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Betsy Brandt

Betsy Brandt

Actress | Marie on 'Breaking Bad' | Class of 1996

Long before she played Marie the kleptomaniac on all five seasons of the highest-rated show in TV history, “Breaking Bad” alum Betsy Brandt practically lived at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

“At times, I pretty much only went home to sleep. Thank God there are two restaurants on the premises,” says Brandt, who found it inspiring that the same architect who designed New York’s famed Avery Fisher Hall — Max Abramovitz — also sketched out Krannert.

“The Krannert Center is an absolutely exquisite building. My experience there is part of the reason that I am the actor, and the human, that I am today.”

Brandt isn’t the only Illini in her family. The Class of 1996 BFA/acting grad, who played Heather on CBS’ “Life in Pieces” from 2015-19, is married to 1995 UI engineering alum Grady Olsen, director of presales at OpenText. 

In 2014, Brandt was among the “Breaking Bad” actors honored for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.