Born in Milford On-Sea, England, Frances Fisher’s itinerant childhood in the UK, Columbia, Canada, France, Brazil, Turkey, Italy, Iowa and Texas undoubtedly provided fodder for her thespian career. After graduating from high school in Orange, Texas, Frances cut her teeth acting on Tennessee Williams and Robert Bolt in Orange Community Theater. She also apprenticed at the Barter Theatre in Virginia before moving to New York City where her career quickly blossomed.
Fisher has starred in over 30 theatrical productions including Fool For Love, Desire Under the Elms, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1984 and Three More Sleepless Nights (Drama League Award). Her latest theatre was at The Taper in The Cherry Orchard with Annette Bening and Alfred Molina, and a two-hander opposite Paul Ben Victor in Sexy Laundry. Recent favorite staged readings have been Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, and the 9/11/11 reading of My Child - Mothers of War, interviews of mothers whose children went to war and didn't come home.
After a successful reading on International Holocaust Remembrance Day 12/26/12 at the Museum of Tolerance of In Their Own Words, (a selected reading of letters written by 1,500 forgotten Holocaust survivors in their 80's and 90's struggling to stay alive in Eastern Europe - read by Valerie Harper, Ed Asner and Fisher), Fisher co-produced with Zane Buzby, (creator of Survivor Mitzvah), a fundraiser/reading at the Museum of Tolerance of In Their Own Words with Valerie Harper, Elliott Gould, Lainie Kazan and Ed Asner.
Fisher just completed a reading of Corktown, directed by Larry Moss at the Signature Theatre in New York City.
Fisher's diverse film career spans cool indies to blockbusters to Academy Award® Winners: “Tough Guys Don’t Dance,” “Can She Bake A Cherry Pie?,” “Babyfever,” “Patty Hearst,” “Female Perversions,” Oscar® winning “Unforgiven,” “True Crime,” “The Big Tease,” “The Rising Place,” “Blue Car,” “Mrs. Harris,” “House of Sand & Fog,” “Laws of Attraction,” “The Kingdom,” “In The Valley Of Elah,” “Jolene” (Jessica Chastain's first film), “The Perfect Game,” “Golf in the Kingdom” and “The Lincoln Lawyer.” Fisher is perhaps best known for her memorable performance as Kate Winslet’s mother in “Titanic,” which garnered her a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Ensemble Cast, while the film went on to receive 11 Academy Awards®.
In addition to her thriving theater and movie career, Fisher has had many notable television roles such as Lucille Ball in “Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter,” Audrey Hepburn's mother in “The Audrey Hepburn Story” (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt), and Jackie O's mother, Janet Bouvier in “Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis” (played by Joanne Whalley), and recurring roles on “Becker,” “The Lyons Den,” “Titus,” “The Shield,” “Eureka” and “Torchwood.” Other guest spots include “The Mentalist,” “ER,” “2 and a Half Men,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Private Practice,” “CSI,” and “A Gifted Man.” To this day, she is stopped on the street as fans remember her as Deborah Saxon on the beloved soap opera “The Edge of Night,” and Suzette Saxon on “The Guiding Light.” Those jobs were her bread and butter as a budding actress in NYC while she was doing off-off-Broadway and working out as a member of The Actors Studio. Fisher is also touched that so many people comment on her performance on “Law & Order.”
Today, Fisher continues to play screen Mom to some very interesting talent: She was seen in the #1 Box office hit, “The Roommate,” playing Leighton Meester's mother; she played Ryan Philippe's mother in Brad Furman's critically acclaimed feature “Lincoln Lawyer,” opposite Matthew McConaughey; and she played Alessandro Nivola's mother in David Rosenthal's “Janie Jones,” co-starring Abigail Breslin.
Her upcoming films include Travis Fine's “Any Day Now” (not a Mom, but giving heck to Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt); “The Silent Thief” (Mom to Scout Taylor-Compton and Cody Longo); Ash Christian's “Franny” (Mom to Annaleigh Ashford and newcomer Jen Ponton); Henry Jaglom's “The M Word” (Mom to Tanna Frederick); “Juke Box Hero” (Mom to Zelda Williams); and “Retribution” (Mom to Cynthia Watros).
Fisher also stars in “Sedona,” the motion picture, with Beth Grant, (her co-star in “The Rising Place”), which was in competition at the Hollywood Film Festival 2011 and is soon to be released. She will also be seen this year on AdultSwim in the British Version of Rob Corddry's comedy “Children's Hospital,” playing the Brit version of Megan Mullally's character, The Head.
Recently Fisher wrapped “Pandora's Box,” co-starring with Joe Mantegna and Stephenie Meyer's new sci-fi film series titled “The Host,” co-starring with Saoirse Ronan and William Hurt, written and directed by Andrew Niccol.