion by a wealthy businessman's wife. Brenda stars as Kim, the sister of the woman who is the seemingly innocent victim of her husband's dodgy dealings. But all is not as straightforward as it first appears. Also starring Frankie Thorn as Lisa, Kim's sister.
L. A. Confidential(1997)
Playing Lana Turner, Brenda Bakke has only one scene in this movie, but it is the funniest. Set in 1940's Hollywood, where hookers are sculpted to look like famous film stars, Lana Turner is mistaken for a hooker by the local police. Her reaction is to throw her martini in his face!
A clip from Brenda's scene was shown at the 1997 Oscar ceremony.
Brenda attended the Screen Actor's Guild Film and TV Awards, nominated for Best Ensemble Award. The Full Monty won that category.
A US Treasury Agent crosses his fellow agents who are involved with gun-running. He winds up in the company of a Greek mafia chief, and embarks on an affair with his wife.
The movie also stars Charles Durning, Costas Mandylor and Peter Onorati.
Based on a short story by Stephen King, Trucks is the tale of a small group of people, near a secluded Air Force base, who become terrorized by homicidal trucks without drivers. The trucks trap the humans in a diner, and kill anyone who dares to try and escape.
After a promising start, Trucks hurtles rapidly downhill. If you like movies with no ending - this is the one for you! The actors struggle valiantly with very little plot to go on. Brenda plays Hope, the owner of a guest house relying on the curiosity of tourists eager to see the Air Force base amid its rumours of alien visitations.
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Edna Buchanan's Nobody Lives Forever(1996)
This movie is entitled Criminal Intent in the UK. It was filmed in Canada in March 1996, just a few weeks after filming on American Gothic was completed.
Brenda Bakke plays Laurel, a woman who returns to her home town to see her dying mother. She has a relationship with a local homicide cop, whom she knows from childhood. This throws him into a love triangle with his female partner. As the death toll rises, the integrity of his partner is called into question. Amidst all the confusion, Laurel is never far behind. Although Laurel starts the movie as a very Selena-like character, she certainly does not end up that way.
The American Gothic link isn't just through one cast member though. The music has similar overtones, Brenda has a scene in a swimming pool, she handcuffs her boyfriend, she is witnessed kissing her boyfriend through a window, and the pool hall scene begged for "rack your balls?" to be mentioned!
American Gothic(TV series - 1995)
Brenda Bakke plays sultry schoolteacher by day, seductress by night, Selena Coombs in "American Gothic". Sometime partner of Lucas Buck, she is used and abused, but still goes back for more. The character of Selena could easily have become two-dimensional in the hands of a less skilled actress, but Brenda gives Selena a power and depth unrivalled in roles of this type.
However, as much as he pretends not to, he needs her as much as she needs him. When he's in trouble, it is always Selena he turns to. Although Selena also tries to deny it, she is completely in love with Lucas. She makes herself indispensable to him. Despite various threats of murder, on both sides, the two characters cannot live without each other.
Selena is the strongest female character in the show. She does seem very hard and unfeeling at first, but Brenda shows Selena's duality to perfection, principally in the episode 'Potato Boy'. In this episode, it becomes obvious that Selena has many hidden hurts, and her despair is played to heartbreaking effect.
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory(1995)
Brenda Bakke plays Captain Gilda, a government scientist. Upon the successful launch of a government owned satellite weapons system, two captains embark on an illicit weekend away, on board a train. The train is hijacked by the inventor of the system, played by Eric Bogosian, who has previously faked his own death. He gains control of the satellite, with the purpose of blackmailing the authorities.
While taking a major part of the action while she is on screen, Gilda comes to a sticky end all too quickly. After a promising start, the movie's credibility goes downhill from there on. We are left with Steven Segal performing numerous unbelievable stunts and escapades in order to save the world.
Brenda utters the funniest line in the movie. While in the throes of passion, the train the two captains are aboard hits its brakes following gunfire. Gilda's partner asks, "What was that?" to which Gilda replies "It's called an orgasm".
Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight(1995)
A mysterious man arrives at a hotel searching for a key in the possession of one of the residents. The key could be used to unleash Hell on Earth. In this tale of good versus evil, Brenda Bakke plays Cordelia, a prostitute, resident in the hotel. She is seduced by the man and becomes possessed , killing others, prior to befalling the same fate herself.
This movie only succeeds because it doesn't take itself seriously. All the actors play their roles with a dark sense of humour. Although there are a few questionable moments, all in all this movie is highly enjoyable.
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Also known as Terminal Voyage in the UK.
Brenda Bakke plays a Russian engineer, Zinovitz, who, along with her fellow astronauts, awakes after a 100-year hibernation to find that the captain is dead and the earth has been destroyed in a nuclear war. The remaining astronauts set on a journey through space, while one by one, they are murdered. Zinovitz begins to become suspicious about their current commander, and leads a mutiny.
One of the strongest scenes in this movie is the dialogue between the mutinous crew. It is filmed in one continuous shot, with the camera circling the actors. Brenda is in complete control of the pace throughout the entire scene, with the other actors just following her lead. Amidst a bounty of dodgy accents, Brenda provides one of the few solid performances in this film.
Set and filmed in South America, this is an extremely violent thriller, with many thrilling helicopter rides, shoot-outs, etc.
Millions of dollars are hidden on a boat, and the brother of the man who hid them, a DEA agent, and a drug boss are all looking for the boat. The drugs lord sends his employee to find it, who eventually double-crosses his boss. Brenda Bakke plays Maria, his girlfriend.
Ned Blessing: The Story of My Life and Times(TV series - 1993)
Ned Blessing, while awaiting his execution in jail, writes an account of his life's experiences.
Hot Shots! Part Deux(1993)
As a hilarious sequel to "Hot Shots", Part Deux also pokes fun at a variety of movies, including Rambo, Basic Instinct, and Lady and the Tramp. Brenda Bakke is featured extensively as Michelle Rodham Huddleston, a CIA agent assigned to direct a mission to "go in to get the men, who went in to get the men, who went in to get the men".
As with many movies of this type, Part Deux is played straight, with much of the humour happening in the background.
Brenda proves that she is more than capable of playing comedy roles as well as serious, keeping a straight face in scenes where lesser actors may fail.
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Also known as Danielle Steel's 'Secrets' this is a movie based on the book of the same name.
Brenda Bakke plays a small, but effective role as the drug addict wife of a leading actor on a TV soap.
In this independently produced film about the complexity of relationships, Brenda Bakke plays Allison McKenzie, the daughter of rich parents, who is desperately searching for something to fill a void in her life. After a whirlwind romance, Allison finds herself married to an artist, played by Nick Cassavetes, a marriage neither of them can remember. They divorce immediately. Upon celebrating their divorce, Allison discovers she is pregnant, and they decide to live together, purely for the sake of baby, with no demands upon each other. As emotions get the better of them, both partners lie and deceive to satisfy their own needs.
In an extremely strong and emotive role, Brenda shines. In one particularly heartbreaking scene, Allison is distraught having visited her brother's grave for the first time. This brilliantly displays how throughout the whole of her life, Allison has been trying to prove herself to her parents.
Stolen: One Husband(1990)
Also known as 'I Want Him Back' in the UK.
A middle-aged married man suffers a mid-life crisis and leaves his wife for a younger woman. Brenda Bakke plays Sam, the journalist with whom he has an affair.
A light-hearted movie where the cast seem to know that they're playing for laughs, there are several points when many characters lose their credibility. Not so for Sam. Widely seen as the villain of the piece, Sam is the one who suffers the most at the end.
Also known as 'Witch Bitch'.
A series of grisly murders besets a health spa, in which the spirit of the owner's dead wife stalks his clients.
Also known as 'Starfire'.
A huge solar flare threatens the earth's existence. A band of astronauts are despatched to divert its path.
Also known as Ganheddo. In this cult Japanese film, based on comic book characters, Brenda Bakke plays Sergeant Nim, a heavily armoured bounty hunter stranded on a computerised, robot-ruled island.
Dubbed from Japanese into English, Brenda is the only actor whose voice matches the movements of her mouth. This seems to beg the question, how did she know when to say her lines, if all her fellow actors were talking in Japanese?
A soap star and playboy meets and falls in love with a beautiful cover girl. She leaves him after he continues his old ways. He sets out to win her back, along with his lost fame and fortune.
The Young Riders(1989)
Guest spot, playing Alice in the episode 'The Peacemakers'.
Nowhere to Run(1989)
In 1960, in a small Texas town, six high school seniors have inside information on a forthcoming election. In deciding what to do, they must make their own journey into adulthood.
A Father's Homecoming(1988)
Brenda Bakke plays a Swedish nurse.
Members of a video dating club are consecutively being murdered.
Also known as 'A Puno Limpio'. A man is forced into the world of bare fisted fist fighting to avenge the death of a friend.
A researcher unexpectedly finds information which could implicate the CIA in illegal activities. When he is pursued, he and his girlfriend flee to Africa.
High Mountain Rangers(1987)
Brenda Bakke plays a Russian downhill racer.
An ex CIA agent comes up in opposition against an entire town, with an arsenal of weapons.
Star Trek: The Next Generation(1987)
Guest spot playing Rivan in episode 'Justice'. The Enterprise crew beam down to a planet where love seems to be the primary concern. Life on this planet seems idyllic, until a law is broken. The penalty is death.
Rivan shows Captain Picard the pleasures of her planet, and she meets her 'God' in the process.
In this comedy movie about a movie, Brenda Bakke plays Morgan, the blonde bimbo fiancée of the leading actor of a film being shot in Greece. Amidst the usual romps in the sun, Brenda provides light-hearted relief with her screeching laughter. While playing it straight, she wonderfully sends up the whole genre.
A 'fun in the sun' romp, set on a tropical island.
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This page was last updated 9th December 2002.
My thanks go to a wide variety of sources of information for plot lines, however any opinions on performances and production are purely personal. Copyright of all photographs used belongs to the studios and production companies involved.