|Name:||Francine Joy Drescher|
|Born:||September 30, 1957|
|Occupation:||actress, comedian, producer, author|
|Known for:||playing as Fran Fine in the 1993-99 CBS sitcom The Nanny|
Drescher was born in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, New York. she is the daughter of Sylvia, a bridal consultant and Morty Drescher a naval systems analyst. Her Ashkenazi Jewish family is of Southeast and Central European origin. Her maternal great-grandmother was born in Focsani, Romania and had emigrated to the United States while her father's family came from Poland. She has an older sister named Nadine.
Drescher was a first runner-up for "Miss New York Teenager" in 1973. She attended Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens where she met her future husband Peter Marc Jacobs whom she married in 1978 at age 21. They divorced in 1999. Jacobson was Drescher's constant supporter in her show-business career. and he wrote, directed and produced her signature television series The Nanny. Drescher graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1975; one of her classmates was comedian Ray Romano. Drescher's character Fran Fine and Romano's character Ray Barone met at a 20th high school reunion on an episode of The Nanny.
Drescher's first break was a small role as the dancer Connie in the blockbuster movie Saturday Night Fever in which she delivered the line "So, are you good in bed as you are on the dance floor?" to John Travolta. A year later, she began to gain more attention in films such as American Hot Wax and Summer of Fear. She also took the role in the 1981 Milos Forman film, Ragtime.
During the 1980s, Drescher found moderate success as a character actress with memorable roles such as Gorp, The Hollywood Knights, Doctor Detroit, The Big Picture, UHF Cadillac Man and memorably This is Spinal Tap's publicist Bobbi Fleckman. Fran also played Sandra Clark's (Jackee Harry's) boss in the first season episode of 227. She also made an appearance in a second season episode of Who's the Boss? in 1985 as interior decorator. She also had an appearance in Night Court as a schizophrenic who flips from a prude to a sexually minded woman an ends up in a hotel with ADA Dan Fielding.
In the 1990s, Drescher voiced "Peggy" from The P Pals on PBS (the woman with the flower on her hat).
The Nanny and later film rolesEdit
Drescher and Jacobson created their own television show The Nanny in 1993 until 1999 on CBS and Drescher became an instant star. In this sitcom, she played a charming and bubbly woman named Fran Fine who casually became the nanny of Margaret ("Maggie") (played by Nicholle Tom) , Brighton ("B") (played by Benjamin Salisbury) and Grace ("Gracie") Sheffield (played by Madeline Zima) with her wit and her charm, she endeared herself to their widowed father: stuffy, composed, proper British gentleman and Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield played by Charles Shaughnessy.
Drescher appeared in Jack, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Beautician and the Beast (for which she was also executive producer) and Picking Up the Pieces co-starring Woody Allen. She was also the voice of "Pearl" in Shark Bait. Drescher also voiced Eunice, Frankenstein's wife in the animated film, Hotel Transylvania.
Return to TelevisionEdit
In the 2000s, Drescher made a return to television both with leading and guest roles. In 2003, Drescher appeared in episodes of the short-lived sitcom, Good Morning, Miami as Robert Diaz. In 2005, she returned with the sitcoms Living with Fran, in which she played Fran Reeves, a middle-aged mother of two, living with Riley Martin played by Ryan McPartlin a man half her age and not much older than her son. Former Nanny costar Charles Shaughnessy appeared as her philandering ex-husband, Ted. Living with Fran was cancelled on May 17, 2006 after two seasons.
In 2006, Drescher guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent the episode "The War at Home" aired on U.S. television on November 14, 2006. She also appeared in an episode of Entourage and in the same year, gave her voice to the role of a female golem in The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror XVII". In 2007, Drescher appeared in the U.S. version of the Australian improvisational comedy series Thank God You're Here.
In 2008, Drescher announced that she was developing a new sitcom entitled The New Thirty, also starring Rosie O'Donnell. A series about two old high school friends coping with midlife crises, Drescher described the premature plot of the show as "kind of Sex and the City but we ain't getting any! It'll probably be more like The Odd People. The sitcom failed to materialize however. In 2010, Drescher returned to television with her own daytime talk show, The Fran Drescher Tawk Show. While the program debuted to strong ratings, it ended its three-week test run to moderate success, resulting in its shelving. The following year, the sitcom Happily Divorced, created by Drescher and her ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson was picked up by TV Land for a ten-episode order. It premiered there June 15, 2011. The show was renewed in July 2011 for a second season of twelve episodes, which aired in spring 2012. On May 1, 2012, TV Land extended the second season and picked up twelve additional episodes, taking the second season total of twenty-four. The back-order of season two debuted later in 2012. Happily Divorced was cancelled in August 2013.
To promote Happily Divorced, Drescher performed the wedding of three gay couples in New York City using the minister's license she received from the University Life City. Drescher hand-picked the three couples, all of whom were entrants into "Fran Drescher's 'Love Is Love' Gay Marriage Contest" on Facebook, based on the stories the couples submitted about how they met, why their relationship illustrated that "love is love" and why they wanted to be married by her.
Drescher made her Broadway debut on February 4, 2014. in the revival of Hammerstein's Cinderella. She replaced Harriet Harris as stepmother Madame for a 10-week engagement. Drescher's previous stage performers include an off-Broadway production of Nora Ephron's Love, Loss, and What I Wore and Camelot at the Lincoln with the New York Philharmonic.
Drescher has been the recipient of the John Wayne Institute's Woman of Achievement Award, the City of Hope Woman of the Year Award, the Hebrew University Humanitarian Award, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Spirit of Achievement Award. In 2006, she was honored with the City of Hope Spirit of Life Award, which was presented to her by Senator Hillary Clinton. On April 10, 2010 she was guest of honor at the "Dancer against Cancer" charity ball held at the Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria, where she received the first "My Aid Award" for her achievement in support of cancer prevention and rehabilitation.
After separating in 1996, Drescher and Jacobson divorced in 1999. They had no children. Drescher said "I would have been able to conceive but not hold on". Drescher had worked to support LGBT rights issues after her ex-husband came out. Drescher has stated that the primary reason for the divorce was her need to change directions in life. Drescher and Jacobson have remained friends and business partners. She has stated that "we choose each others' lives in any capacity. Our love is unique, rare, and unconditional; unless he's being annoying."
On September 7, 2014 Drescher married Tamil American scientist Shiva Ayyadurai at their beach house in an intimate ceremony among very close friends.
Drescher attended Queens College, City of University of New York.
The 1985 robbery and rapeEdit
In January 1985, two armed robbers broke into Drescher and Jacobson's Los Angeles apartment. While one ransacked their home, Drescher and her friend were raped by the other at gunpoint. Jacobson was also physically attacked, tied up and forced to witness the entire ordeal. It took Drescher many years to recover, and it took her even longer to tell her story to the press. She was paraphrased by saying in an interview with Larry King that although it was a traumatic experience, she found ways to turn it into something positive. In her book Cancer Schmancer, the actress writes "My whole life has been about changing negatives into positives" her rapist, who was on parole at the time of the crime, was returned to prison and given two life sentences.
After two years of symptoms and misdiagnoses by eight doctors, Drescher was admitted to Los Angeles's Cedar Sinai Hospital on June 21, 2000 after doctors diagnosed her with uterine cancer. She had to undergo an immediate radical hysterectomy to treat the disease. Drescher was given a clean Bill of Health and no-post operative treatment was ordered.
She wrote about her experiences in her second book Cancer Schmancer. Her purpose for this book was to raise consciousness for men and women "to become more aware of the early warning signs of cancer, and to empower themselves". Drescher says, "I was going to learn what I need to learn, ask questions, become partners with my doctor instead of having some kind of parent/child relationship".
Cancer Schmancer MovementEdit
On June 21, 2007, the seventh anniversary of her operation, Drescher announced the national launch of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all women's cancers be diagnosed while in Stage 1, the most curable stage. She celebrated her tenth year of wellness on June 21, 2010.
Fran Says: "We need to take control of our bodies, become greater partners with out physicians and galvanize as one to let our legislators know that the collective female vote is louder and more powerful then that of the richest corporate lobbyists".
Her goal is to live in a time when women's morality rates drop as their health care improves and early detection increases. More information can be found below this page.
Her efforts as an outspoken healthcare advocate in Washington D.C. helped get unanimous passage for H.R. 1245 (also known as Johanna's Law) and she is acknowledge in the Congressional Record.
In September 2008, Drescher, a Democrat, was appointed as a U.S. diplomat by George W. Bush Administration's Assistant Secretary of State Goli Ameri. Her official title is Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women's Health Issues. In traveling throughout the world, she will support U.S. public diplomacy efforts, including working with health organization and women's group to raise awareness of women's health issues, cancer awareness and detection, and patients empowerment and advocacy. Her first trip was in late September and included stops in Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Poland.
In the same year, Drescher supported Senator Hillary Rodham Cliton for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. She attended a Super Democrat rally for Clinton. Drescher said that she had been considering a run for the United States Senate in 2008 to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton, but ultimately decided against it. She endorsed Barack Obama for re-election in 2012.
In April 2014, Drescher presented at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition with Bryan Cranston, Idina Menzel and Denzel Washington, after raising donations at her Broadway show Cinderella.