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Award-winning stage actress Frances Conroy was introduced and encouraged by her parents to explore the elements of theater. Born Frances Hardman Conroy in Monroe, Georgia, she attended high school in Long Island and experienced classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse as a teenager. The pale, blue-eyed redhead also studied drama at Dickinson College and the Juilliard School (BFA) where she was taught, at the latter college, by theater greats John Houseman and Marian Seldes.Following potent dramatic roles in such classical productions as "Mother Courage...and Her Children," "King Lear," "All's Well That Ends Well," "Measure for Measure" and "Othello" (as Desdemona) in the late 70s, Frances made her Broadway debut with "The Lady from Dubuque" in 1980. She went on to earn a well-respected name for herself under the Broadway and off-Broadway lights throughout the 1980s in such esteemed plays as "Our Town" (as Mrs. Gibbs), "The Little Foxes (as Birdie) and "In the Summer House." She also appeared with Ms. Seldes in the well-received plays "Ring 'Round the Moon" and "A Bright Room Called Day."A performer with the The Acting Company, Frances won a Drama Desk Award for "The Secret Rapture" and an Obie for "The Last Yankee." In 2000 she received the Outer Critics Circle Award and a Tony nomination for "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan." Her other Broadway credits include "Ring Round the Moon", "The Little Foxes", "The Rehearsal" (Drama Desk Nominee), "Broken Glass", "In the Summer House" (Drama Desk Nominee) and "The Secret Rapture" (Drama Desk Nominee). Conroy's numerous Off- Broadway plays include "The Dinner Party", "The Skin of Our Teeth", "The Last Yankee" and "Othello" (Drama Desk Nominee).An actress of subtle power, great depth and astonishing versatility, she has both an aloof serenity and faintly sad/sensitive ambiance that makes her all the more mysterious and intriguing. She came out to California in 1985 at the invitation of director Houseman and appeared in more theater plays, including "Richard III," at San Diego's Globe Theater. She also earned a sprinkling of generally overlooked film and TV parts, including small parts in Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979) (debut), Une autre femme (1988) and Crimes et délits (1989). Showing a distinct flair for the offbeat and neurotic, nothing really pushed the envelope for her on screen quite like her series' turn as the dowdy, emotionally frail undertaker's widow Ruth Fisher in the cult hit TV series Six pieds sous terre (2001). During the five-season run she won both a Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild awards and was nominated four times for an Emmy.Film roles have been growing more abundant over the years, offering a number of fascinating featured roles, often as eccentric, often disturbing mothers and matrons. Such movies include Billy Bathgate (1991), Le Temps d'un week-end (1992), Nuits blanches à Seattle (1993), La chasse aux sorcières (1996), Coup de foudre à Manhattan (2002), Die, Mommie, Die! (2003), Catwoman (2004), Aviator (2004) (as Kate Hepburn's mother), Shopgirl (2005), The Wicker Man (2006), Humboldt County (2008), Le parfum du succès (2009), Coup de foudre à Seattle (2009), Le silence des ombres (2010), Waking Madison (2010), Chasing Ghosts (2014), Abby in the Summer (2014), Welcome to Happiness (2015), rare leading roles in No Pay, Nudity (2016) and Mountain Rest (2018), and as psychotic Joaquin Phoenix's needy mother in the Oscar-winning psychological drama Joker (2019).Frances has also appeared to fine advantage in several other TV series of late, most notably American Horror Story (2011) in which she earned her fifth and sixth Emmy nomination. She also had stand-out roles in How I Met Your Mother (2005), Casual (2015), Arrested development - Les nouveaux pauvres (2003) and Dead to Me (2019), in addition to episodic guest spots on "ER," "Desperate Housewives," "Nip/Tuck," "Grey's Anatomy," "Young Sheldon" and "Castle Rock."In 1992, she married actor/husband Jan Munroe, an L.A. performance artist. After a few Broadway roles with "The Little Foxes" (as Birdie), "Ring Round the Moon" and "The Ride Down Mt. Morgan," Frances returned to the theatre after a six-year absence, in the 2006 production of "Pyrenees" by David Greig at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Los Angeles.

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