Francine Joy Drescher (born in Flushing, Queens, New York City on September 30, 1957) is a Jewish American actress. She is famous for her nasal New York accent.
Fran Drescher was a studious girl and was quite popular in school. In fact, at age fifteen she'd met the man she thought she would spend much of her life with: Peter Marc Jacobson. Her first break was a bit part in the movie Saturday Night Fever (1977). In the same year she married Jacobson.
In January 1985, robbers ransacked Drescher's Los Angeles, California apartment and raped her and one of her girlfriends. Jacobson was threatened with a gun and was helpless to remedy the situation. It took her many years to overcome this ordeal, 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 very negative experience, she found ways to turn her experience into something positive; she saw her rapist sent to prison.
Fran Drescher continued to play small roles in movies, until she came up with the idea for The Nanny. She was visiting her friend, model Twiggy, in England and came up with the plotline. The show aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999, becoming an instant success, and so did Fran. In this sitcom she played a charming and bubbly woman, named Fran Fine, who casually became the nanny of three children; with her wit and her charm she endeared herself to their father Maxwell Sheffield, a stuffy, composed, proper British gentleman and a Broadway producer (played by British actor Charles Shaughnessy).
Her voice is a combination of a high nasal pitch and a New York/Jewish accent that many people find unpleasant, although others (including her first husband) found it endearing. In her autobiography Drescher discusses the fact that this is her real voice, and the many voice lessons she has had to take to overcome it for movie auditions (only to have it, and her machine-gun titter, end up being her trademark). Her first book was even titled Enter Whining.
In the late 1990s she was a defendant in a lawsuit, and later dismissed from it. Acerbic comic Dennis Miller remarked that "no one wanted to have to listen to her testify!"
During her TV experience, she also appeared in a number of films, including Jack (1996), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Beautician and the Beast (1997) (which she also executive produced) and Picking Up the Pieces (2000) co-starring Woody Allen. In 1999 Fran divorced her husband, Peter Jacobson.
Fran Drescher was admitted to Los Angeles's Cedars Sinai Hospital on June 21, 2000, after doctors diagnosed her with uterine cancer. But emergency surgery caught it early as it was only at Stage 1 and she didn't have to have radiation or chemotherapy. She has been 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.
In 2005 she returned on TV with the sitcom Living with Fran, in which she played Fran Reeves, a middle-aged mother of two living with Riley Martin (Ryan McPartlin, Passions), a guy half her age and barely older than her son. Former Nanny costar Charles Shaughnessy appears as her philandering ex-husband, Ted.
Fran Drescher is well known for her thick accent and long legs. Her trademark skirts and stockings have made a mark on film and television.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
American Hot Wax (1978)
The Hollywood Knights (1980)
Doctor Detroit (1983)
The Rosebud Beach Hotel (1984)
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Young Lust (1984)
It Had to Be You (1989)
The Big Picture (1989)
Wedding Band (1990)
Cadillac Man (1990)
We're Talking Serious Money (1992)
Car 54, Where Are You? (1994)
The Beautician and the Beast (1997) (also executive producer)
Kid Quick (2000) (short subject)
Picking Up the Pieces (2000)
Santa's Slay (2005)
Stranger in Our House (1978)
Charmed Lives (1986) (canceled after 4 months)
Rock 'n' Roll Mom (1988)
What's Alan Watching? (1989)
Love and Betrayal (1989)
Princesses (1991) (canceled after 7 episodes)
Without Warning: Terror in the Towers (1993)
The Nanny (1993-1999)
The Nanny Christmas Special: Oy to the World (1995) (voice)
Living with Fran (2005-present) (also executive producer)
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