In the 1970s, she acted in classical productions such as "King Lear" and "Othello" before making her debut on Broadway in 1981 in "The Lady from Dubuque." This would be the first of many roles on and off Broadway.
Conroy took small roles in films such as 1989's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and 1993's "Sleepless in Seattle" and on TV in "Cosby" and "Law & Order."
In 2001, Conroy was cast as the family matriarch Ruth Fisher in the TV series "Six Feet Under." She received four Emmys nominations and won a Golden Globe in 2004 for the role.
In the summer of 2006, Frances returned to the theater in Neel Keller's production of David Greig's "Pyrenees."