With her growing popularity it wasn't long before American producers came calling and Braga made her English-language debut playing three roles in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1985), a superb adaptation of Manuel Puig's novel. In the motion picture, the sultry performer was cast as Raul Julia's girlfriend Marta, a chanteuse, and the mysterious titular character. While co-star William Hurt reaped all the glory (including an Oscar), Braga anchored the film with her enigmatic persona. Her cachet in the USA was solidified by two 1986 guest appearances on the NBC sitcom "The Cosby Show" playing a math teacher recalled by Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby) as a dour "Dragon Lady." (Of course, she's anything but!) Braga further demonstrated her comic gifts as the mistress of a dead Latin American dictator who coaches an impostor being groomed to replace him in the Paul Mazursky-directed "Moon Over Parador" (1988). That year, she also portrayed the temperamental garage owner fighting development in a small New Mexico town in "The Milagro Beanfield War." Braga and frequent co-star Raul Julia were teamed as German criminals in the Clint Eastwood vehicle "The Rookie" (1990) but the pair fared much better in the HBO biopic "The Burning Season" (1994). Having spent more than a decade appearing in English-language features and TV projects, Braga returned to her native land to produce and star in "Tieta do Agreste/Tieta" (1996), based on a novel by Jorge Amado (as was "Dona Flor") and directed by the great Carlos Diegues. In one of those ironic moments, the film's plot mirror reality as Braga was cast as a wealthy, mature but still sexy woman returning to Brazil after years of living abroad. Securing the film rights, the actress had to wait several years to see the project to fruition, in part because of a small screen adaptation. For her, though, it was worth the wait, as Braga delivered a superb leading performance.Although she unsuccessfully attempted to find success on American TV as co-star with Ann-Margret in the short-lived CBS serial "Four Corners" (1998), Braga has continued to find show parts in the USA. She was arguably well-cast as the sexy queen of the undead in the direct-to-video "From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter" (2000) and made impressions as Jennifer Lopez's mother in "Angel Eyes" (2001), the loyal wife of a jurist accused of murder in "Steve Martini's The Judge" (NBC, 2001), and the lesbian lover of Kim Cattrall's sexually voracious Samantha Jones on HBO's "Sex and the City" in a handful of 2001 episodes.