Who is Frances Conroy?
Frances Conroy is an actress, perhaps best recognized for her numerous roles in the six seasons of the series “American Horror Story”, and as Ruth Fisher in the drama series “Six Feet Under”. She also gained substantial attention after she starred as the titular character’s mother in the psychological thriller “Joker”. Frances was born under the Zodiac sign Pisces on 15 March 1956, in Monroe, Georgia, USA, of part Irish descent. As of 2021, she’s 68 years old and holds American nationality.
Early Life and Family
Frances was born to Vincent Paul Conroy, who was a business executive, and Ossie Hardman, who was an entrepreneur. She expressed a desire to become an actress at a very young age after she discovered movies and TV series.
Having been born into a family related to entertainment, she practiced performing with her parents, and also participated in plays during her high school days. Frances matriculated in 1971, then enrolled at the private liberal arts Dickinson College, where she joined the Mermaid Players and performed in numerous plays.
Following her graduation in 1975, she relocated to New York, where she attended the Neighborhood Playhouse to further her knowledge in acting. However, she switched to prestigious Juilliard School, the private performing arts conservatory, where she was a member of “Group Six”, which included other actors who later found fame in Hollywood, such as Robin Williams, Kelsey Grammer and Harriet Sansom Harris; they performed from 1973 to 1977.
Rise to Prominence
She launched her career in the late ‘70s, performing with various theater groups, especially “The Acting Company”.
In the following decade, she gained substantial popularity and attention after her performance as Desdemona in the Delacorte Theatre production of the popular Shakespeare play “Othello”, opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Raul Julia.
Slowly building her profile, she moved on to Broadway, making her debut in Edward Albee’s play “The Lady from Dubuque”. Frances also appeared in numerous other plays, such as “The Little Foxes”, “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan”, and “A Bright Room Called Day”.
In addition to her packed schedule with numerous performances in theaters, she began landing minor movie parts in films such as “Falling in Love” and “Rocket Gibraltar”.
In 1988 she scooped two supporting roles, portraying Diana in the comedy movie “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and Lynn in the drama movie “Another Woman”, directed by Woody Allen.
In 1992, she shared the stage with Al Pacino in the world-renowned and critically acclaimed film “Scent of a Woman”. In 2001 she finally got her breakthrough role, after she was cast as Ruth Fisher in the drama series “Six Feet Under”, opposite Peter Krause, Michael Hall and Rachel Griffith. Created by Allan Ball, the show ran for five seasons, during which Frances received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Ruth as an emotionally repressed matriarch, also earning her the nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
In 2005, she guest starred portraying Virginia Hildebrand in three episodes of the popular drama series “Desperate Housewives”.
After making several one-episode appearances and starring in short movies in 2009, she booked the role as Loretta Stinson, Barney’s mother, in the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”. The following year, she scooped the recurring role as Angie Dinkley in the animated series “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated”, and during the same year, she portrayed the wife of Jack Mabrey, played by Robert DeNiro in the thriller movie “Stone”.
Her Other Roles
In 2011, she landed the role as Mojira O’Hara in the first season of the horror series “American Horror Story”. Given that the series gained huge popularity and was originally billed as an anthology series, Frances continued to star through six seasons, portraying different characters until 2021.
After her performance as Maybelle Carter in the biographical made-for-TV movie “Ring of Fire”, she was cast as Blythe Ballard in the comedy-drama series “Royal Pains”, appearing in six episodes.
In the following period, she guest-starred in numerous shows such as “Getting On”, “The Real O’Neals”, and “Married”.
In 2015, she portrayed the recurring character Dawn, in the comedy/drama series “Casual”, appearing in 11 episodes.
She also had recurring roles in several other shows, including “The Mist”, “Arrested Development”, and “Castle Rock”.
Her Latest Roles
In 2019, she was cast as Penny Fleck, Joker’s mother, in the critically acclaimed movie “Joker”, sharing the stage with Robert DeNiro and Joaquin Phoenix. The following year, she portrayed Eileen Wood in the series “Dead to Me” and Mrs. Clarinet in the short TV series “Summer Camp Island”.
Her last role was in the drama/romance film “The Power of the Dog”; she played an old lady.
What Happened To Her Eye?
Reportedly, in the ’90 s the actress was involved in a car accident that left her eyes damaged and in need of surgery; unfortunately, the cornea part of her eye suffered huge damage, leaving her eye colorless or blurry afterwards. Frances usually wears contact lens to cover it, and sometimes the eye tends to roam in different directions. An interesting detail – when she was cast in the “American Horror Story”, the director told her to take off the colored lens and act without it. Even though it was an unfortunate event, her glass eye became one of her signature features and contributed to her popularity, and also to the rawness of the characters she played in the show.
Frances walked down the aisle twice; in 1980, she married the writer, Jonathan Furst, however, the then-couple divorced during the same decade for unknown reasons.
In April 1992, she married the actor Jan Munroe, perhaps best recognized for his roles in the movies “Poseidon”, “Catch me If You Can”, and “The Grifters”. The couple doesn’t have any offspring, and is still going strong to this day.
Briefly about Jan Munroe
An Iowan native, Jan, launched his career in the ‘80s, landing mainly minor roles in TV shows and series. One of his most notable earliest roles included the portrayal of Jury Foreman in the thriller drama movie “A Few Good Men”, starring Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore.
Joe garnered wide popularity after he was cast as Captain Oliver in the biographical crime movie “Catch Me If You Can”, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken.
Throughout the years, he made several one-episode appearances in popular TV series, such as “Law & Order”, “Monk”, and “The Mentalist”. He is set to appear in the action movie entitled “The Hyperions”, alongside Cary Elwes and Tanner Buchanan.
Physical Stats and Trivia
Frances is 5ft 7ins (170cm) tall and weighs around 125lbs (57kgs). Her eyes are blue, while her natural hair is ginger.
The actress has been very vocal about her psychological problems, as she had suffered from depression for a number of years. In one of her interviews, she said that at times she had been at such a low point that she could barely get out of bed, let alone do anything else.
Frances has found her peace in meditation, yoga, and regular exercise. As an individual who perceives mental health above the physical, she has continued to practice meditation to this day.
Her favorite actors include Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Demi Moore, while her favorite movies are “Patch Adams”, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, and “Catch Me If You Can”.
Since launching her career, she has always been devoted and involved in various charity organizations; she donated 200,000 to Red Cross and the American Cancer Society.
What Is Her Net Worth?
As of 2021, her net worth is estimated at $4 million, which she’s earned through her career spanning five decades.
Is She Active On Social Media?
It appears that the actress is not fond of social media, hence doesn’t use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.