Frances Conroy

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Frances Conroy
Frances Conroy at PaleyFest 2014 - 13491478183.jpg
BornFrances Hardman Conroy
(1953-11-13) November 13, 1953 (age 61)
Monroe, Georgia, U.S.
EducationJuilliard School (1977)
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Jan Munroe (m. 1992)
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Frances Conroy
Frances Conroy at PaleyFest 2014 - 13491478183.jpg
BornFrances Hardman Conroy
(1953-11-13) November 13, 1953 (age 61)
Monroe, Georgia, U.S.
EducationJuilliard School (1977)
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Jan Munroe (m. 1992)

Frances Hardman Conroy[1][2] (born November 13, 1953) is an American actress. She is best known for playing Ruth Fisher on the television series Six Feet Under. Her work on the show won her acclaim and several awards, including a Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. She is also known for playing Moira O'Hara on the television anthology series American Horror Story, which garnered Conroy her first Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television nomination, and as well an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. Conroy subsequently portrayed The Angel of Death, Myrtle Snow, and Gloria Mott on the next three seasons of the show, Asylum, Coven, and Freak Show, respectively. For her performance in Coven, she was nominated again for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.

Early life[edit]

Conroy was born in Monroe, Georgia, the daughter of Ossie Hardman (née Ray) and Vincent Paul Conroy.[3][4] Her father, who was of Irish descent, was a business executive and her mother also worked in business.[5] During the 1971–72 school year she was a student at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Mermaid Players and appeared in college theatrical productions. She moved to New York City to study drama at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Juilliard School. She was a member of Juilliard's Drama Division Group 6 (1973–1977)[6] which also included Kevin Conroy, Kelsey Grammer, Harriet Sansom Harris, and Robin Williams.[7]


During the 1970s, she performed regularly with regional and touring theatrical companies (most notably The Acting Company), and appeared as Desdemona at the Delacorte Theatre in a production of Othello with Richard Dreyfuss and Raul Julia. One of her first film appearances was as a Shakespearean actress in Woody Allen's 1979 classic, Manhattan. In 1980, she made a very well received Broadway debut in Edward Albee's The Lady From Dubuque. She focused primarily on her stage career for the next two decades, appearing in such productions as Our Town, The Little Foxes, and The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, receiving one Tony and four Drama Desk Award nominations (including a Drama Desk win for The Secret Rapture). Conroy had a small role in the 1984 movie Falling in Love, as a waitress in a swanky restaurant. In 1988 she appeared as the elder daughter of Burt Lancaster's dying patriarch in Rocket Gibraltar. Also in 1988 she appeared in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as a lady from Palm Beach

In 1992, Conroy became friends with playwright Arthur Miller, which led to her involvement in many of his productions on both stage and screen. During this period, she also appeared on television shows, miniseries, and made-for-TV movies, and met and married fellow actor Jan Munroe.

2001–05: Six Feet Under[edit]

She is best known for her critically acclaimed work on HBO's original drama series Six Feet Under, which she starred in from 2001 and the series' end in 2005, playing the emotional family matriarch Ruth Fisher. During the series' run, Conroy won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2004.[8] She was also nominated for four Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series awards, without ever winning. Along with the cast of the show, they were awarded two times in 2003 and 2004 the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, as well as Conroy winning the individual 2004 award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.[9] The series ended in 2005, having aired 63 original episodes.


In 2008, she landed a guest role in ABC's Desperate Housewives as Virginia Hildebrand, a rich woman who tries to buy the Solis family's love.

Along with many guest appearances on television in the mid-2000s, she was cast in a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother, as Barney Stinson's mother Loretta Stinson. And in 2010, Conroy portrayed the character Angie Dinkley in the animated show Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.

In 2010, Conroy played Madylyn, the wife of Robert De Niro's character Jack Mabrey, in the John Curran thriller Stone. In the same year, Conroy played the recurring role of Peggy Haplin in the short-lived ABC drama series Happy Town created by Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, and Scott Rosenberg.

2011–present: American Horror Story and return to recognition[edit]

Conroy in March 2012

In 2011, she was cast in a new drama series for FX entitled American Horror Story: Murder House. Conroy was one of two actresses, the other being Alexandra Breckenridge, playing a woman named Moira O'Hara. When the season came to an end in 2011, it was announced that the show was intended to be an anthology series, in which each season would be completely different with new characters each season. During this time, Conroy was nominated for a fifth Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie category.[10]

For the second season, dubbed Asylum, Conroy re-joined the cast playing the The Angel of Death in a multi-episode arc. And in 2013, Conroy once again was cast in the third season, Coven, this time part of the main cast, playing Myrtle Snow, a member of the Witches Council in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was subsequently nominated for a sixth Primetime Emmy Award and her second nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.

She returned for the fourth season of the series, entitled Freak Show, as Gloria Mott, a wealthy woman whose son wants to join the freak show.



1979ManhattanShakespearean actress
1984Falling in LoveWaitress
1988Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsLady from Palm Beach
1988Rocket GibraltarRuby Hanson
1988Another WomanLynn
1989Crimes and MisdemeanorsHouse Owner
1991Billy BathgateMary Behan
1992Scent of a WomanChristine Downes
1993Sleepless in SeattleIrene Reed
1993The Adventures of Huck FinnScrawny Shanty Lady
1995The Neon BibleMiss Scover
1995AngelaAnne's mothercredited as Francis Conroy
1996The CrucibleAnn Putnam
2002Maid in ManhattanPaula Burns
2003Die, Mommie, Die!Bootsie Carp
2004The AviatorMrs. Hepburn
2005ShopgirlCatherine Buttersfield
2005Broken FlowersDora
2006Ira and AbbyLynn Willoughby
2006The Wicker ManDr. T.H. Moss
2006A Perfect Day[11]Camille Bailey
2007The Seeker: The Dark is RisingMiss Greythorne
2008Humboldt CountyRosie
2008The Tale of DespereauxAntoinetteVoice role
2009Love HappensEloise's mom
2009Waking MadisonDolly
2009New in TownTrudy Van Uuden
2009Stay CoolMrs. Leuchtenberger
2009ShelterMrs. Bernberg
2010BloodworthJulia Bloodworth
2010StoneMadylyn Mabry
2011Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of OzAunt Em/GlindaVoice role
2011All-Star SupermanMartha KentVoice role
2013Superman: UnboundMartha KentVoice role
2014Making the RulesMother
2014Chasing GhostsDara
2015No Pay. NudityAndreaPost-production
2015Welcome to HappinessClaibornePost-production


1978All's Well That Ends WellDianaTV movie
1982American PlayhouseMotherEpisode: "Echoes and Silences"
19843-2-1 ContactKateEpisode: "Earth: Building Models"
1986The Twilight ZoneEllen PendletonEpisode: "The Library"
1987Remington SteeleGladys LynchEpisode: "Steele Hanging in There: Part 1"
1987Crime StoryMrs. JankowskiEpisode: "The Battle of Las Vegas"
1988Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim AjamiLyn KesslerTV movie
1989Great PerformancesMrs. GibbsEpisode: "Our Town"
1990Law and OrderElizabeth HendrickEpisode: "Prisoner of Love"
1993Alex Haley's QueenMrs. Benson2 episodes
1998CosbyElizabethEpisode: "Judgement Day"
1999Law & OrderRosa HalasyEpisode: "Disciple"
2001–05Six Feet UnderRuth Fisher63 episodes
2007–08ERBecky Riley2 episodes
2008Desperate HousewivesVirginia Hildebrand3 episodes
2009–14How I Met Your MotherLoretta Stinson9 episodes
2010Nip/TuckJane FieldsEpisode: "Sheila Carlton"
2010Happy TownPeggy Haplin7 episodes
2010Grey's AnatomyEleanorEpisode: "Can't Fight Biology"
2010–13Scooby-Doo! Mystery IncorporatedAngie Dinkley15 episodes
2011United States of TaraSandy Gregson2 episodes
2011Love BitesFaye StrathmoreEpisode: "How To..."
2011The MentalistElspethEpisode: "The Red Mile"
2011–14American Horror StoryMoira O'Hara11 episodes (Murder House)
Shachath: The Angel of Death5 episodes (Asylum)
Myrtle Snow10 episodes (Coven)
Gloria Mott8 episodes (Freak Show)
2012Beautiful PeopleLydiaTV movie
2013Ring of FireMaybelle CarterTV movie
2013Royal PainsBlythe Ballard6 episodes


1980The Lady from DubuqueJo
1988–89Our TownMrs. Gibbs
1989The Secret RaptureMarion French
1990Some Americans AbroadFrankie Lewis
1992Two Shakespearean ActorsCatherine Forrest
1993In the Summer HouseMrs. Constable
1994Broken GlassMargaret Hyman
1996–97The RehearsalThe Countess
1997The Little FoxesBirdie Hubbard
1999Ring Round the MoonCapulat
2000The Ride Down Mt. MorganTheo
2010The Subject Was RosesNettie ClearyMark Taper Forum

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Frances Conroy Biography (1953-).
  6. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. October 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved April 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. September 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved April 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Golden Globes, USA (2004)". IMDb. Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  9. ^ "The 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Winners and Nominees". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Primetime Emmy Awards (2012)". IMDb. Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ "A Perfect Day (TV 2006)". IMDb. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 

External links[edit]