Six Feet Under

From Academic Kids

For the band, see Six Feet Under (band)

Template:Infobox television Six Feet Under is a critically acclaimed and popular television drama produced by HBO. It first aired on June 3, 2001 and will conclude its run at the end of the currently airing fifth season on August 22 2005.



The show, created by Alan Ball, stars Peter Krause as Nathaniel ("Nate") Fisher, the son of a funeral director who becomes a partner in the family funeral business with his brother David, played by Michael C. Hall. The Fisher clan also includes mother Ruth (Frances Conroy) and sister Claire (Lauren Ambrose). Other regulars include mortician and family friend Federico Diaz (Freddy Rodriguez), Nate's girlfriend Brenda Chenowith (Rachel Griffiths), and David's boyfriend Keith Charles (Mathew St. Patrick).

The show revolves around the world of Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home, a ficticious mortuary set in present day Los Angeles, California (2001-2005).

On one level, the show is a conventional family drama, dealing with such issues as relationships, infidelity, homosexuality, and religion. At the same time, it is a show that is distinguished by its unblinking focus on the topic of death, which it explores on multiple levels (personal, religious and philosophical), rather than treating it as a convenient impetus for the solution of a murder. Each episode begins with a death - anything from drowning or heart attack to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - and that death usually sets the tone for each episode, allowing the characters to reflect on their current fortunes and misfortunes in a way that is illuminated by the death and its aftermath.

In November 2004, series creator and executive producer Alan Ball announced that the fifth season would be the show's last. The producers and writers felt that after 63 episodes they had told their "story", and the season currently airing will be the last, with the final episode to air on August 22, 2005.

In March 2005, HBO announced that the final season of Six Feet Under would be moved to Mondays to spread the word that original programming can be shown on all days of the week and not on Sunday which has been a tradition with all HBO programming since Sex and the City aired in 1998. This marks the only season of Six Feet Under that aired new episodes on Monday instead of Sunday which has been the style since its debut in 2001.


Missing image
The Fisher & Sons Funeral Home in 2001.

Six Feet Under, being a show about death, is also a show about time; each episode is set in a particular month in a "contemporary universe" that spans the period from 2000-2005. Nathaniel Fisher, Sr. (played by Richard Jenkins) dies in the pilot, which begins on December 24, 2000. The next episode is set in January 8, 2001 [1] ( Some of the deaths in the series have occurred in other periods e.g. the 1970s and the 1950s; in these cases, the story is brought up to date so that the plot revolves around the ramifications of the death, rather than the death itself.

The show devotes considerable attention to continuity. Sometimes six months passes between each episode; on other occasions, a day. In all cases, the story carries on from where it left off in the previous episode.


Major characters

Missing image
The Fisher family in an earlier season.
  • Nathaniel "Nate" Fisher, Jr. - (Peter Krause), the son who returns to Los Angeles on Christmas Eve to learn his father has died. It could be argued that Nate is the "main character" of the show since the series began with his return home from Seattle. Nate assumes responsibility after his father's death and joins brother David in running Fisher & Sons (later Fisher & Diaz). Soon after being home for a while he becomes diagnosed with AVM, a fatal brain condition which he could die from at any given moment if not taken care of. He had a difficult time explaining this to his family, who were supportive, and his fiancèe, Brenda. He soon broke off his engagement with her off with after learning she has committed infidelity. His surgery was a success and he soon married his old girlfriend, Lisa, with whom he had a child. Their relationship became tumultuous and just as things seemed to get better she was reported missing. A month later she is found dead. Soon after, Nate struggles as a single parent but soon however rekindles his relationship with Brenda and the two become engaged for the second time. The two marry six months later.
  • David Fisher - (Michael C. Hall), the other son who is co-operator of Fisher & Sons (later Fisher & Diaz) and is in a relationship with Keith, a police officer. Soon after his father's death, David became angered at the fact that his brother, Nate had come back into the picture after coming and going as he pleased since 1984. David also struggled with the fact that he was gay and had a difficult time coming out, which his lover Keith so desperately wanted. David soon came out to his family, who were accepting, but he was exiled from his Roman Catholic church (where he served as deacon). David has since moved on experiencing difficulty and happiness with Keith, and pain through a traumatic experience involving himself and a carjacker. David has since gotten closure out of the ordeal and plans to adopt a child with Keith.
  • Ruth (O'Connor) Fisher Sibley - (Frances Conroy), the widow of Nathaniel and mother of three who had an ongoing affair with a hairdresser while her husband was alive. Since then, she has attended a self-help seminar called The Plan, remarried to George Sibley and started a friendship with an adventurous woman named Bettina.
Missing image
Nate and Claire.
  • Claire Fisher - (Lauren Ambrose) a rebellious art school student, who is into drugs, sex and bad relationships. She is the most creative in the family. At one time dating the bitter highschool student Gabe, she is currently in a complex relationship with Brenda's brother Billy.
  • Federico "Rico" Diaz - (Freddy Rodriguez), the extremely skilled restorative artist who is an asset to the Fisher's, a father and a partner in the business. He was extremely close to Mr. Fisher who supported him through college. Federico was recently separated from his wife when she discovered he was cheating on her.

Supporting Characters

  • Vanessa Diaz - (Justina Machado), Federico's wife and high school sweetheart; she works as a nurse. His moods and decisions outside of the home are often closely affected by her advice and attitude. In recent times, Federico's infidelity caused the couple to separate and consider divorce.
  • Nathaniel Fisher - (Richard Jenkins), Patriarch of the Fisher family and owner of Fisher & Sons Funeral Home until his death on Christmas Eve, 2000. Though he is dead, he is still a presence in most of the Fishers and lives on in their hearts as a guide and advisor to his surviving members.
Missing image
David and Keith.
  • Keith Charles - (Mathew St. Patrick), David's tempestuous lover, who has anger issues. He was a police officer before moving on to work in private security. After years of dealing with misery, Keith sought help with a therapist and became more loving to David and tried to reconnect ties with his abusive father who refused. After David's tragic incident, Keith decides to try to fill the void with happiness, thus offering the discussion of adoption and/or surrogacy.
  • George Sibley - (James Cromwell), Ruth's second husband, who has had 6 wives and a past unknown to his new spouse. He has two children from a previous marriage: a son, Brian and a daughter Maggie, a lovely traveling pharmaceutical representative. Before marrying, George dated a woman and soon after got her pregnant, thus a son Kyle. Before Kyle was born however he signed away his custodial rights. Therefore later in Kyle's life, he intensely hated his father and sent boxes of feces to the Fisher home. The two later reconciled. More recently, he suffered a nervous breakdown and went into shock therapy.
  • Sarah O'Connor - (Patricia Clarkson), Ruth's younger artistic sister who left Ruth alone to deal with sick relatives. Years ago, Sarah baby-sat Ruth's sons and they got into trouble; Ruth resents Sarah for both of these reasons.
  • Bettina - (Kathy Bates), Sarah's caretaker with whom Ruth begins a friendship.
Missing image
  • Lisa (Kimmel) Fisher - (Lili Taylor), Nate's old friend from Seattle who becomes pregnant by him. They later marry after the birth of their daughter, Maya. Not long after, she goes missing and is eventually found dead. It was revealed that she was killed by her sister's husband, who she had a brief affair with before getting married to Nate.
  • Billy Chenowith - (Jeremy Sisto), Brenda's younger brother, who is a bipolar artist and often has violent and scary episodes due to not taking medication.
  • Margaret Chenowith - (Joanna Cassidy), Brenda's dysfunctional mother and a psychologist.
Missing image
Brenda, Margaret and Maya at Claire's opening.
  • Dr. Bernard Chenowith - (Robert Foxworth), Brenda's psychologist father, who died in 2003.
  • Olivier Castro-Staal- (Peter MacDissi), Teaches Form in Space at LAC-Arts, former teacher of Claire, Russell, and Billy Chenowith. Olivier is also bi-sexual, who has had flings with Russell and Billy and is now living with Billy's mother, Margaret.
  • Russell Corwin - (Ben Foster), Claire's classmate at art school and one-time boyfriend.
  • Edie - (Mena Suvari), A free-spirited lesbian artist who becomes a friend and one time lover of Claire.
Missing image
Federico and George.
  • Parker McKenna- (Marina Black), was Claire's best friend during her high school years. Parker is a very rich, beautiful and rebellious transfer student from a private school who attempts to start a friendship with the unlikely Claire Fisher. The friendship blossomed, however after finding out that Parker had cheated on her SATs and had been accepted into better colleges than Claire the friendship was broken off until Claire learned it was better to have one friend than no friends at all. After Claire enrolled in art school, Parker was caught and enrolled in a community college. The two have not spoken since graduation.
Missing image
Ruth with Bettina.
  • Gabriel Dimas- (Eric Balfour)- was Claire's boyfriend when she was a high school senior. Claire thought she was in love however when Gabe told the entire school she slept with him and sucked his toes, an upset Claire got her revenge by throwing a severed foot from a deceased into his locker. The two remained silent until the death of Gabe's brother when the two reconnected. Soon after, Gabe overdosed on drugs and Claire tried to help him however he just dug deeper and deeper into a hole. Since then, Claire has received "closure" from a fantasy where she believes Gabe has died and is better than he had been before.
  • Nikolai- (Ed O'Ross)- the owner of Blossom d'Amour Flower Shop where Ruth once worked. Nikolai was also Ruth's Russian lover for 2 years until his encounter with the Russian mob. Ruth pays off his debt and soon their relationship turns sour. Several weeks after their break-up, Ruth resigns from Blossom d'Amour.
  • Carol Ward - (Catherine O'Hara), Lisa's "quirky" former boss, who annoyed Lisa with numerous jobs and wants. She was also very hostile to Nate about parking situations and living arrangements.


Missing image
Promotional for the 2005 season of Six Feet Under

As Six Feet Under gradually became a topic in pop culture after Season 1, HBO came up with very stylish promotional ads to promote the anticipation of upcoming seasons. The promos often depicted the mood that may have occurred in previous episodes or foretold future scenarios. Music, according to creator Alan Ball, is a necessity in the life of Six Feet Under, as it depicts the mood of the Fishers.

The following songs were played during the teaser trailers for the seasons following Season 1:


  • Season 1: 2000 (pilot), 2001 (12 episodes)
  • Season 2: 2001 (8 episodes), 2002 (5 episodes)
  • Season 3: 2002 (1 episode), 2003 (12 episodes)
  • Season 4: 2003,(4 episodes), 2004 (8 episodes)
  • Season 5: 2004 (2 episodes), 2005 (currently)


Season 1 (2001)

# Episode Title Director Writer Original Airdate
1 Pilot Alan Ball Alan Ball June 3, 2001 (HBO)
2 The Will Miguel Arteta Christian Williams June 10, 2001 (HBO)
3 The Foot John Patterson Bruce Eric Kaplan June 17, 2001 (HBO)
4 Familia Lisa Cholodenko Laurence Andries June 24, 2001 (HBO)
5 An Open Book Kathy Bates Alan Ball July 1, 2001 (HBO)
6 The Room Rodrigo Garcia Christian Taylor July 8, 2001 (HBO)
7 Brotherhood Jim McBride Christian Williams July 15, 2001 (HBO)
8 Crossroads Allen Coulter Laurence Andries July 22, 2001 (HBO)
9 Life's Too Short Jeremy Podeswa Christian Taylor July 29, 2001 (HBO)
10 The New Person Kathy Bates Bruce Eric Kaplan August 5, 2001 (HBO)
11 The Trip Michael Engler Rick Cleveland August 12, 2001 (HBO)
12 A Private Life Rodrigo Garcia Kate Robin August 19, 2001 (HBO)
13 Knock, Knock Alan Ball Alan Ball August 19, 2001 (HBO)

Season 2 (2002)

# Episode Title Director Writer Original Airdate
14 In The Game Rodrigo Garcia Alan Ball March 3, 2002 (HBO)
15 Out, Out Brief Candle Kathy Bates Laurence Andries March 10, 2002 (HBO)
16 The Plan Rose Troche Kate Robin March 17, 2002 (HBO)
17 Driving Mr. Mossback Michael Cuesta Rick Cleveland March 24, 2002 (HBO)
18 The Invisible Woman Jeremy Podeswa Bruce Eric Kaplan March 31, 2002 (HBO)
19 In Place of Anger Michael Engler Christian Taylor April 7, 2002 (HBO)
20 Back to the Garden Dan Attias Jill Soloway April 14, 2002 (HBO)
21 It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Alan Taylor Scott Buck April 21, 2002 (HBO)
22 Someone Else's Eyes Michael Cuesta Alan Ball April 28, 2002 (HBO)
23 The Secret Alan Poul Bruce Eric Kaplan May 5, 2002 (HBO)
24 The Liar and the Whore Miguel Arteta Rick Cleveland May 12, 2002 (HBO)
25 I'll Take You Michael Engler Jill Soloway May 19, 2002 (HBO)
26 The Last Time Alan Ball Kate Robin June 2, 2002 (HBO)

Season 3 (2003)

# Episode Title Director Writer(s) Original Airdate
27 Perfect Circles Rodrigo Garcia Alan Ball March 2, 2003 (HBO)
28 You Never Know Michael Cuesta Scott Buck March 9, 2003 (HBO)
29 The Eye Inside Michael Engler Kate Robin March 16, 2003 (HBO)
30 Nobody Sleeps Alan Poul Rick Cleveland and Alan Ball March 23, 2003 (HBO)
31 The Trap Jeremy Podeswa Bruce Eric Kaplan March 30, 2003 (HBO)
32 Making Love Work Kathy Bates Jill Soloway April 6, 2003 (HBO)
33 Timing and Space Nicole Holofcener Craig Wright April 13, 2003 (HBO)
34 Tears, Bones and Desire Dan Attias Nancy Oliver April 20, 2003 (HBO)
35 The Opening Karen Moncrieff Kate Robin April 27, 2003 (HBO)
36 Everyone Leaves Dan Minahan Scott Buck May 4, 2003 (HBO)
37 Death Works Overtime Dan Attias Rick Cleveland May 11, 2003 (HBO)
38 Twilight Kathy Bates Craig Wright May 18, 2003 (HBO)
39 I'm Sorry, I'm Lost Alan Ball Jill Soloway June 1, 2003 (HBO)

Season 4 (2004)

# Episode Title Director Writer(s) Original Airdate
40 Falling Into Place Michael Cuesta Craig Wright June 13, 2004 (HBO)
41 In Case of Rapture Dan Attias Rick Cleveland June 20, 2004 (HBO)
42 Parallel Play Jeremy Podeswa Jill Soloway June 27, 2004 (HBO)
43 Can I Come Up Now? Dan Minahan Alan Ball July 11, 2004 (HBO)
44 That's My Dog Alan Poul Scott Buck July 18, 2004 (HBO)
45 Terror Starts at Home Miguel Arteta Kate Robin July 25, 2004 (HBO)
46 The Dare Peter Webber Bruce Eric Kaplan August 1, 2004 (HBO)
47 Coming and Going Dan Attias Nancy Oliver August 8, 2004 (HBO)
48 Grinding the Corn Alan Caso Rick Cleveland August 15, 2004 (HBO)
49 The Black Forest Peter Care Jill Soloway and Craig Wright August 22, 2004 (HBO)
50 Bomb Shelter Nicole Holofcener Scott Buck August 29, 2004 (HBO)
51 Untitled Alan Ball Nancy Oliver September 12, 2004 (HBO)

Season 5 (2005)

# Episode Title Director Writer Original Airdate
52 A Coat of White Primer Rodrigo Garcia Kate Robin June 6, 2005 (HBO)
53 Dancing For Me Dan Attias Scott Buck June 13, 2005 (HBO)
54 Hold My Hand Jeremy Podeswa Nancy Oliver June 20, 2005 (HBO)
55 Time Flies Alan Poul Craig Wright June 27, 2005 (HBO)
56 Eat A Peach To Be Announced To Be Announced July 4, 2005 (HBO)
57 The Rainbow of Her Reasons Mary Harron Jill Soloway July 11, 2005 (HBO)
58 The Silence Joshua Marston Bruce Eric Kaplan July 18, 2005 (HBO)
59 Singing For Our Lives Matt Shakman To Be Announced July 25, 2005 (HBO)
60 Ecotone To Be Announced To Be Announced August 1, 2005 (HBO)
61 All Alone To Be Announced To Be Announced August 8, 2005 (HBO)
62 Eleventh Episode To Be Announced To Be Announced August 15, 2005 (HBO)
63 The Finale Alan Ball Alan Ball August 22, 2005 (HBO)

See also


Six Feet Under is broadcast on the following channels around the world:

External links

fr:Six Feet Under (série télévisée) sv:Six Feet Under zh:身前身后


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools