The Eclectic Quill

Website of Joshua McGee


Francie Swift

Actress Francie Swift, although I loathe the name, left an impression on me nine years ago on an episode of Law & Order in which she played a supposed victim of multiple personality disorder. I couldn't tell watching the episode whether she was not quite successful in her portrayal, or whether she was perfectly successful in portraying someone who was faking multiple personality disorder. I actually don't remember what the answer ended up being, but I clearly remember her ability to smile with vacant, soulless eyes. I've seen her in one or two other roles since then, but was just re-impressed with her on the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Semi-Detached" that aired recently. Still those haunting eyes, and a lot of neat facial tricks that while not exactly subtle are quite compelling, especially when they are framed together with D'Onofrio's still-stuck-in-an-Edgar-suit mannerisms which I also enjoy watching. There are more pages of unwritten dialogue in that episode than written dialogue.

The nine years have also done her well physically, and I think she's even prettier now, in a not off-the-shelf manner.

5 Responses to Francie Swift

  1. jason says:

    I just saw the above mentioned Criminal Intent on USA last night (May 18, '06) and was transfixed by Francie Swift's performance.  So fragile and sweet and believable.  I had to find out who she was and was suprised to find so little on the internet.  I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future.

  2. carrie says:

    unreal - i just saw the mpd l&o episode with francie swift, and that was what i was left with: "unreal." i've previously only seen her in the l&o episode "merger," where she also played another fragile, protected daughter with emotional problems and think she is beautiful, however i could not believe her range - her shift from bobby to nancy to megan was seamless and distinct, down to her vocal range and prosody. i had imagined that "fragile girl" was her forte and i was amazed to see her range. i'm disappointed that she only appears to be a bit actress; i'd love to spend more time watching her, just to see how she manages other roles.

  3. Beulah Page says:

    If you want to spend time with Francie in four different incarnations in four different episodes of one terrific series -- "Nero Wolfe," which aired on A&E 2001-2002 and is available for rent or purchase on DVD.  As a leading member of the series' unique repertory cast, Francie was a treat in Season One as:

    Sarah Dacos in "The Doorbell Rang"
    Margot Dickey in "Christmas Party"
    Neya Tormic in "Over My Dead Body"

    You'll find some dandy screenshots of her in all of these roles on the Wolfe Pack website

    She appeared in only a single Season Two episode, as Helen Weltz in "The Next Witness" (a lesser role than the others), because she was co-starring in a Broadway pla, "The Razzle," at the time.

    BTW, I also saw Francie in her triple personality performance in the "Law and Order" episode that was mentioned here, and it stuck with me for years -- I recognized her right off the bat when she turned up in "Nero Wolfe."

  4. Bonnie says:

    Francie is from Amarillo, TX and grew up in the children's theatre at the Amarillo Little Theatre.  She is incredibly talented and seems to stay under the radar.  She is very private and unassuming and has worked very hard for years since she left Amarillo.  Her beauty does not reveal her age and I believe she is much overdo for a prime role.  She is currently playing Ted Danson's wife on "Damaged", the new legal show on FX.  I hope we will see more of her on this show.

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