Frances Walsh is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and film producer and also a musician. She is the wife of filmmaker Peter Jackson (since 1987) and mother of their two children, Billy and Katie. Fran has contributed to all of Jackson's films since they're married.
Walsh was born in Wellington, New Zealand and attended Wellington Girl's High School intent on becoming a fashion designer, but eventually became interested in music instead. Occasionally taking time off to perform in a punk band named The Wallsockets, she attended Victoria University of Wellington majoring in English literature and graduated in 1981. Walsh wrote scripts for television shows such as Shark in the Park and Worzel Gummidge Down Under in the 1980s.
Walsh met Peter Jackson while he was doing the post-production on his low-budget flick Bad Taste and they married in 1987. Walsh has contributed to all of her husband's scripts, starting with the black comedy Meet the Feebles (1989). The couple then collaborated with writer Stephen Sinclair on the horror-comedy film Braindead (also known as Dead Alive, 1992).
Walsh and Jackson explored new ground with the drama Heavenly Creatures (1994), which earned her an Oscar nomination for the screenplay. She gave birth to Billy in 1995 and Katie in 1996. They returned to a more familiar genre with the horror-comedy The Frighteners (1996). Wanting to try fantasy, Jackson turned to Miramax to make a film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. In 1998, New Line Cinema provided the necessary financial backing to make the trilogy.
Walsh, with her husband and Philippa Boyens, is credited for writing the screenplays for The Lord of the Rings movies (2001 – 2003). They shared many awards, including an Oscar for their Adapted Screenplay for The Return of the King. She also was a producer and a composer of two songs for Return of the King, earning her two other Oscars that night.
Walsh prefers to remain more private than Jackson, as she did not permit an interview in The Lord of the Rings movie DVDs; however, she did provide an audio commentary. She has been described as "modest to a fault" by Forgotten Silver-filmmaker and Jackson-friend Costa Botes.
This is her selected filmography as a screenwriter, unless noted.
- Meet the Feebles (1989)
- Braindead (1992, writer, casting director, actress)
- Heavenly Creatures (1994)
- Jack Brown Genius (1994)
- The Frighteners (1996, writer and associate producer)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001, screenplay, producer, lyricist for "In Dreams", additional second unit director)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002, screenplay, producer, composer for "Gollum's Song")
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003, screenplay, producer, composer for "Into the West" and "A Shadow Lies Between Us")
- "Fran Walsh: The Enigma". TheOneRing.net. Wikipedia:23 December 2001.
- LeVasseur, Andrea. "Fran Walsh". All Movie Guide. Retrieved Wikipedia:14 February 2005.