Frances Fisher is a British-American actress best known for a multitude of roles on theatre, television, and film.
Fisher was born in Milford on Sea, Hampshire, England, on May 11, 1952. Her parents were American; Olga Rosine was a housewife, and William Irving, Sr., was the superintendent of an oil refinery construction company. Before she became fifteen, Fisher moved nine times and traveled because of her father's job, going to countries such as Italy, Turkey, Colombia, France, Canada, and Brazil. When she was fifteen, her mother died of heart failure and she took on the responsibility to help raise her younger brother, the younger William Fisher. At some point, the family immigrated back to William, Sr. and Olga's home country of the U.S. There, Fisher completed her high school education at Lutcher Stark High School in Orange, Texas. During her time at Lutcher Stark High, Fisher performed in theatre productions. She later found early work as a secretary. She also met Billy Mack Hamilton, and the two became involved in a romantic relationship that eventually ended in 1972.
Having developed a strong interest in the venue of theatre, Fisher decided to follow that interest and moved to New York, where she subsequently enjoyed a fourteen-year stage career in theatrical productions, both regional and off-Broadway. She first became involved with the Actors Studio, where she studied with the school's director, fellow actor Lee Strasberg. Afterwards, Fisher moved to Abingdon, Virginia, where she began her acting career at the Barter Theatre, a year-round repertory theatre. During the following decade, she concentrated on theatre in New York and in regional theatres located all over the East Coast. In recent times during her career, she made a return to theatre. She appeared in Arthur Miller's last play, Finishing the Picture, produced at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. Fisher also appeared in a 2006 production of The Cherry Orchard at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, California.
Fisher's first role was as Detective Deborah Saxon on the ABC-produced daytime soap-opera The Edge of Night, a role she played from 1976 to 1981. The role of Saxon garnered her recognition in the venue of onscreen acting. In 1985, she joined the cast of another soap-opera, CBS's Guiding Light, in which she starred as Suzette Saxon. After leaving daytime television, Fisher landed a guest-star role as a bartender named Savannah in the first season of the ABC comedy series Roseanne. Fisher also made appearances on the shows Newhart, Matlock, and In the Heat of the Night. She was cast to play Jill Taylor on the initial pilot episode of the ABC sitcom Home Improvement, but was replaced due to a lack of chemistry with costar Tim Allen and an unfavorable reaction from audiences, who felt Fisher was too serious in the delivery of her lines. In 1991, Fisher was cast as Lucille Ball in the made-for-TV film Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter, which received strong ratings and positive reviews. From 1994 to 1995, she starred in the FOX-produced drama series Strange Luck. In 2000, Fisher played Audrey Hepburn's mother Ella in the biographical film of the actress, and also played the role of Janet Lee Bouvier in Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
Fisher landed recurring roles in the CBS sitcom Becker as Dr. Elizabeth Carson from 1999 to 2000, and on FOX's Titus as Juanita Titus from 2000 to 2001. In 2002, she starred in the short-lived The WB-produced series Glory Days. In the following year, Fisher appeared in another drama series, The Lyon's Den, which was cancelled after a single season; The Lyon's Den aired on NBC. In 2005, Fisher guest-starred on an episode of ER, and also starred in a pilot for the NBC/USA series To Love and Die. In 2008, she appeared in a recurring role on the Sci-Fi Channel series Eureka, in which she played Eva Thorne. Fisher also had guest-star appearances on Grey's Anatomy, The Shield, Two and a Half Men, Private Practice, Sons of Anarchy, Torchwood, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Cold Case, and Castle. In 2014, Fisher starred in the ABC-produced drama series Resurrection, in which she played the role of Lucille Langston. In 2016, she guest-starred in two episodes of the CBS police procedural series Criminal Minds, in which she portrayed Antonia Slade, a ruthless and manipulative female serial killer.
In addition to theatre and television, Fisher made appearances in feature films as well. Her film debut was in the 1983 film Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? She later appeared in Patty Hearst. In 1989, she appeared in Pink Cadillac, which costarred Clint Eastwood; the two went out to have a romantic relationship for six years. In 1992, Fisher experienced her breakout role in Unforgiven, an Academy Award-winning film directed by Eastwood, who also starred in the movie. In later years, she began acting regularly in major and indie films. Her most famous role in film was as the society matron Ruth DeWitt Bukater, the mother of Kate Winslet's character, in the 1997 film Titanic, which grossed over $1 billion and held the title for the world's highest-grossing film for over a decade. Following this, she appeared in True Crime, which costarred Eastwood as a District Attorney. In 2003, she had a role in House of Sand and Fog, and in 2004, she appeared in Laws of Attraction. Fisher served as an official festival judge for the 2011 Noor Iranian Film Festival, held in Los Angeles, California. In 2011, she appeared in The Lincoln Lawyer and The Roommate. In 2013, Fisher appeared as Maggie Stryder in the 2013 film The Host. In 2015, she appeared in the film Woman in Gold.
In her personal life, Fisher married her high-school sweetheart Billy Mack Hamilton in 1970, when she was eighteen years old; they divorced two years later. During her six-year relationship with Clint Eastwood, the couple had a daughter named Francesca, born in 1993. On the morning of Christmas, December 25, 2001, Fisher and Francesca were caught in a house fire and narrowly escaped as it engulfed their home. Francesca had leaped 15 feet from a second-story window into the arms of her mother and a neighbor, and was treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation. Fisher was also treated for burns inflicted on her hands. Both of them managed to recover from the incident. Fisher is an active board member of the Screen Actors Guild.
On Criminal MindsEdit
For a full filmography, see here.