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Known mostly for her outrageous leading role on the 1990s sitcom The Nanny, Fran Drescher also has appeared in numerous films and is a published author.
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Actress, producer, writer, comedian. Francine Joy Drescher was born in Flushing, Queens, on September 30th, 1957, as the youngest of two children. Drescher's mother Sylvia was a bridal consultant and father, Mort, was a systems analyst for the U.S. Navy.
While attending Parsons Junior High, Drescher realized she was interested in acting. At Hillcrest High School (where she shared several classes with comedian and fellow student Ray Romano), Drescher joined the drama club. There she met and began dating classmate Peter Marc Jacobson. She performed in school shows, but while her high school drama and diction coaches recognized her promise and drive, they were confounded by her thick accent and nasal delivery.
Undaunted by the criticism, a determined Drescher entered herself in the 1973 Miss Teen New York pageant. She took home second place, but viewed the competition as a calling card; Drescher told local talent agents she'd won the pageant, and used the fibbed victory to pitch herself as a potential client.
After graduating in 1975, the inseparable Drescher and Jacobson started school at Queens College, but quickly dropped out. Instead, they enrolled in cosmetology school and regularly commuted to nearby New York City for auditions. Both realized that their theatrical aspirations were long shots, and hedged their bets by studying hairstyling. They briefly supported themselves by giving "$5 unisex haircuts" until Drescher was cast as Connie in 1977's Saturday Night Fever. Her success continued with another character role in 1978's American Hot Wax. On November 4th of that same year, Jacobson and 21-year-old Drescher wed in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York.
Over the next few years, Drescher struggled to launch her career. She scored numerous film and television appearances like Gorp (1980) and Doctor Detroit (1983), and notably appeared as publicist Bobbi Flekman in 1984's This is Spinal Tap. In the meantime, she and Jacobson worked tirelessly to market and promote themselves and develop their shared investments.
In 1986, Drescher and her husband encountered misfortune when they became the target of a violent attack. Two assailants bound and gagged Jacobson, and sexually assaulted Drescher and a female friend. While the attackers were eventually caught and imprisoned, the episode was deeply traumatic. The couple sought counseling and looked to close friends (and former Dr. Detroit co-stars) Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon for support.
The relentlessly positive Drescher soon returned to her acting career and entrepreneurial ventures. In 1988, the couple started Loaf and Kisses, a gourmet crouton company.
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