Souad Faress

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Souad Faress
Souad Adel Faress

(1948-03-25) 25 March 1948 (age 73)
Accra, Ghana
CitizenshipGhana, Syria and Irish
OccupationStage, radio, film, television actress
Years active1960–present

Souad Adel Faress (born 25 March 1948)[1] is a Ghanaian stage, radio, television and film actress based in United Kingdom. She is best known for her portrayal of the solicitor Usha Gupta, in the long-running BBC Radio 4 serial The Archers and for her role as the High Priestess of the Dosh Khaleen in the sixth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones.


Faress was born in 1948 in Accra, Ghana,[1] to Irish and Syrian parents. She grew up in Southport Lancashire, studied drama at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and lives in London.[2][3] She has been exploring playwriting as a medium since before 2004.[4] Faress completed a writing course at City Literary Institute adult education college.[5] Her other skills include dancing, horse riding, cricket and yoga.[3]


Faress appeared in two episodes of the BBC serial I, Claudius (1976) as a slave girl (shouting fire) and as a dancer who at Messalina's (second and bigamous) marriage party realises troops are coming to arrest them. In another early BBC appearance, she played the character Selma in the Blake's 7 episode 'Horizon'.[6] Since then, Faress has had substantial roles in films such as My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and Sixth Happiness (1997), as well as much stage work around the UK.

In October 2001 she appeared briefly in Coronation Street as Dev Alahan's mother Umila.[7]

Souad Faress also appeared as the Old Rani in The Sarah Jane Adventures serial The Mad Woman in the Attic in October 2009.

In October 2014, it was announced that Faress would perform in Hurried Steps, Sharon Wood's translation of "Passi Affrettati by Dacia Maraini. The play's narratives were mainly sourced from Amnesty International, the subject matter including rape, honour killings, sex trafficking and other issues of violence against women.[8][9]

Between 2010 and 2011 she played Jay Faldren's grandmother, Maryam Shakiba, in Casualty.

Faress appeared in an episode of popular nursing drama No Angels as lead character, Anji Mittel's aunt Di. Faress appeared briefly as a hospital doctor in "The Dead of Jericho", the first episode of Inspector Morse.

In 2016 she joined the HBO series Game of Thrones in Season 6 as the High Priestess of the Dosh Khaleen.[10] Faress also appeared in ITV drama Brief Encounters, "a loose adaptation of Ann Summers CEO Jacqueline Gold's memoirs, Good Vibrations".[11][12]

In 2019, Faress appeared as a recurring character in Daisy Haggard and Laura Solon's sitcom Back to Life.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Noble, Peter (1979). Screen International Film and TV Year Book, Volumes 34–37. King Publications Limited. p. 431.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Vanessa (10 May 2010). The Archers: The Official Inside Story : the Changing Face of Radio's ... – Vanessa Whitburn – Google Books. ISBN 9781852276607. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Souad Faress". Spotlight. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Souad Faress finds new success", BBC Archers site, 21 October 2004
  5. ^ "Souad Faress". Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2016.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ Bensalhia, John. "Blake's 7 series 2 episode 4 – Horizon". Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  7. ^ "Urmila Alahan". 28 October 2001. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  8. ^ Foster, Frank, Play highlighting domestic abuse: Free performances aiming to raise awareness of victims' plight, The Kent and Sussex Courier, 17 October 2014
  10. ^ "Game of Thrones season 6 filming news: Dean-Charles Chapman back on set, 2 more actors cast, and new pics from Spain!". Watchers on the Wall. 27 August 2015.[non-primary source needed]
  11. ^ "Souad Faress – Brief Encounters". The Narrow Road Company. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  12. ^ Loughrey, Clarisse (3 December 2015). "ITV making an Ann Summers drama, obviously called Brief Encounters". The Independent. Retrieved 10 February 2016.

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