Frances Barber

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Frances Barber
Born Frances J Brookes
(1957-05-13) 13 May 1957 (age 58)
Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England
Occupation Actress

Frances Barber (born 13 May 1957) is an English actress who has appeared in stage and television productions.

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]

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

External links[edit]