Brandt was born in Bay City, Michigan, the daughter of teacher Janet and electrician Gary Brandt. She is of German descent. She graduated from Bay City Western High School in Auburn, Michigan in 1991. 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. After winning the lead in a high school production of Exit the Body, she shifted her focus to acting.
Brandt received her BFA in acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1996. She studied theater at Harvard University's Institute for Advanced Theater Training and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow. After graduation, Brandt moved to Seattle, Washington, where she worked in theater while appearing in several short films, beginning with Confidence in 1998. She eventually moved to Los Angeles.
In theater, Brandt has acted in performances of Much Ado About Nothing with the Arizona Theatre Company, Control+Alt+Delete with the San Jose Repertory Theatre, Beth Henley's Ridiculous Fraud, Julia Cho's The Language Archive with South Coast Repertory, and Next Fall with Geffen Playhouse. She has had guest roles on the television shows Without a Trace, Judging Amy, ER, Boston Legal, The Practice, and NCIS.
From 2008 to 2013, Brandt portrayed Marie Schrader in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad. She auditioned for three different roles before being offered the part of Marie. In 2012, she was cast as Sandy in Parenthood. Brandt was cast as Annie Henry on The Michael J. Fox Show, which premiered in September 2013. Her performance was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Brandt is married to fellow UIUC graduate Grady Olsen; they have two children. She gave birth to her second child in 2008 while the second season of Breaking Bad was in production. Brandt and her family reside in Los Angeles, California.
On June 6, 2010, Brandt was honored as the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus at the Bay City Western High School commencement, and was a featured speaker.
|2001||Memphis Bound and Gagged||The Director|
|2001||The Red Boot Diaries||Rachel||Short film|
|2004||Back When We Were Grownups||Nono||Television film|
|2004||Shelf Life||Nikki Reynolds|
|2005||All Features Great and Small||Jennifer||Short film|
|2011||Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life||Madame Zaleski|
|2013||The Professor||The Professor||Short film|
|2014||Mothers of the Bride||Haley Snow||Television film|
|2016||Claire in Motion||Claire|
|2017||FANatic||Tess Daniels||Television film|
|2017||Flint||LeeAnne Walters||Television film|
|2001||Judging Amy||Elizabeth Granson||Episode: "Imbroglio"|
|2002||JAG||Leslie Rosenbaum||Episode: "The Promised Land"|
|2003||ER||Franny Myers||Episode: "Death and Taxes"|
|2003||Without a Trace||Libby Coulter||2 episodes|
|2003||The Guardian||Sofia Trokey||Episode: "The Intersection"|
|2004||NCIS||PO Barbara Swain||Episode: "The Good Wives Club"|
|2004||The Practice||Lynda Hobbs||Episode: "Adjourned (AKA Cheers)"|
|2005||Medical Investigation||Karen Banks||Episode: "Ice Station"|
|2006||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Dawn Hanson||Episode: "Burn Out"|
|2006||Close to Home||Karen Randall||Episode: "Reasonable Doubts"|
|2007||Boston Legal||Gwen Richards||Episode: "Hope and Gory"|
|2007||Side Order of Life||Sara Rose||Episode: "Aliens"|
|2008–2013||Breaking Bad||Marie Schrader||51 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2011–2012)
|2010||The Whole Truth||Sister Theresa Bendicta||Episode: "Thicker Than Water"|
|2010||Miami Medical||Dana||Episode: "Medicine Man"|
|2011||No Ordinary Family||Dr. Lena Hopkins||Episode: "No Ordinary Double Standard"|
|2011–2012||Private Practice||Joanna Gibbs||2 episodes|
|2012||Fairly Legal||Natalie Roberts||Episode: "Shattered"|
|2013||Body of Proof||Susan Hart||Episode: "Eye for an Eye"|
|2013–2014||The Michael J. Fox Show||Annie Henry||22 episodes|
|2014||Masters of Sex||Barbara||7 episodes|
|2014||Members Only||Leslie Holmes||Pilot|
|2015–present||Life in Pieces||Heather Hughes||Series regular|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Betsy Brandt.|