Frances Louise Fisher
May 11, 1952
Billy Mack Hamilton
(m. 1970; div. 1972)
|Partner(s)||Clint Eastwood (1990–1994)|
Award of Excellence (2012)
Frances Louise Fisher (born May 11, 1952) is a British-born American actress. She began her career in theatre and later starred as record executive Suzette 'Red' Saxon in the CBS daytime soap opera The Guiding Light (1985). In film, she is known for her roles in Unforgiven (1992), Titanic (1997), True Crime (1999), House of Sand and Fog (2003), Laws of Attraction (2004), The Kingdom (2007), In the Valley of Elah (2007), Jolene (2008), The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) and The Host (2013). From 2014 to 2015, Fisher starred in the ABC drama series Resurrection. In 2019, she starred in the HBO television series Watchmen, an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name.
Early life and education
Fisher was born on May 11, 1952, in Milford on Sea, the daughter of American parents Olga Rosine (née Moen), a housewife, and William Irving "Bill" Fisher, Sr, an oil refinery construction superintendent. Her father was of Russian-Jewish and Hungarian-Jewish descent, whereas her mother was of Norwegian ancestry. Before she reached the age of fifteen, she had moved nine times and travelled because of her father's job, going to places including Italy, Turkey, Colombia, France, Canada, and Brazil. When she was 15, her mother died and she took on the responsibility of raising her younger brother. She completed her high school at Lutcher Stark High School in Orange, Texas, where she performed in theatre productions, and later worked as a secretary.
Deciding to follow her interest in theatre, she moved to New York City, where she subsequently enjoyed a 14-year stage career in regional and off-Broadway productions. She became involved with the Actors Studio, where she studied with Lee Strasberg. Fisher moved to Abingdon, Virginia, where she began her acting career at the Barter Theatre, a year-round repertory theatre.
During the next 10 years, she concentrated on theatre in New York City and in regional theaters around the East Coast. She has also returned to theatre; she appeared in Arthur Miller's last play, Finishing the Picture, produced at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and in a 2006 production of The Cherry Orchard at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
Fisher gained recognition playing Detective Deborah Saxon on the ABC daytime soap opera The Edge of Night from 1976 to 1981. She later joined the cast of CBS's Guiding Light as Suzette Saxon in 1985. After leaving daytime television, Fisher guest starred as a bartender, Savannah, at "The Lobo" in the first season of ABC comedy series Roseanne. She also appeared on Newhart, Matlock and In the Heat of the Night.
Fisher was originally cast to play Jill Taylor on the ABC sitcom Home Improvement, but was replaced after initial filming because producers felt that her pilot episode performance did not test well with the audience. She was cast in the unaired pilot to the short-lived 1992 ABC summer series Human Target (originally filmed in 1990, her role was recast by the time the series was picked up in October 1991, replaced by actress Signy Coleman).
In 1991, Fisher was cast as Lucille Ball in the television film Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter, which aired to strong ratings and good reviews. From 1994 to 1995 she starred in the Fox drama series Strange Luck. In 2000, Fisher portrayed Audrey Hepburn's mother, Ella Hepburn, in the biographical film of the actress. In the same year she played the role of Janet Lee Bouvier in Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
Fisher had recurring roles in the CBS sitcom Becker as Dr. Elizabeth 'Liz' Carson from 1999 to 2000, and on Fox's Titus as Juanita Titus (2000–2001). In 2002 she starred in the short-lived The WB series Glory Days, and in 2003 starred in another drama cancelled after a single season, The Lyon's Den on NBC. In 2005, she appeared on the ER episode "Just As I Am," as Helen Kingsley, the long-lost birth mother of Dr. Kerry Weaver, played by Laura Innes, even though Fisher is only five years older. She also starred in a pilot for NBC/USA entitled To Love and Die. In 2008, she appeared in a recurring role on the Sci-Fi Channel television series Eureka, portraying the character Eva Thorne. Fisher also guest-starred on Grey's Anatomy, The Shield, Two and a Half Men, Private Practice, Sons of Anarchy, Torchwood, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Cold Case, and Castle.
In 2014, Fisher was starring in the ABC drama series Resurrection about the residents of Arcadia, Missouri, whose lives are upended when their loved ones return from the dead, unaged since their deaths. She played the role of Lucille Langston.
Fisher made her film debut in Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983) and later appeared in Patty Hearst directed by Paul Schrader. In 1989 she appeared in Pink Cadillac opposite Clint Eastwood, and the pair began a six-year offscreen relationship. The following year she appeared in Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael.
In 1992, Fisher had her break-out role in Unforgiven, an Academy Award-winning film directed by Clint Eastwood, who also starred. In later years she began acting regularly in major and independent films. Her most famous role in film was as the society matron Ruth DeWitt Bukater, the mother of the character played by Kate Winslet, in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic. She appeared in True Crime (1999) with Eastwood as D.A.
Fisher had a role in House of Sand and Fog (2003), another Academy Award-nominated film. In 2004, she appeared in Laws of Attraction as Julianne Moore's mother, even though she is only 8 years older. Fisher worked on four films in 2006, including Peter Berg's The Kingdom, and Paul Haggis' In the Valley of Elah. The same year, she appeared in the film Jolene with Jessica Chastain as her lover. She served as an official festival judge for the 2011 Noor Iranian Film Festival in Los Angeles. In 2011, she appeared in The Lincoln Lawyer and The Roommate.
In 1970, when Fisher was 18, she married her high school sweetheart Billy Mack Hamilton. They divorced two years later.
Fisher has explained that finding a boyfriend was difficult while raising a child on her own. She stated in 2010 that "as a single mom, you know, it's been a different thing. No gentleman callers."
- Pink Cadillac (1989)
- Sudie and Simpson (1990)
- Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990)
- Unforgiven (1992)
- Striptease (1996)
- Wild America (1997)
- Titanic (1997)
- True Crime (1999)
- The Big Tease (1999)
- Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
- Passion and Prejudice (2001)
- House of Sand and Fog (2003)
- Laws of Attraction (2004)
- The Kingdom (2007)
- In the Valley of Elah (2007)
- Jolene (2008)
- A Single Woman (2008)
- The Roommate (2011)
- The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
- Sedona (2011)
- The Host (2013)
- Woman in Gold (2015)
- Love on the Run (2016)
- Outlaws and Angels (2016)
- An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win (2016)
- Another Kind of Wedding (2017)
- Run the Race (2019)
- Watchmen (2019)
- Holidate (2020)
- Awake (2021)
- Grace and Grit (2021)
- The Sinner (2022)
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