Frances Conroy is an American actress best known for her role as spinster Ruth Fisher on the television series Six Feet Under, from 2001-2005.
Conroy was born in Monroe, Georgia to a business executive father and a mother who also worked in business. She studied drama at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Juilliard School in New York City.
During the 1970s she performed regularly with regional and touring theatrical companies (most notably The Acting Company), and appeared in an off-Broadway 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 her Broadway debut in 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).
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, mini-series, and made-for-TV movies, and met and married fellow actor Jan Munroe.
Conroy is best known for her critically acclaimed work on HBO's original drama series Six Feet Under, playing family matriarch Ruth Fisher.
For her work on the series, Conroy was nominated for four Emmy Awards (one for every year she was eligible) and won a Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.