Fernandez was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta and requires the use of a wheelchair. Her acting career began in 1992 when she starred as Vanessa Lockhead in the short-lived BBC soap opera Eldorado. She went on to play Sean Maguire's girlfriend in BBC1 drama Dangerfield before landing the role of Brenda in The Office.
Fernandez is a prominent disability rights activist in the United Kingdom and has supported campaigns for the Disability Rights Commission. She set up The Disability Foundation, a British pan-disability charity boasting one of the largest disability information databases in the UK. In January 2003, she co-hosted the opening ceremony for the European Year of People with Disabilities in Athens.
In 2004, Fernandez formed a television production company called The Wheelie Good Company and spent the time since working on new programme ideas. The company was set up by Fernandez to improve the representation of disabled people in the media but no longer focus on disability-related material.
She appeared as a regular guest on the quiz show HeadJam.
From `the Office' to the High Street: Brenda's Wheelchair Odyssey ; Actress Julie Fernandez Was Used to Being Patronised by David Brent in the Name of Comedy. but Have New Laws Made a Difference to Her Real Life?
Oct 03, 2004; Outside her local Threshers, Julie Fernandez has come up against a small problem. It's small in that it's only about 3ins high....
THE OFFICE GIRL; to David Brent in TV's Comedy the Office She's Just a 'Funny Little Thing'. but the Real Story of Julie Fernandez, Who Has Broken More Than 100 Bones in Her Lifetime, Is One of Triumph over Incredible Adversity
Oct 22, 2002; Byline: NATASHA COURTENAY-SMITH ACTRESS Julie Fernandez, 28, lives in Essex with her mother Brigitte, who is her fulltime support...