Rebecca Front

A veteran comedy performer and writer on British television, Rebecca Front's collaborations with Armando Iannucci and Steve Coogan on critically praised projects like "Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge" (BBC, 1994-95) led to guest and recurring roles on numerous comedy and drama series, including "The Thick of It" (BBC Four/Two, 2005-2012), "The Spa" (Sky Living, 2013) and "Humans" (Channel 4/AMC, 2015- ). Born Rebecca Louise Front in east London, England, on May 16, 1964, she came from a family with a history in arts and performing: her great-grandfather was a musical entertainer, while her father, Charles Front, was an illustrator who provided artwork for children's books and the titular logo for the Beatles' Rubber Soul (1965) album. He also collaborated with her mother, author and teacher Sheila Front, on several children's novels, and her brother, Jeremy, also became a writer and comic performer with whom she partnered for several television projects. She attended St. Hugh's College, Oxford, where she performed in comedy revues with future collaborators like Patrick Marber and David Schneider. After training at the Webber Douglas Drama School, Front formed a comedy act, the Bobo Girls, which was showcased in its own radio series for Radio 4. Writer-producer Armando Iannucci - who would go on to fame as the creator of "Veep" (HBO, 2012-17) - produced the show's second series, and later tapped Front to appear on the news radio parody program "On the Hour" (BBC Radio 4, 1991-92). One of that show's most popular recurring characters was the hapless, self-impressed presenter Alan Partridge, played by Steve Coogan, and Front would both appear in and write for several spin-off projects about him, including "The Day Today" (BBC4, 1992) and "Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge." The popularity of these series led to steady work as a guest performer, both in comic and straight roles, on series like "Absolutely Fabulous" (BBC One/Two, 1992-96, 2001-04) and "Inspector Lewis" (ITV, 1987-2000). In 2009, she reunited with Iannucci for the scathing political satire "The Thick of It," for which she won a BAFTA for playing MP and opposition leader Nicola Murray; the series was bookended by work in numerous other comedy programs, including "Grandma's House" (BBC Two, 2010-12) and "Just William" (BBC One, 2010), which cast her as the mother of Richmal Crompton's popular and ill-mannered literary hero. Front's acting schedule appeared to double in the new decade: she played a therapist treating famous women from history and fiction in "Psychobitches" (Sky Arts, 2012-14), starred as the domineering boss of a health club in "The Spa," and enjoyed guest and recurring roles on "Death Comes to Pemberley" (BBC, 2013), "Midsomer Murders" (ITV, 1997- ) and an eight-year stint on "Lewis" (ITV/STV/UTV, 2006-2015) as the combative superior officer to Kevin Whately's Inspector Robert Lewis. American audiences soon became aware of Front's talents through appearances on a 2015 episode of "Doctor Who" (BBC One, 1963- ), an all-star production of "War and Peace" (BBC One, 2016) with Lily James and James Broadbent, and the science fiction series "Humans," which cast her as an overzealous android medical caregiver. However, many moviegoers that had never seen her large body of work in British comedy and drama saw her in a minor role in Michael Bay's blockbuster "Transformers: The Last Knight" (2017).