skip navigation
Frances O'Connor

Frances O'Connor

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 12, 1967 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Oxfordshire, England, GB Profession: actor, model, ESL teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After graduating from the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts in Perth and appearing extensively on Australian TV in series including "Halifax f.p.," dark-haired, porcelain-skinned actress Frances O'Connor made her film debut in Emma-Kate Croghan's surprise hit "Love and Other Catastrophes" in 1996. She played Mia, a self-assured film student facing difficulties with school administration and romantic problems with her girlfriend Danni (Radha Mitchell). The actress' impressive turn as the staunch and spunky young woman in this Australian independent garnered notice and acclaim. Hot on the heels of the 1996 Cannes screening of "Love and Other Catastrophes," O'Connor began lensing "Thank God He Met Lizzie" (1997) a romantic comedy starring Cate Blanchett as the titular significant other of a man (Richard Roxburgh) plagued by thoughts of his previous girlfriend Jenny (O'Connor). As Jenny, O'Connor gave an exuberant performance, easily evincing the high-spirited vitality and charm crucial to her role as the idealized early girlfriend who lives primarily in flashback. Although the film attracted only a small audience, critics pointed to O'Connor's performance as a stand-out feature of the...

After graduating from the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts in Perth and appearing extensively on Australian TV in series including "Halifax f.p.," dark-haired, porcelain-skinned actress Frances O'Connor made her film debut in Emma-Kate Croghan's surprise hit "Love and Other Catastrophes" in 1996. She played Mia, a self-assured film student facing difficulties with school administration and romantic problems with her girlfriend Danni (Radha Mitchell). The actress' impressive turn as the staunch and spunky young woman in this Australian independent garnered notice and acclaim. Hot on the heels of the 1996 Cannes screening of "Love and Other Catastrophes," O'Connor began lensing "Thank God He Met Lizzie" (1997) a romantic comedy starring Cate Blanchett as the titular significant other of a man (Richard Roxburgh) plagued by thoughts of his previous girlfriend Jenny (O'Connor). As Jenny, O'Connor gave an exuberant performance, easily evincing the high-spirited vitality and charm crucial to her role as the idealized early girlfriend who lives primarily in flashback. Although the film attracted only a small audience, critics pointed to O'Connor's performance as a stand-out feature of the otherwise unremarkable offering.

More memorable was her powerful starring turn in Bill Bennett's "Kiss or Kill" (1997) opposite fellow "Love and Other Catastrophes" co-star Matt Day. The two played con artist lovers on the run after their routine scheme turned sour, accidentally killing their intended robbery victim and ending up with a sordid videotape that incriminates a sports celebrity. O'Connor shone in the well-made character driven thriller, capably handling the emotionally demanding role of a calculating and cool but anxiety-ridden young woman who is scarred by her mother's brutal murder, which she witnessed as a young child. The following year, she was featured in Peter Duncan's odd "A Little Bit of Soul," playing a genetic researcher who is competing with her former lover for a grant from a wealthy high ranking politician who is also a practicing Satanist.

In 1999, O'Connor took on her first non-Australian film, starring as Fanny Price in Patricia Rozema's adaptation of "Mansfield Park." A somewhat revisionist take on Jane Austen's novel, the film presented O'Connor's character as a more interesting and likable character than she is in the text, with Rozema inserting some of Austen's own personality (from writings in letters and journals) into Fanny's character. Although vastly different from her previous work, the actress gave an admirably strong performance in the role, remaining true to the script while letting her own modern spark shine through. She deftly handled the more reined in emotions necessary to the film, and proved a magnetic screen presence alongside co-stars Embeth Davidtz, Jonny Lee Miller and Alessandro Nivola. O'Connor followed up this acclaimed performance with a role as a book lover who brings her passion into the real world thanks to a seductive young man (Stuart Townsend) who happens to be dating her sister (Kate Hudson) in the Dublin-set feature "About Adam" (2000) before starring as the conflicted title character in the 2000 BBC-1 production of the Flaubert classic "Madame Bovary." That same year she was featured in the more commercial "Bedazzled" with a pivotal supporting role as a dream girl so compelling that a man (Brendan Fraser) makes a deal with the devil (Elizabeth Hurley) in an effort to win her heart. In 2001, she raised her profile considerably putting aside the historical pieces that helped her garner the attention of director Steven Spielberg to take on a futuristic role in the director's futuristic "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," playing the conflicted mother of a robotic boy (Haley Joel Osment). Reteaming with Brendan Fraser, O'Connor starred as Maggie in the acclaimed West End production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in the fall of 2001 and returned to period costume as co-star of the legendary Oscar Wilde comedy "The Importance of Being Earnest" the next year, essaying the charming Gwendolyn Fairfax opposite Colin Firth's lovestruck Jack Worthing. Later in 2002 she was featured in John Woo's World War II actioner "Windtalkers" (filmed in 2000).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Mercy (2014)
4.
5.
 Blessed (2009)
6.
 Three Dollars (2006)
7.
 Iron Jawed Angels (2004) Lucy Burns
8.
 Book of Love (2004) Elaine Walker
9.
 Timeline (2003) Kate Erickson
10.
 Windtalkers (2002) Rita
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Oxford, England but raised in Perth, Australia
:
Spent one year in Japan modeling and teaching English as a second language
:
After graduation from drama school, joined Melbourne Theatre Company
1995:
Appeared in the Australian TV series "Halifax f.p."
1996:
Feature debut in "Love and Other Catastrophes", playing a lesbian university student as part of an ensemble that also included Matt Day; also sang in the film
1997:
Starred opposite Day in "Kiss or Kill"; was nominated for the Australian Film Institute Award as Best Actress
1997:
Played the idealized ex-girlfriend of the protagonist in "Thank God He Met Lizzie"; also nominated for the Australian Film Institute Award as Best Actress
1998:
Returned to the Melbourne Theater Company to star in "The Herbal Bed"
1998:
Appeared in support of Geoffrey Rush in Patrick Duncan's "A Little Bit of Soul"
1999:
Starred as Fanny Price in Patricia Rozema's adaptation of Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park"
2000:
Had co-starring role in the Dublin set feature "About Adam", featuring Kate Hudson and Stuart Townsend (released in the USA in 2001)
2000:
Played the title character in the BBC-1 presentation of the Flaubert classic "Madame Bovary" (aired in USA in February)
2000:
Starred as the object of Brendan Fraser's affection in the remake of "Bedazzled"
2001:
Cast as Monica, the adoptive mother of a robotic child, in "A.I. Artificial Intelligence"
2001:
Reteamed with Fraser on the London stage in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
2002:
Had supporting role in "Windtalkers", directed by John Woo
2002:
Portrayed Gwendolyn in the remake of "The Importance of Being Earnest"
2003:
Cast in female lead of the film version of Michael Crichton's novel "Timeline"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Curtin University of Technology: -
Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts: - 1992

Notes

"I was raised Catholic. Being Catholic is good for actors. Repression really encourages creativity." --O'Connor quoted in Interview, December 1997.

On "Kiss or Kill": "The whole movie was improvised, pretty much. We'd have a page, each day, that sort of told us where the characters started from and where they were going, and all the rest we worked out ourselves, It's a very challenging way of acting, and very rewarding." --O'Connor quoted in Winston-Salem Journal, June 5, 1998.

O'Connor on tackling Hollywood: "I'm just a little fish in a huge market over here. I've been watching 'Sesame Street' since I was 3. I think I can manage Big Bird's accent." --quoted in Winston-Salem Journal, June 5, 1998.

"I feel that a lot of hard work has really paid off, though I think a lot if it has to do with luck, synchronicity, and just being at the right place at the right time. But I've always believed that if you stay positive, good things come along." --O'Connor quoted in Urban Cinefile, July 7, 1998.

O'Connor on the timelessness of "Mansfield Park": "People think the Regency period was stuffy, or that people were different then, but they weren't.

"We all fall in love, have affairs we shouldn't have, we all question our own sense of truth or what we want in life." --quoted in Toronto Sun, September 16, 1999.

"Mansfield Park" director Patricia Rozema on O'Connor: "She's just so breathtakingly natural and so full of life, it's a joy to watch her. She doesn't have a remote quality at all. You fall into her situation and her personality really easily, and she's authentic, which is what I wanted the character to be." --to Chicago Tribune, November 28, 1999.

"It was a little bit Alice in Wonderland to me. In some ways it didn't feel real." --Frances O'Connor on her first big-budget Hollywood film experience, "Bedazzled", quoted in Movieline, August 2000.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute