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Fran Drescher (1957)

Francine Joy Drescher

Type :  

  Summary  

Francine Joy "Fran" Drescher is an American film and television actress, comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, author, singer, talk show host, political lobbyist and health activist. She is best known for her role as Fran Fine in the hit TV series, The Nanny.

Drescher made her screen debut with a small role in the 1977 blockbuster film Saturday Night Fever prior to appearing in films such as the biopic American Hot Wax , and Wes Craven's horror film Summer of Fear . In the 1980s, she gained recognition as a comedic actress in the films The Hollywood Knights , Doctor Detroit , This Is Spinal Tap , and UHF while establishing a television career with guest appearances on several series. In 1991, Drescher garnered her first leading role in the short-lived CBS sitcom Princesses and, in 1993, achieved wider fame as Fran Fine in her own sitcom vehicle The Nanny, for which she was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Television Series during the show's run. She received further recognition for her performances in Jack and The Beautician and the Beast and reinforced her reputation as a leading sitcom star with Living With Fran (2005–2006) and Happily Divorced .

A uterine cancer survivor, Drescher is an outspoken healthcare advocate and LGBT rights activist, and is noted for her work as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women's Health Issues for the U.S. State Department. Divorced from writer and producer Peter Marc Jacobson, she currently lives in Malibu, California.

  Biography  

 early life
Drescher was born in Flushing, Queens, New York, the daughter of Sylvia, a bridal consultant, and Morty Drescher, a naval systems analyst. Her Ashkenazi Jewish family is of South-East Central European origin. She has an older sister, Nadine.

Drescher was a first runner-up for "Miss New York Teenager" in 1973, as revealed in her first autobiography "Enter Whining" released December 29, 1995, and on her interview on William Shatner's Raw Nerve, which first aired on January 27, 2009. She attended Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens, where she met her future husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, 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, the same year comedian Ray Romano graduated from high school. Dreschel's character Fran Fine on The Nanny and Romano's character Ray Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond met at a 20th high school reunion.

 career
 Early careers
Her first break was a small role as the dancer Connie in the blockbuster movie Saturday Night Fever in which she delivered the line "Are you as 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 Wes Craven's Summer of Fear . She also took on a rare dramatic role in the Milos Forman 1981 film, Ragtime.

During the 1980s, Drescher found moderate success as a character actress with memorable roles in films such as The Hollywood Knights, Doctor Detroit, The Big Picture, UHF, Cadillac Man, and This is Spinal Tap. She also made an appearance in a second season episode of Who's the Boss in 1985 as an interior decorator.

 The Nanny and later film roles
Drescher and Jacobson created their own television show, The Nanny in 1993. The show aired on CBS from 1993 and ended in 1999, 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"), Brighton ("B"), and Grace ("Gracie") Sheffield; with her wit and her charm, she endeared herself to their widower father: stuffy, composed, proper British gentleman, and Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield .

Drescher appeared in Jack , directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Beautician and the Beast and Picking Up the Pieces co-starring Woody Allen. She also was the voice of "Pearl" in Shark Bait .

 Return to television
In recent years, Drescher has 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 Roberta Diaz. In 2005, she returned to TV with the sitcom Living with Fran, in which she played Fran Reeves, a middle-aged mother of two, living with Riley Martin , 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 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 US television on November 14, 2006. She also appeared in an episode of the series 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 US 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 Couple." 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 on July 20, 2011, for a second season of 12 episodes, which is scheduled to air in spring 2012.

 personal life
After separating in 1996, Drescher and Jacobson divorced in 1999. They did not have any children. Drescher stated, "I would have been able to conceive but not hold on". Drescher and Jacobson remained friends, and she has 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. After her divorce, Drescher dated a man 16 years her junior. She credits the relationship with helping her through cancer and used it as inspiration for her sitcom Living with Fran. Drescher and Jacobson remain friends and business partners. She has stated that "...we choose to be in each others’ lives in any capacity. Our love is unique, rare, and unconditional; unless he’s being annoying.”

 1985 robbery and rape
In January 1985, two armed robbers broke into Drescher and Jacobson's Los Angeles apartment. While one ransacked their home, the other raped Drescher and a girlfriend 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 admit this to the press. She was paraphrased as 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 sentenced to two life sentences.

 Cancer battle
After two years of symptoms and misdiagnosis by eight doctors, Drescher was admitted to Los Angeles's Cedars 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 has been 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 needed to learn, ask questions, become partners with my doctor instead of having some kind of parent/child relationship."

 Cancer Schmancer Movement
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 our physicians and galvanize as one to let our legislators know that the collective female vote is louder and more powerful than that of the richest corporate lobbyists.

Her goal is to live in a time when women's mortality rates drop as their health care improves and early cancer detection increases. More information can be found on her website at .

Her efforts as an outspoken healthcare advocate in Washington DC helped get unanimous passage for (also known as Johanna's Law) and she is acknowledged in the Congressional Record.

 Politics

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 organizations and women's groups to raise awareness of women’s health issues, cancer awareness and detection, and patient empowerment and advocacy. Her first trip was in late September and included stops in Romania, Hungary, Kosovo and Poland.

In 2008, Drescher supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton 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.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Fran Drescher", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.