Rebecca Louise Front (born May 1964) is a BAFTA award–winning English comedy actress and occasional writer best known for her performances in The Thick of It, and series of critically acclaimed satirical comedies in the early 1990s: On The Hour, The Day Today and Knowing Me, Knowing You...with Alan Partridge. During the 2000s, her career continued across a range of comedy genres with prominent roles in animation Monkey Dust, Time Gentlemen Please, Nighty Night, and sketch show Big Train.
Front became involved in comedy while at St Hugh's College, Oxford. She toured with the Oxford Theatre Group in 1984, taking part in the revue Stop the Weak. The tour played in Oxford itself; the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, Edinburgh, Salisbury and Romsey. In 1985, Front teamed up with Sioned William and Jon Magnusson to take the show The Bobo Girls go BOO to Edinburgh. She made a short promotional video on energy conservation with Michael Simkins in the late 1980s.
Front achieved a higher profile as a result of her work with Stewart Lee and Richard Herring on the radio shows Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World and On the Hour, and the television and radio series Fist of Fun. She went on to form a close professional association with Chris Morris, Armando Iannucci, Doon Mackichan and Steve Coogan, who all transferred with Front to The Day Today, the television version of On the Hour. Completing The Day Today were Patrick Marber, who was part of the 1984 Oxford University revue with Front and David Schneider, who took part in the 1985 revue. This cast continued to contribute to the Alan Partridge comedy canon throughout the 1990s.
In recent years Front has also become a fixture on comedy panel shows on British television and radio including The News Quiz, Have I Got News For You and If I Ruled The World. She has also had minor roles in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, Absolute Power and Absolutely Fabulous and she has also played straight acting roles in television drama, including You Can Choose Your Friends, The Rotters' Club, Kavanagh Q.C., Lewis and Jonathan Creek.
In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. Since 2006, she has been writing columns for The Guardian. In 2007, she guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio drama The Mind's Eye.
In 2009 she played Nicola Murray MP, Secretary of State for Citizenship and Social Affairs and in charge of the dysfunctional 'DoSAC', and later leader of the opposition, in the third and fourth series of the political satire The Thick of It. Front featured in the 2010 BBC comedy series Grandma's House playing the part of Tanya Simon Amstell's mother, and Just William, as the mother of William Brown. She also starred in the 2011 British live-action 3D family comedy film Horrid Henry: The Movie as Henry's headmistress, Miss Oddbod.
In 2013 Front stars in the new Sky Living comedy The Spa, playing the role of Alison Crabbe. She plays Cox in The Wrong Mans, a six-part comedy-thriller for BBC Two. The premiere was on 24 September 2013. She narrated Fox Wars which was broadcast on 22 October 2013.
Front was born in Stoke Newington, London, to Sheila and Charles Front. Her mother wrote children's books, which her father illustrated. Her father also designed the title-logo on the cover of the Beatles' album Rubber Soul. Front was brought up in a Reform Jewish family. She is married, with two children. Her maternal grandmother was Welsh and her paternal grandmother was Jewish. Her brother is writer and comic actor Jeremy Front and the pair have collaborated on writing and performance projects. The most recent is a series of spoof documentaries entitled Incredible Women for BBC Radio 4.
- Bafta for Jewish actress Rebecca Front Jewish Chronicle. 7 June 2010
- James Rampton (1997-08-02). "Life on the front line". London: The Independent.
- Ian Burrell, "Strictly no dancing on a channel that’s serious about scientists" in The Independent. 27-04-09
- "The Spa: Meet The Characters". 16 January 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- "Cast announced for The Wrong Mans on BBC Two". BBC. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- Births England and Wales 1837-2006 Findmypast.co.uk.
- "BBC Two - My Life in Books, Series 1, Sir Trevor McDonald and Rebecca Front". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- Lipman, Jennifer (7 June 2010). "Bafta for Jewish actress Rebecca Front". The Jewish Chronicle (London).
- Booth, Hannah (28 April 2012). "Rebecca Front: My family values". The Guardian (London).
- "Incredible Women - Radio 4 Comedy Drama - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-17.