Frances Barber (born on 13 May 1958 in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England) is an Olivier Award-nominated British actress with a long and distinguished stage career. She has also appeared in numerous television productions.
With Pet Shop Boys, she starred in their musical Closer to Heaven in 2001 as well as guest singer for the song "Friendly Fire" on their 2006 live concert at the Mermaid Theatre. She also appeared alongside Ian McKellen and Roger Allam in the Old Vic's pantomime production of Aladdin over the 2005–06 Christmas season. She again starred with Ian McKellen in 2007 playing Goneril in Trevor Nunn's production of King Lear and as Arkadina in Chekhov's The Seagull with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon followed by a world tour throughout the year. They again performed the two plays in repertory at the New London Theatre on Drury Lane, opening in November 2007 and closing mid-January 2008. She appeared in Madame de Sade opposite Judi Dench and Rosamund Pike at the Wyndham's Theatre, and will soon be appearing opposite Niall Buggy in Brian Friel's Afterplay, in a celebration of the author's work.
Barber is a regular face on British television; she guest starred in the spring 2007 season of the BBCs Hustle, reprised her role as Goneril in the 2008 TV film of King Lear. In 2008, she appeared as Mrs Prentice in the BBC sitcom Beautiful People and Nancy in Casualty. In 2011, she guest-starred in the Doctor Who episodes "A Good Man Goes to War" and The Wedding of River Song as Madame Kovarian. Her character appeared in various cameos throughout the sixth series, featuring briefly in "Day of the Moon", "The Curse of the Black Spot", "The Rebel Flesh", "The Almost People" and "Closing Time". She starred in the episode 'Polymorph' in series 3 of the British sci-fi comedy show Red Dwarf. In 2012, Barber went on to join the cast of the popular BBC One drama, Silk.