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The youngest of three children, she was born in Dublin, Ireland. Her mother, Joan, was a beauty therapist, and her father, Patrick, worked in the property business and farmed. Doody attended Mount Anville Secondary School.
Approached by a photographer, Doody took up modelling, which turned into a career in commercial modelling as she stringently avoided glamour and nude work—a clause which she extended to her acting career.
She came to the attention of the casting director of a new James Bond film and accepted a part as Jenny Flex in 1985's A View to a Kill. Doody was listed as one of 12 "Promising New Actors of 1986" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 38.
Still only 18 when she appeared as Jenny Flex, she was - and remains - the youngest Bond girl ever.
She then had a non-speaking role in the 1987 television adaptation of The Secret Garden with Derek Jacobi appearing as Archibald Craven's wife, Lilias, in his dream.
Her next role was playing the lead in Jim Henson's The Storyteller as Sapsorrow opposite John Hurt, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.
Taking up acting professionally, Doody appeared in various television dramas in London including Selling Hitler, playing Gina Heidemann opposite Jonathan Pryce.
One of her first movie roles was playing the part of Siobhan Donovan alongside Liam Neeson in the movie A Prayer for the Dying with Mickey Rourke.
She also played opposite Pierce Brosnan in the film Taffin before taking the role as Austrian Nazi-sympathiser and archaeologist Dr. Elsa Schneider in 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade playing opposite Harrison Ford.
She subsequently relocated to Hollywood.Chosen to replace Cybill Shepherd as spokeswoman for L'Oréal, she then went on to play opposite Charlie Sheen in Major League II as Flannery, his girlfriend/agent.
Doody returned to acting with a small role in the British comedy movie The Actors with Michael Caine, in which she played herself in an award ceremony scene.
She played alongside Patrick Swayze in a television movie adaptation of King Solomon's Mines and also starred in a short called Benjamin's Struggle (2005), a pamphlet about the Holocaust, and in the British TV series Waking the Dead (in a two-part episode called "The Fall") in 2007.
In 2010, Doody shot a part in the latest Danny Dyer film, called The Rapture. She later currently guest starred in RTÉ's medical drama The Clinic.
She had a starring role in the 2011 remake of the 1970s horror cult classic The Asphyx.
In 2011 she joined E4 comedy drama Beaver Falls, as Pam Jefferson.