Fran Drescher rose to fame as The Nanny, but the actress has survived cancer and is an advocate for LGBTQ rights.
Producer, director, writer, and actress Fran Drescher has been at it for quite some time, though you may not know it. Her career started way back in the ‘70s (in 1977 to be exact) and again, you may not know it, but she has been in some well-known movies and TV series.
Though she’s fallen out of the acting limelight in recent years, there’s still work and the actress has been involved in things off-screen.
FRAN DRESCHER ACTORS UNION FIGHT AND AI
Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA, is leading a campaign against the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) in filmmaking. She believes that corporate greed and advancing technology are a “deadly cocktail” undermining artists. Drescher’s main concerns revolve around fair compensation and consent for the use of actors’ likenesses, especially through deepfake technology.
Drescher worries that AI’s ability to generate scripts and replicate actors’ likenesses without their knowledge or consent poses a significant threat to the industry.
She emphasized the importance of compensating and obtaining consent from actors, as their likeness, gestures, voices, and acting are the essence of the industry. She sees the unauthorized use of actors’ likenesses as a dystopian threat to their livelihoods.
Drescher criticizes studio CEOs for being “tone deaf” to the needs of talent and calls for a shift towards a more employee-friendly culture. She believes that the industry’s business model has evolved with streaming but that contracts for talent have not adapted accordingly.
Ultimately, Drescher’s advocacy aims to improve working conditions and compensation for SAG-AFTRA members, and she is determined to continue the fight until studios recognize the importance of consent and fair compensation. As of this writing, the union was still on strike.
FRAN DRESCHER BATTLED CANCER, IS AN ADVOCATE FOR LGBTQ RIGHTS, AND IS ON INSTAGRAM
In recent years, Fran Drescher has slowed a bit on the acting front. She pulled down a few roles in Broad City and Alone Together. A couple of years ago she starred in the series Indebted. But that lasted only one season.
Seven years after Fran Drescher had an operation for uterine cancer, she began the Cancer Schmancer Movement. It was, and still is, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all women’s cancers be diagnosed in Stage 1, its most curable stage. She also wrote a book, titled Cancer Schmancer, which chronicled her battles with cancer.
Now 65 years old, Fran Drescher is also an advocate of LGBTQ rights. In fact, she became an ordained minister just so she could legally officiate LGBTQ weddings.
And she still stays active on Instagram. On the social media platform, Fran Drescher is closing in on 900K followers and still posts regularly. She can be found just posting about regular life, wishing fellow Hollywooders good luck on projects, or promoting some of her initiatives.
HER FIRST ROLE WAS WITH JOHN TRAVOLTA IN SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
“So, are you as good in bed as you are on the dance floor?” Fran Drescher’s first foray into the movie business was a part of the 1977 John Travolta disco dancing flick, Saturday Night Fever.
It wasn’t a big role, but it was a memorable one, as she played Connie, delivering that classic line as one of the many trying to get into Travolta’s character’s, Tony Manero, pants.
Her first step into Hollywood may have been a small one, but it was a step in the right direction.
FRAN DRESCHER FOUND SMALLER ROLES IN COMEDIES EARLY ON
Fran Drescher moved on quickly from Saturday Night Fever, jumped into American Hot Wax, and then The Hollywood Knights. These were big movies in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. She was also seen in Ragtime, which happened to be legendary actor James Cagney’s final performance.
As time went on for Fran Drescher and the roles continued to pile up, a theme was beginning to take shape: Comedy. She started finding roles in movies such as Doctor Detroit, This is Spinal Tap, The Big Picture, and UHF.
She also was seen on episodes of the TV series Nine to Five, Silver Spoons, 227, Who’s The Boss, Night Court, and Charmed Lives. She was also seen in the HBO comedy Dream On and was in the short-lived TV series Princesses which also starred Julie Hagerty (Airplane!) and actress/model Twiggy. While the series lasted one season, it set her up for her next big thing.
FRAN DRESCHER IS THE NANNY
You either loved it or you hated her voice. Fran Drescher’s Fran Fine was the owner of that nasally, whiney, heavily New York-accented sound. It could drive a person crazy or, based on the six seasons the show aired, it could be a ratings bonanza.
Fran Drescher, along with ex-husband, but married at the time, Peter Marc Jacobson, created The Nanny in 1993 and it pushed Drescher to the front of the line. Not only was Fran Drescher the creator, but she also penned many of the episodes.
In The Nanny, Drescher played a nanny-in-waiting who shows up on a rich man’s doorstep trying to sell cosmetics after being dumped by her boyfriend/employer.
She inadvertently handles the three kids in the home, much to the chagrin of their father, a stuck-up British Broadway producer. Fran ends up taking the job as the Nanny of the three children. Comedic gold follows and it made Fran Drescher a household name.
SHE STARRED IN THE BEAUTICIAN AND THE BEAST
During her time as The Nanny, Drescher also continued to make movies. She pretty much played the same character in Car 54, Where Are You?, Jack, and in one of her most notable movies: The Beautician and the Beast. There she starred opposite Timothy Dalton (James Bond franchise). Ken Kwapis directed the flick, which was an obvious spin on the Disney story.
It was a complete and utter box office bomb. On a $16 million budget, the flick earned only $11.5 million at the box office. And somehow it was almost even worse with the critics with the Rotten Tomatoes score sitting at 18 percent. Any hopes of Fran Drescher becoming a big draw box office movie star went away with this film.
But Fran Drescher worked steadily after The Nanny went off the air in 1999. The 2000s saw Drescher in TV series such as Good Morning, Miami, Strong Medicine, and What I Like About You. Drescher was able to turn that into her own series called Living With Fran. This series lasted two seasons and then Fran moved on.
Fran Drescher was the voice of Eunice in the Adam Sandler animated Hotel Transylvania franchise, as well as another series she created with Jacobson called Happily Divorced. This one also lasted two seasons.
Love that voice, hate that voice. Either way, Fran Drescher continues to leave an audible mark across the Hollywood landscape.