Frances Tomelty

Frances Tomelty is an Irish actress whose numerous television credits include Strangers, Testament of Youth, Inspector Morse, Cracker, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, The White Queen and Unforgotten. Her theatre roles include playing Kate in the original production of Dancing at Lughnasa in Dublin. She was married to the musician Sting from 1976 to 1984.

Early life

Tomelty was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the daughter of actor Joseph Tomelty.


She has featured in series including Survivors, Bergerac, Inspector Morse, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Strangers, Midsomer Murders and Coronation Street, Cracker, as well as many films including Bellman and True, Monk Dawson, Bullshot and The Field. She was Lady Macbeth in the Old Vic's disastrous 1980 production of Macbeth, with Peter O'Toole in the title role.
Tomelty's roles in recent years include the drama series Spooks, Casualty, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Holby City, , The Royal, Waking the Dead, Silent Witness, Unforgotten, Catastrophe, Death in Paradise as well as big-budget adaptations Atlantis, Merlin, The White Queen, and A Perfect Spy, and the film Chéri.

Selected theatre performances

On 1 May 1976, Tomelty married musician Gordon "Sting" Sumner – best known as the lead singer and bassist for the rock band The Police – after knowing him for two years. They met on the set of a rock-musical called Rock Nativity. She played the Virgin Mary; he played in the band. They have two children together, Joseph and Fuchsia Katherine . Sumner left Tomelty for his current wife Trudie Styler, and the couple divorced in 1984. The split was controversial; as The Independent reported in 2006, "The problem was, he was already married – to actress Frances Tomelty, who just happened to be Trudie's best friend. The affair was widely condemned – not least because it coincided with the break-up of the Police."