Frances Joan Brill|
September 30, 1946
Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.
(m. 1979; div. 1983)
Francis Robert Kelly (m. 1988)
Frances Joan "Fran" Brill (born September 30, 1946) is a retired American actress and puppeteer, best known for her roles on Sesame Street as well as playing Sally Hayes in the Hal Ashby film Being There (1979) and Lily Marvin in the Frank Oz film What About Bob? (1991).
Life and career
This section relies largely or entirely on a single source. (February 2018)
She began her career in theater, making her Broadway debut in the 1969 play Red, White and Maddox. Her other theatrical roles include leads at the Roundabout Theatre, Manhattan Theater Club, Playwrights Horizons and many regional theaters including the Long Wharf, Yale Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, the Mark Taper Forum and the Actors Theatre of Louisville. She has been nominated twice for a Drama Desk Award, for What Every Woman Knows (1976) and for Knuckle (1981), respectively.
From 1974-1975, Brill played Fran Bachman on NBC's daytime drama How to Survive a Marriage. Her character struggled with sudden widowhood, and Brill received over a thousand condolence letters. Brill was also featured in episodes of The Guiding Light, All My Children, The Edge of Night, Lip Service and Kate and Allie.
On Sesame Street, for which she has won an Emmy Award, she has created and puppeteered the Muppets called Zoe, Little Bird, Betty Lou, and Prairie Dawn, among others. Playing Zoe, Brill appeared on the TV-series The West Wing as well as many home videos including Zoe's Dance Moves. With the Muppets she did Saturday Night Live, The Muppet Show, The Jim Henson Hour, Dog City, and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.
In 2015, Brill announced that she was retiring from puppeteering on Sesame Street. The following year, Stephanie D'Abruzzo and Jennifer Barnhart replaced Fran as the performers of Prairie Dawn and Zoe.
On July 14, 1979, Brill married Clint Ramsden; they divorced in 1983. She has been married to writer Francis Robert Kelly since June 17, 1988.
- Being There (1979)
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
- Old Enough (1984)
- Seize the Day (1986)
- Midnight Run (1988)
- What About Bob? (1991)
- City Hall (1996)
- Doug's 1st Movie (1999)
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)
- Fran Brill biography, filmreference.com; accessed February 12, 2018.
- "Fran Brill Retires from Puppeteering - Muppet Fans Who Grew Up - Tough Pigs". 2 October 2014.
- Fran Brill on IMDb
- Fran Brill at the Internet Broadway Database
- Fran Brill at AllMovie
- Official Website
| Performer of Janice
1975 – 1976
| Performer of Polly Darton
1981 - 1998
| Performer of Mrs. Crustworthy
2006 - 2015
| Performer of Betty Lou
| Performer of Prairie Dawn
1971 – 2015
| Performer of Zoe
1993 – 2015
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