Frances Barber

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Frances Barber
Born Frances J Brookes
(1957-05-13) 13 May 1957 (age 57)
Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England
Occupation Actress

Frances Barber (born 13 May 1957 in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England) [1] is an English actress who has appeared in stage and television productions. Her parents are S. W. Brookes and Gladys Simpson; Barber is the fourth of six children. She attended The Wolverhampton Municipal Grammar School.[2]

Barber studied drama at Bangor University, in Wales where she was a contemporary of director Danny Boyle, who became her boyfriend.[3]

With the Pet Shop Boys, she appeared in their musical Closer to Heaven in 2001 as well as guest singer for the song "Friendly Fire" on their 2006 live concert at the Mermaid Theatre. She also appeared alongside Ian McKellen and Roger Allam in the Old Vic's pantomime production of Aladdin in the 2005–06 Christmas season. She again starred with Ian McKellen in 2007 playing Goneril in Trevor Nunn's production of King Lear and as Arkadina in Chekhov's The Seagull with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon followed by a world tour throughout the year.[4] They again performed the two plays in repertory at the New London Theatre on Drury Lane,[5][6] opening in November 2007 and closing mid-January 2008.

Barber played the part of the opera singer Nicole Burgess in The Death of the Self, a 1992 episode of Inspector Morse; guest starred in the spring 2007 season of the BBCs Hustle, and reprised her role as Goneril in the 2008 TV film of King Lear.[citation needed] In 2008, she appeared as Mrs Prentice in the BBC sitcom Beautiful People and Nancy in Casualty.[citation needed] In 2011, she guest-starred in the Doctor Who episodes A Good Man Goes to War and The Wedding of River Song as Madame Kovarian.[7] Her character appeared in various cameos throughout the sixth series, featuring briefly in Day of the Moon, The Curse of the Black Spot, The Rebel Flesh, The Almost People, and Closing Time. She starred in the episode Polymorph in series 3 of the British sci-fi comedy show Red Dwarf. In 2012 Barber joined the cast of the BBC One drama, Silk.[citation needed]

One of her closest friends is the actor Ian McKellen, who funded a library in her name in India.[8][9] In 2006, she received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wolverhampton.[10]



See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Barnett, Laura (21 April 2009). "Portrait of the artist: Frances Barber, actor". The Guardian (London). 
  4. ^ British Theatre Guide – RSC Double Press. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  5. ^ "The British Theatre Guide : Reviews – The Seagull (RSC at the New London Theatre)". 12 January 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "The British Theatre Guide : Reviews – King Lear (RSC at the New London Theatre)". 12 January 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  7. ^ BBC One – Doctor Who, Series 6, A Good Man Goes to War. BBC. (23 August 2011). Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  8. ^ Hardy, Rebecca (18 December 2009). "'I've had it with men!' Actress Frances Barber on having her heart broken six times". Daily Mail (London). 
  9. ^ "The year of my big break| Theatre". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "Actress Frances Barber receives honorary award". 21 August 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ John Thaxter (6 July 2006). "The Stage / Reviews / Antony and Cleopatra". The Stage. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 

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