Frances Fisher

Frances Fisher Biography

Frances Fisher (born 11 May 1952 in Milford on Sea, Hampshire) is an English-born American actress.

Early life and education

Fisher was born in Milford on Sea, Hampshire, England, the daughter of Olga (née Moen), a housewife, and William I. "Bill" Fisher, Sr., an oil refinery construction superintendent. Before she reached the age of fifteen, she had moved nine times because of her father's job. Upon completing high school in Orange, Texas, where she had performed in theatre productions, she worked as a secretary.


Fisher moved as a young woman to Abingdon, Virginia, where she began her acting career at the Barter Theatre, a year-round repertory theatre. Fisher gained name recognition playing Detective Deborah Saxon on the soap opera The Edge of Night from 1976 to 1981; she later was in the cast of Guiding Light as Suzette Saxon. During the next 10 years, she concentrated on theatre in New York and in regional theatres all over the East Coast. In 1991, Fisher was cast as Lucille Ball in the television film Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter, which aired to strong ratings and good reviews. She has played numerous roles on American television, including parts in the series Strange Luck, Becker, and Titus.

She also played key roles in the recent television drama The Lyon's Den and Glory Days. She was originally cast to play Jill Taylor on the ABC sitcom Home Improvement, but was replaced after initial filming of the pilot episode by Patricia Richardson due to a lack of chemistry with Tim Allen as well as with the studio audience who felt Fisher was too serious in the delivery of her lines. She also had a guest spot on The Young Riders in 1991. Fisher has guest starred as a bartender, Savannah, at "The Lobo" in the first season of Roseanne.

In 1992, she appeared in Unforgiven (1992), an Academy Award winning film directed by Clint Eastwood, who also starred. Her most famous role was in film, as the society matron Ruth DeWitt Bukater, the mother of the character played by Kate Winslet, in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic.

In 1999, Fisher portrayed Audrey Hepburn's mother, Ella Hepburn, in the biographical film of the actress. She had a role in House of Sand and Fog (2003), another Academy Award winner.

She has also returned to theatre; she appeared in Arthur Miller's last play, Finishing the Picture, produced at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and in a 2006 production of The Cherry Orchard at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

In 2004, she apeared in Laws of Attraction as Julianne Moore's mother, even though she is only 8 years older. In 2005, she appeared on the ER episode "Just As I Am," as Helen Kingsley, the long-lost birth mother of Dr. Kerry Weaver, played by Laura Innes, even though Fisher is only five years older.

Fisher worked on four films in 2006, including Peter Berg's The Kingdom, and Paul Haggis' In the Valley of Elah. She also acted in a pilot for NBC/USA entitled To Love and Die. In 2008, she appeared in a guest-starring role on the Sci-Fi Channel television series Eureka, portraying the character Eva Thorne. In 2011, she appeared in Torchwood: Miracle Day.



Year Film Role Notes
1983 Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? Louise
1985 Broken Vows Maureen Phelan TV film
1987 Tough Guys Don't Dance Jessica Pond
1987 Heart Jeannie
1988 Patty Hearst Yolanda
1988 Bum Rap Phyllis
1989 Lost Angels Judith Loftis
1989 Pink Cadillac Dinah
1989 Cold Sassy Tree Loma Williams TV film
1990 Sudie and Simpson Mrs. Marge Allen TV film
1990 A Promise to Keep Sarah TV film
1990 Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael Rochelle Bossetti
1991 L.A. Story June
1991 Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter Lucille Ball TV film
1991 Frame Up Jo Westlake
1992 Unforgiven Strawberry Alice
1992 Devlin Maryellen TV film
1993 Praying Mantis Betty TV film
1993 Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman Dr. Theodora Cushing TV film
1994 Babyfever Rosie
1994 Molly & Gina Molly McKenna
1994 Frame-Up II: The Cover-Up Jo Baker
1995 The Other Mother: A Moment of Truth Movie Carol Schaefer TV film
1995 The Stars Fell on Henrietta Cora Day
1995 The Whiskey Heir Deirdre Short
1996 Female Perversions Annunciata
1996 Striptease Donna Garcia
1997 Do Me a Favor Librarian
1997 Wild America Agnes Stouffer
1997 Titanic Ruth Dewitt Bukater
1999 Traffic TV film
1999 True Crime D.A. Cecilia Nussbaum
1999 The Big Tease Candy
1999 The Audrey Hepburn Story Ella van Heemstra
2000 Gone in 60 Seconds Junie
2000 Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Janet Lee Bouvier Auchincloss TV film
2001 The Rising Place Virginia Wilder
2001 Passion and Prejudice Dr. Gwen Barry TV film
2002 Blue Car Delia
2003 House of Sand and Fog Connie Walsh
2004 Laws of Attraction Sara Miller
2005 Mrs. Harris Marge Richey Jacobson TV film
2006 The Night of the White Pants Vivian Hagan
2007 Sex and Death 101 Hope Hartlight
2007 The Kingdom Elaine Flowers
2007 In the Valley of Elah Evie
2007 My Sexiest Year Faye
2008 Jolene Cindy
2008 A Single Woman Narrator/Suffragist
2008 To Love and Die Janet TV film
2009 The Perfect Game Betty
2010 Backyard Wedding Eleanor Tyler TV film
2010 Janie Jones Lily Brand
2010 Golf in the Kingdom Eve Greene
2011 Partners Colleen Scott TV film
2011 The Roommate Alison Evans
2011 Sedona Tammy
2011 The Lincoln Lawyer Mary Windsor
2012 The Silent Thief Candi Henderson
2012 Any Day Now Judge Meyerson
2012 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 Amelia Jones
2012 The Seven Year Hitch Mrs. Von Hoffman TV film
2012 Pandora's Box Nicole Short
2012 Retribution Betty
2012 The Perfect Fit Overwhelmed Girl's Boss Short
2012 Franny Delores Post-production
2013 The Makeover Allie Doolittle TV film
2013 The Host Maggie
2013 You're Not You Post-production
2013 The Congress Post-production
2013 The M Word Carson Riley Post-production
2013 Plush Post-production
2013 Red Wing Momma B Post-production
2013 The Returned Lucille TV film; filming


Year Film Role Notes
1976 - 1981 The Edge of Night Detective Deborah 'Red' Saxon 23 episodes
1985 Guiding Light Suzette Saxon
1986 The Equalizer Amanda Kaufman 1 episode "Nightscape"
1987 The Equalizer Francesca 2 episodes
1988 Roseanne Savannah 1 episode "Here's to Good Friends"
1989 Newhart Libby 1 episode "Hi, Society"
1989 Matlock Nancy Proctor 2 episodes
1989 CBS Summer Playhouse Violet Coffin 1 episode "Elysian Fields"
1989 In the Heat of the Night Kate Morell 1 episode "Time of the Stranger"
1991 The Young Riders 1 episode "A House Divided"
1993 Law & Order Susan Boyd 1 episode "Animal Instinct"
1995 Strange Luck Angie 17 episodes
1999 The Outer Limits Lady Julia 1 episode "Ripper"
1999 Becker Dr. Elizabeth 'Liz' Carson 5 episodes
2001 The X-Files Lizzy Gill 1 episode "Essence"
2002 Titus Juanita Titus 3 episodes
2002 Glory Days Mitzi Dolan 9 episodes
2003 The Lyon's Den Brit Hanley 5 episodes
2004 Boston Legal Carrie 1 episode "Still Crazy After All These Years"
2005 ER Helen Kingsley 1 episode "Just as I Am"
2005 Medium Abigail Marsh 1 episode "I Married a Mind Reader"
2006 Laws of Chance 1 episode
2006 Grey's Anatomy Betty Johnson 1 episode "Damage Case"
2007 Saving Grace Aunt Cathy 1 episode "Would You Want Me to Tell You?"
2008 October Road Ellen Daniels 1 episode "Hat? No Hat?"
2008 The Shield Rita 4 episodes
2008 Cold Case Rachel West '08 1 episode "Slipping"
2008 Eureka Eva Thorne 8 episodes
2009 The Mentalist Victoria Abner 1 episode "Red Scare"
2010 Two and a Half Men Priscilla Honeycutt 1 episode "Ixnay on the Oggie Day"
2010 Private Practice Ruby 1 episode "War"
2010 The Good Guys Helen Traynor 1 episode "Small Rooms"
2010 Sons of Anarchy Honey 1 episode "Home"
2011 Days of our Lives Gladys Pierce 2 episodes
2011 Torchwood: Miracle Day The Mother 2 episodes
2011 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Joanna Sapphire 1 episode "Maid Man"
2012 A Gifted Man Blanche Tipton 1 episode "In Case of Heart Failure"
2012 Childrens Hospital Headmistress 1 episode "British Hospital"
2013 Touch Nicole Farington 2 episodes

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