Yesterday, "American Horror Story" creator Ryan Murphy announced via Twitter that actress Frances Conroy will return for season 3 of the show, set to premiere in October. Murphy said, "Thrilled to announce the legendary Frances Conroy is on board for next season's American Horror Story."
Previously, Murphy announced he was negotiating to get Taissa Farmiga back for season 3, and Farmiga's return is now confirmed. Farmiga starred as Violet Harmon in season one, Murder House, but did not appear in season two, Asylum.
Although not a major character, Conroy's roles in the first two seasons have proven not only integral to the show's plots, but also among the most compelling. In Murder House, she played the elder Moira, the ghost of Murder House's former maid, killed when shot through the eye by Constance (Jessica Lange). When Constance interrupted her husband raping Moira, she believed the act consensual and promptly shot them both. Moira's ghost, often acting as the moral compass of the house, appeared to most in her elder appearance but to Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) as young and sultry (as portrayed by Alexandra Breckenridge). Due to Ben's recent infidelity, Moira tested his steadfastness to his wife Vivien (Connie Britton).
Conroy did not appear until episode 7 of Asylum. She played the Dark Angel (the Angel of Death) in that episode and four more. The flap of her black wings provided one of the show's most memorable and astonishing visual effects, executed with technological perfection. This role was pivotal as her kiss indicated the death of a number of the characters she visited. In the penultimate episode, Conroy appeared to Jude (Lange) in a hallucination as a gruff, cruel and bullying new inmate in the Asylum. The part, so foreign to her prior, gentler appearances, furthered acclaim for this versatile and utterly convincing actress.
Georgian actress Conroy's parents were both in business. After performing in college productions, Conroy attended Juilliard in NYC. Her stage performances garnered her nominations for a Tony and Drama Desk Awards. She also appeared in smaller roles in dozens of films but was best known, prior to "AHS," for her role as Ruth Fisher on the HBO show "Six Feet Under."
For the anthology show's third season, Conory and Farmiga will join returning cast members Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe, who all appeared in both seasons. Murphy has dropped hints about the plot and setting for the upcoming season, but thus far, nothing has been announced.