Souad Faress

Souad Faress
Born Souad Faress
(1948-03-25) 25 March 1948
Accra, Ghana
Residence London
Nationality Ghanaian
Citizenship Ghana, Syria and Irish
Occupation Stage, radio, film, television actress
Years active 1960–present

Souad Faress (born 25 March 1948)[1] is a Ghanaian stage, radio, television and film actress. She is best known for her portrayal of the solicitor Usha Gupta, in the long-running BBC Radio 4 serial The Archers and for her role as the High Priestess of the Dosh Khaleen in the sixth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones.


A Ghanaian Arab, Faress was born in 1948 in Accra, Ghana[1] to Irish and Syrian parents, she lives in London.[2][3] She has been exploring playwriting as a medium since before 2004.[4] Faress completed a writing course at City Literary Institute adult education college.[5] Her other skills include dancing, horse riding, cricket and yoga.[3]


Faress appeared in two episodes of the BBC serial I, Claudius (1976) as a slave girl (shouting fire) and as a dancer who at Messalina's (second and bigamous) marriage party realises troops are coming to arrest them. In another early BBC appearance, she played the character Selma in the Blake's 7 episode 'Horizon'.[6] Since then, Faress has had substantial roles in films such as My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and Sixth Happiness (1997), as well as much stage work around the UK.

In October 2001 she appeared briefly in Coronation Street as Dev Alahan's mother Umila.[7]

Souad Faress also appeared as the Old Rani in The Sarah Jane Adventures serial The Mad Woman in the Attic in October 2009.

In October 2014, it was announced that Faress would perform in Hurried Steps, Sharon Wood's translation of "Passi Affrettati by Dacia Maraini. The play's narratives were mainly sourced from Amnesty International, the subject matter including rape, honour killings, sex trafficking and other issues of violence against women.[8][9]

She currently plays Jay Faldren's grandmother Maryam Shakiba in Casualty.

Faress appeared in an episode of popular nursing drama No Angels as lead character, Anji Mittel's aunt Di. Faress appeared briefly as a hospital doctor in "The Dead of Jericho", the first episode of Inspector Morse.

In 2016 she joined the HBO series Game of Thrones in Season 6 as the High Priestess of the Dosh Khaleen.[10] Faress will also be appearing in ITV drama Brief Encounters, "a loose adaptation of Ann Summers CEO Jacqueline Gold's memoirs, Good Vibrations."[11][12]

See also


  1. 1 2 Noble, Peter (1979). Screen International Film and TV Year Book, Volumes 34-37. King Publications Limited. p. 431.
  2. "The Archers: The Official Inside Story : the Changing Face of Radio's ... - Vanessa Whitburn - Google Books". 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  3. 1 2 "Souad Faress". Spotlight. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  4. "Souad Faress finds new success", BBC Archers site, 21 October 2004
  5. "Souad Faress". Archived from the original on January 31, 2009. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  6. Bensalhia, John. "Blake's 7 series 2 episode 4 - Horizon". Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  7. "Urmila Alahan". 2001-10-28. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  8. Foster, Frank, Play highlighting domestic abuse: Free performances aiming to raise awareness of victims' plight, The Kent and Sussex Courier, 17 October 2014
  10. "Game of Thrones season 6 filming news: Dean-Charles Chapman back on set, 2 more actors cast, and new pics from Spain!". Watchers On The Wall. 27 August 2015.
  11. "Souad Faress - Brief Encounters". The Narrow Road Company. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  12. Loughrey, Clarisse (3 December 2015). "ITV making an Ann Summers drama, obviously called Brief Encounters". The Independent. Retrieved 10 February 2016.

External links

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