Frances Barber

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Frances Barber
Born Frances J Brookes
(1957-05-13) 13 May 1957 (age 60)
Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England
Occupation Actress

Frances Barber (born Frances J Brookes, 13 May 1957) is an English actress. She received Olivier Award nominations for her work in the plays, Camille (1985), and Uncle Vanya (1997). Her numerous television credits include The Street (2009), Doctor Who (2011), and Silk (2012–14), while her film appearances include Prick Up Your Ears (1987), Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), Soft Top Hard Shoulder (1992), and the upcoming, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017).

Life and career[edit]

Barber was born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England.[1] 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.

In 2011, she guest-starred in the Doctor Who episodes A Good Man Goes to War and The Wedding of River Song (and 5 other episodes, sometimes uncredited) as Madame Kovarian.[7] She also played alongside then Doctor Who star Karen Gillan in the television film We'll Take Manhattan as Diana Vreeland.[8]

In 2006, she received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wolverhampton.[9]

Political views[edit]

In May 2017, Barber endorsed the Labour Party in the 2017 UK general election.[10]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The International Who's Who of Women 2002". 
  2. ^ "Wolverhampton Municipal Grammar School". 
  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. ^ Frances Barber. IMDB. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Actress Frances Barber receives honorary award". 21 August 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  10. ^ Milne, Oliver (8 June 2017). "Who are celebrities voting for in 2017 General Election? The A-Z of famous names supporting Labour, the Tories, the Lib Dems and Greens". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ John Thaxter (6 July 2006). "The Stage / Reviews / Antony and Cleopatra". The Stage. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  14. ^ "Off Broadway Reviews – The School For Scandal", The Stage Review, 27 April 2016

External links[edit]