Frances Cuka

Frances Cuka was born in 1936 in London, to Joseph and Letitia Cuka. The family eventually moved to Hove, where Frances was educated at Brighton and Hove High School. She trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, then made her stage debut in 1955 in ‘Meet Mr. Callaghan’ in Warrington. Following work with several repertory companies, she joined the Theatre Workshop and appeared with them at the Zurich Festival and the Moscow Art Theatre in 1957. She then played the part of Jo in ‘A Taste of Honey’ in 1958 at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, East London, transferring with it to the West End then Broadway, followed by an American tour. Her further West End appearances included ‘Vanity Fair’, ‘Sweet Bird of Youth’, ‘Waters of the Moon’, ‘The Wild Duck’ and a number with the R.S.C. in ‘Days in Trees’, ‘Travesties,’ and ‘Nicholas Nickelby.’ She made her television debut in 1964 in The Hidden Truth: Twelve Good Men (1964) of The Hidden Truth (1964) series, which was followed by episodes of Adam Adamant Lives! (1966), The Informer (1966), The Champions (1968), Within These Walls (1974), Crown Court (1972), Ruth Rendell Mysteries (1987), The Bill (1984), Doctors (2000), and Casualty (1986) amongst others. She made her film debut in the little-known comedy Over the Odds (1961) in 1961 and didn’t appear on screen again until 1970, when she played Bob Cratchit’s wife in the musical version of Scrooge (1970). The best known of her films is Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972), in which she played Catherine of Aragon.

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