Played by Frances Conroy
Ruth, mother of Nate, David and Claire, has spent most of her life taking care of other people. For the majority of her teen years she cared for her grandmother, whose legs had been amputated. She got married at 19 and spent the next thirty-odd years keeping house, raising her children and tending to the grieving people who passed through Fisher & Sons Funeral Home. When she got the phone call that informed her she was a widow, Ruth's immediate reaction was to hurl a roast — and everything else she could get her hands on — onto the kitchen floor. Since then she has been trying to build a new life and reconcile feelings of guilt from her old one.