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Fran Drescher: The Unmistakable Star of The Nanny

Full Name: Francine Joy Drescher
Born: September 30, 1957 in Flushing, NY
Occupation: Actress, Comedian, Writer, Activist
Years Active: 1977-Present
Spouse: Peter Marciano (m. 2020), Shiva Ayyadurai (m. 2014–2016), Peter Marc Jacobson (m. 1978–1999)
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Fran Drescher Photo
For over 40 remarkable years, Fran Drescher has been making audiences laugh out loud with her hilarious comedic performances on screen and off. But beyond the humor, she is also a talented actress, writer, producer, activist, cancer survivor, and inspiration to millions of fans worldwide.

As a life-long "Nanny" lover myself, I‘m thrilled to share more about the incredibly funny, brave, big-hearted woman that is Fran Drescher. From her start as a teacher in Queens to becoming a household name as Fran Fine, read on for a comprehensive look at her sensational journey so far.

Early Life in Flushing, Queens

Fran Drescher was born on September 30th, 1957 in Flushing, Queens to middle class parents Sylvia, a bridal consultant, and Morty Drescher, a naval systems analyst. Even as a child, Fran‘s bubbly personality and gift for performing shone through. She was always the center of attention in family talent shows, delighting everyone with her singing, dancing, and nasally impressions.

Fran attended Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens where she met her future husband and collaborative partner Peter Marc Jacobson. The two became the best of friends, bonding over their shared love of theater, music and Highlights magazine.

After graduating high school in 1975, Fran enrolled at Queens College alongside buddy Peter. She majored in education, thinking she‘d become a teacher. However, the acting bug bit when she got the lead in a school production of Gypsy. Fran realized her destiny was in showbiz, not teaching kids algebra.

Early Career – Lots of "No‘s" on the Path to "Yes"

In 1977, Fran decided it was time to leave college and pursue her acting dreams full-time. She started taking classes with famed coach Sandra Seacat while supporting herself as a receptionist at a beauty salon.

Fran landed her first big audition in 1978 for a new CBS sitcom called “13 Queens Boulevard” starring Eileen Brennan. She beat out thousands of hopefuls and won the role of regular character Denise. However, in a heartbreaking turn, CBS cancelled the show after just one episode aired.

For the next decade, Fran persevered through constant auditions and rejections. She booked guest spots on shows like “Silver Spoons” and “Night Court,” but the big break eluded her. I can only imagine how discouraging this must have been after uprooting her life to move to Hollywood. But the plucky Queens girl never gave up.

The Nanny Changes Everything

In 1993, Fran‘s life changed forever when she and Pete Jacobson co-created a little sitcom called “The Nanny.” Fran obviously starred as the lead character Fran Fine, a bold, bubbly cosmetics saleswoman from Flushing who becomes a nanny for a stuffed shirt Broadway producer‘s three kids.

The moment I first heard Fran sputter “Miss Fine!” in that delightful nasal Queens accent, I knew this show was going to be a hit. And I was right – “The Nanny” was an instant smash for CBS, spending years in the Nielsen Top 20.

Fran’s hilarious performance turned her into a true household name and also earned her two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations. Thanks to syndication, new generations continue to discover the magic of Fran Drescher as “The Nanny.” She made the character an unforgettable TV icon with her heart, humor and humility.

Major Moments from “The Nanny”

  • The Signature Style – Fran Fine‘s flashy, colorful wardrobe provided the perfect complement to Drescher‘s bold, brash persona. Who could forget all those mini-skirts, tight dresses, and leopard prints?
  • That Voice – No one but Drescher could have pulled off Fran‘s distinct nasal Queens accent and expressions like “Miss Fine!" Her voice IS the character.
  • The Celebrity Guests – "The Nanny" featured tons of A-list cameos including Elizabeth Taylor, Rosie O’Donnell, Ray Charles, Patti LaBelle, and more!
  • The Fun Plotlines – Whether Fran was clashing with C.C. Babcock, bonding with the kids, or pursuing Mr. Sheffield, the stories were equal parts heart and hilarity.
  • The Satisfying Ending – Fans rejoiced when Fran finally married her boss Maxwell Sheffield in the emotional series finale. It was a pitch-perfect ending to the show.

Life and Career after “The Nanny”

Once “The Nanny” wrapped its six season run, Fran proved she had talents far beyond sitcom stardom. She took on lead roles in movies like “The Beautician and The Beast” and “Picking Up The Pieces.” She also returned to TV with everything from guest spots to starring in her second sitcom “Living With Fran.”

Fran made her Broadway debut as the lead in Cinderella alongside James Naughton in 2011. She also appeared off-Broadway in Love, Loss, and What I Wore and penned her own one-woman show called “The Fran Drescher Show.”

In the 2000s, Drescher expanded into voice acting, most memorably as a princess on “The Simpsons.” She‘s also competed on reality shows like “The Masked Singer” and currently hosts her own podcast "The Nanny Cares."

Amazingly, even over 40 years into her career, Fran still tackles exciting new projects with the same passion, confidence, skill and smile as ever. There‘s simply no one else quite like the multi-talented Ms. Fran Drescher!

Top 3 Post-"Nanny" Roles

  1. Bobbi Fleckman in Broadway‘s Cinderella (2011) – Fran charmed audiences as the kooky Fairy Godmother.
  2. Jean in Living with Fran (2005-2007) – She proved lightning CAN strike twice with her 2nd self-titled sitcom.
  3. Picking Up the Pieces (2000) – This offbeat indie film let Fran show off her acting chops in a darker role.

Cancer Survivor and Healthcare Activist

Fran’s life took a terrifying turn in 1985 when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer while only in her 20s. Thankfully doctors caught it early and she underwent an immediate hysterectomy. Fran has been cancer-free ever since.

This harrowing experience ignited Fran’s passion for healthcare advocacy. In 2007, she started The Cancer Schmancer Movement to promote early detection and prevention of uterine and other female cancers.

Fran also served as Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women‘s Health Issues under the U.S. State Department. She traveled the world speaking about critical women‘s health issues. I admire Fran for turning her private trauma into a public force for good.

Health Advocacy Highlights

  • U.S. State Department Diplomacy Award (2011)
  • Authored “Cancer Schmancer” movement manifesto book (2007)
  • Instrumental in passing Erin’s Law to teach kids sexual abuse prevention
  • Named Honorary Chair of Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (2022)

The Many Men in Fran‘s Life

Fran’s love life has been filled with twists and turns over the years:

Peter Marc Jacobson – Fran married her high school sweetheart in 1978. Peter later came out as gay, and they amicably divorced in 1999 after 21 years together. What a modern family!

Shiva Ayyadurai – Fran tied the knot with entrepreneur Shiva in 2014, only to also divorce in 2016. Apparently his personality wasn‘t as big as his brain.

Peter Marciano – In 2020, Fran came full circle and reconnected with her first love from high school! They married after rekindling their teenage romance some 50 years later.

Charles Saatchi – Fran’s longest relationship was actually with mega-rich advertising mogul Charles Saatchi from 2009-2014. They never married but seemed happily unmarried.

No matter the relationship status, family and friends like BFF Marsha are Fran’s first love. She prioritizes those connections above all else.

Why We Adore Fran Drescher

Let me count just some of the reasons Fran Drescher is so universally beloved:

  • Her Comedic Talent – Fran‘s hilarious on-screen and off with impeccable timing, delivery and physical comedy.
  • Her Business Savvy – Fran parlayed TV stardom into a production company, hotels, fashion line and more. She‘s a smart cookie!
  • Her Authenticity – Fran stays true to her Queens roots and unique persona. She‘s the real deal.
  • Her Resilience – Whether battling cancer or Hollywood, Fran faces all obstacles with fierce optimism.
  • Her Activism – Fran transforms adversity into advocacy. Her charitable work improves lives.
  • Her Heart – Perhaps most of all, Fran inspires with her immense empathy and compassion for others.

The bottom line? Fran Drescher simply makes the world a happier place with her humor, frankness, flair and heart of gold. She‘s a role model to fans and a testament to the power of passion and perseverance. We adore her!

Fun Facts About Fran

  • Fran’s birth name is Francine Joy Drescher – she changed it to “Fran” at 16.
  • She can sing! Fran recorded the theme song “The Nanny Named Fran" for her show‘s credits.
  • Fran is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church. She married both couples AND buried her late Maltese Chester.
  • She provided the voice for a princess character named Bernice on “The Simpsons.”
  • Fran studied alongside another icon-to-be, Ray Romano, at Hillcrest High School in Queens.
  • She beat out both Linda Blair and Demi Moore for her breakout role in “Doctor Detroit” (1983).
  • Fran survived a traumatic home invasion and robbery in LA in 1985 where robbers tied her up at gunpoint.
  • She lived with chronic pain for years before doctors finally diagnosed uterine cancer after her symptoms were repeatedly dismissed.
  • An asteroid (1751 Fran Drescher) is named after her! Out of this world, just like the lady herself.

The Legacy of Fran Drescher

With her pioneering TV career, award-worthy acting and tireless humanitarian efforts, Fran Drescher has undeniably earned her place in Hollywood history books.

Generations grew up laughing along with “The Nanny’s” zany adventures in the Fine-Sheffield household. And who didn‘t love mimicking that delightful nasal Queens accent? We‘re still chuckling today thanks to endless reruns introducing new fans to Fran‘s singular stardom.

Beyond the laughs, Fran inspires with her resilience in the face of cancer and commitment to healthcare advocacy. She‘s a role model for integrity, inner strength and generosity of spirit.

At just 65 years young, it‘s clear Fran Drescher still has much left to offer the world. Whatever comes next, she‘ll undoubtedly tackle it the way she always has over her 40+ years in the spotlight – with heart, humor, and chutzpah. The woman is simply one-of-a-kind.

So thank you, Fran Drescher, for the countless smiles you‘ve brought us both on and off camera. You‘re a true inspiration, inside and out. This enthusiastic fan can‘t wait to see what you do next!