6 October 1948|
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Gordon "Sting" Sumner
(m. 1976; div. 1984)
|Children||2, including Joe Sumner|
Frances Tomelty (born 6 October 1948) is a Northern Irish actress. Her numerous television credits include Strangers (1978–79), Testament of Youth (1979), Inspector Morse (1988), Cracker (1993), The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (2006), The White Queen (2013) and Unforgotten (2015). Her theatre roles include playing Kate in the original production of Dancing at Lughnasa in Dublin (1990). She was married to the musician Sting from 1976 to 1984.
Tomelty was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the daughter of actor Joseph Tomelty (5 March 1911 – 7 June 1995). She has featured in series including Bergerac, Inspector Morse, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Strangers, Midsomer Murders and Coronation Street, Cracker, as well as many films including Bellman and True, Monk Dawson, Bullshot and The Field. She was Lady Macbeth in the Old Vic's disastrous 1980 production of Macbeth, with Peter O'Toole in the title role.
Tomelty's roles in recent years include the drama series Spooks, Casualty, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Holby City, Law & Order: UK, The Royal, Waking the Dead, Silent Witness, Unforgotten, Catastrophe, as well as big-budget adaptations Atlantis, Merlin, The White Queen, and A Perfect Spy, and the film Chéri.
Selected theatre performances
- Elaine Navazio in Last of the Red Hot Lovers by Neil Simon. British premiere directed by Eric Thompson at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1979)
- Mia Schuurman in In the Talking Dark by Dolores Walshe. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1989)
- Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel . Directed by Patrick Mason at the Abbey Theatre Dublin. (1990)
- Momma in Doctor Heart by Peter Muller. British premiere directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (1991)
- Mrs Alving in Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. (2000)
On 1 May 1976, Tomelty married musician Gordon "Sting" Sumner – best known as the lead singer and bassist for the rock band The Police – after knowing him for two years. They met on the set of a rock-musical called Rock Nativity. She played the Virgin Mary; he played in the band. They have two children together, Joseph (born 23 November 1976) and Fuchsia Katherine ("Kate") (born 17 April 1982). Sumner left Tomelty for his current wife Trudie Styler, and the couple divorced in 1984. The split was controversial; as The Independent reported in 2006, "The problem was, he was already married – to actress Frances Tomelty, who just happened to be Trudie's best friend (Sting and Frances lived next door to Trudie in Bayswater, west London, for several years before the two of them became lovers). The affair was widely condemned – not least because it coincided with the break-up of the Police."