Frances Goffman was born in Mannville, Alberta to Ukrainian immigrants, Max Goffman and Anne (Averbach) Goffman. She had one brother Ervin Goffman, a noted sociologist. The family moved to Dauphin, Manitoba shortly after the children were born. Frances began acting on stage as a teenager and continued to do so until the birth of her son. She returned to acting in the 1970s on stage, TV and film and continued to do so until her death in 2011 . She appeared in such films and TV series as Twin Peaks, Happy Gilmore and Seinfeld and won a Gemini award for a guest role on Road to Avonlea.