Meet 'The Nanny' Cast 20 Years after the TV Series Ended
Two decades have passed since this hilarious sitcom arrived at its sixth and final season. During its run, we all fell in love with the series’ amazing ensemble cast. See how they are doing today! With six seasons that aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999, The Nanny went on to make a lasting impact in America’s TV landscape, thanks to a fantastic ensemble cast and it's signature brand of silly humor. Apart from becoming one of the highest-rated sitcoms of its time, the series earned 12 Emmy nominations during its run. Twenty years later, after seeing these characters for the last time, we caught up with what the cast is up to now.
The 62-year-old actress played the title role of nanny Fran Fine for the series she also created. Her portrayal earned the seasoned comedian two Emmy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. Beyond The Nanny, Drescher has starred in two other sitcoms: first in Living with Fran, from 2005 to 2007, and later in Happily Divorced from 2011 to 2013. She also lent her voice to the character Eunice in the “Hotel Transylvania” animated franchise, and most recently, she debuted on Broadway playing the evil stepmother in “Cinderella.”
Before Fran was "Fran," she was a young girl competing in beauty pageants in Queens, New York. As a student at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens, she met her future husband, Peter Marc Jacobson. One of her fellow Hillcrest classmates was comedian Ray Romano! Interestingly, the two did not meet until their 20th high school reunion!
Drescher graduated from Hillcrest High School in 1975, and she and Jacobson married in 1978 when she was 21-years-old. Both Drescher and Jacobson attended Queens College, City University of New York, but dropped out in their first year because "all the acting classes were filled." Then, they both enrolled in cosmetology school.
Drescher made her big-screen debut in a small role for the 1977 blockbuster film Saturday Night Fever and later appeared in American Hot Wax and Wes Craven's horror tale Stranger in Our House. In the 1980s, she gained recognition as a comedic actress in the films Gorp, The Hollywood Knights, Doctor Detroit, This Is Spinal Tap, and UHF while establishing a television career with guest appearances on several series. In 1993, she achieved wider fame, appearing in millions of homes around the world as Fran Fine.
Drescher and Jacobson divorced in 1999; however, Jacobson was Drescher's constant supporter in her career. He also wrote, directed, and produced her signature television series. Drescher and Jacobson remain business partners and friends. She has said, "We choose to be in each others' lives in any capacity. Our love is unique, rare, and unconditional; unless he's being annoying."
On June 21, 2000, after two years of symptoms and misdiagnoses by eight different doctors, Drescher was admitted to Los Angeles's Cedars Sinai Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with uterine cancer. She underwent an immediate radical hysterectomy to treat the disease. She wrote about her experiences in her second book, Cancer Schmancer. She wrote the book to raise consciousness for men and women "to become more aware of the early warning signs of cancer, and to empower themselves."
"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," Drescher said.
In 2006, she received the ‘City of Hope Spirit of Life Award’ from Hillary Clinton. On April 10, 2010, she was the guest of honor at the ‘Dancer against Cancer’ charity ball held at the ‘Imperial Palace’ in Vienna, Austria. At the ball, she also received her first ‘My Aid Award’ for her support of cancer prevention and rehabilitation. Drescher has also received with the ‘John Wayne Institute’s Woman of Achievement Award,’ the ‘City of Hope Woman of the Year Award,’ the ‘Gilda Award,’ the ‘Hebrew University Humanitarian Award,’ and the ‘Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Spirit of Achievement Award.’
The 64-year-old British-born actor played widowed Broadway theatrical producer Maxwell Sheffield, who starts as Fran’s boss and eventually becomes her husband. After The Nanny, Shaughnessy devoted himself mostly to voice acting, lending his voice to numerous characters in animated series like Stanley and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. In 2005, he shared the screen with Drescher once again as a recurring character in Living with Fran.
Born in London, Shaughnessy studied law at the University of Cambridge before pursuing a career in entertainment. He made his television debut in May 1983 on BBC 1’s drama series, Jury, as Julian Spears. In October of that year, he portrayed John Rennie on ‘The Affair of the Pink Pearl’ episode of ‘Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime.’ When Shaughnessy was 28-years-old, he moved to Los Angeles. One year later, he got his breakthrough role as Shane Donovan on NBC’s daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives. He appeared in the show for eight seasons, and appeared on several other TV shows before moving on to The Nanny. The most notable among them were Till We Meet Again, Mad About You, Murphy Brown, Duckman, A Kiss So Deadly, Everything to Gain, and Second Chances. From 2002 to 2017, the actor returned to his soap opera origins and reprised his role as Shane Donovan on Days of our Lives.
The 41-year-old actress played preppy Maggie, Mr. Sheffield's eldest child, appearing in all 146 episodes. She also became famous for her role as Ryce Newton in Beethoven and Beethoven’s 2nd. Tom also appeared as Scott Scanlon’s sister, Sue, on Beverly Hills, 90210. Following The Nanny, Tom voiced the character Supergirl/ Kara Kent from the DC universe in different titles, including Superman, until 2000, and Justice League Unlimited, from 2004 to 2006. She also starred in The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman from 2006 to 2007, and guest-starred on Gotham, and The Mentalist. Most recently, she starred in the 2019 short The Scrap County Murders.
Did you know Tom is a twin? Her twin brother David is well-known for portraying Billy Abbott on The Young and the Restless. She also has an older sister, Heather, who is famous for her role as Katie Logan on The Bold and The Beautiful. Tom has earned nominations for many awards, including Leading Young Actress in 1993, Guest Starring Young Actress in 1999, Young Artist Award for Best Performance by a Youth Ensemble in 1995, Young Artist Award for Youth Actress in 1994, Best Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series.
The 73-year-old actor played Mr. Sheffield’s loyal butler and driver, an Englishman named Niles, appearing in all 146 episodes of the series. The character remained the seasoned actor’s best-known role. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Davis starred in a children's series on local television and performed as a comedian, singer, and dancer. He later graduated from the Arkansas Arts Center with a degree in Fine Arts. After graduation, Davis worked as a stage actor, starring on both Broadway and at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford. After The Nanny, Davis played Judge Barton Wolfe in 2000 for three episodes of The Practice. He also had roles on Frasier, Gotham, and, most recently, Elementary.
ANN MORGAN GUILBERT
The late actress played Fran’s grandmother, known as Grandma Yetta, recognizable by her big gray hairdo and her constant smoking. One of the most hilarious characters of the series, she appeared in a total of 56 episodes. Guilbert is very well-known for her portrayal of Millie Helper, the meddling-nosy neighbor, on the classic TV sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show.
As an accomplished Broadway actress, she had outstanding performances in "The Billy Barnes Revue" and "A Naked Girl on the Appian Way." Although she only appeared in a handful of movies, she made lasting impressions with her performances in The Man from the Diners' Club and One Man’s Way. She also won the ‘Robert Altman Award’ for her performance in the dark comedy film Please Give. After the series wrapped, Morgan continued working on TV, landing recurring roles in Getting On from 2013 to 2015 and in Life in Pieces in 2016. The veteran actress passed away in June 2016 at the age of 87, after battling cancer. Her career in Hollywood spanned four decades.
The 86-year-old actress played Fran’s obnoxious mother Sylvia Fine for a total of 94 episodes of the series. Following her work on The Nanny, Taylor went on to appear in numerous series, sharing the screen with Drescher once again in Happily Divorced, and playing Mrs. Matsen in How I Met Your Mother. She also has worked as a voice artist, voicing Mrs. Start in the movie Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, and Principal Gottlieb in the animated TV series Allen Gregory. Since 2018 she has starred in the autobiographical play “My Life on a Diet.”
Taylor’s 1986 memoir serves as the base for the play, which is a wry, self-deprecating survey of her life framed by her never-ending struggle with weight, poor body image, and fad dieting - she’s worn sizes 4 to 18. Taylor and her husband, the late Joseph Bologna, co-wrote the play. Bologna guided the show through his artistic genius before his death in 2017. He remains its credited director.
Chagall is best known for her role as Fran's dimwitted sidekick, Val. She appeared in 79 of The Nanny episodes, and went on to make guest appearances on Just Shoot Me!, Strong Medicine, and played a mysterious woman in What I Like About You. On December 6, 2004, Chagall appeared at the cast reunion for The Nanny, The Nanny Reunion: A Nosh to Remember.
Salisbury is best known for playing the role of Brighton Sheffield, the second oldest child and son of Maxwell Sheffield. Known for being an accomplished dancer, Salisbury often treated the show's studio audiences to improvisational routines when the cameras were not rolling. After The Nanny, he appeared in the 2004 reunion of the sitcom The Nanny titled The Nanny Reunion: A Nosh to Remember, and in 2005, he had a minor role as a locomotive train expert on the episode "Sabotage" of the series Numb3rs. In August 2006, Salisbury appeared in Domino's Pizza commercials. As of February 2017, Salisbury is working at Universal Studios Hollywood as the Director of Operations for the park.
Lane continues to be best known for her role as C. C. Babcock, Maxwell's business associate, and the antagonist of the series. She appeared in 144 episodes. During August 1997, coinciding with her time on The Nanny, she also appeared on The Daily Show. Since 2000, Lane has performed at Zachary Scott Theatre in Austin, Texas, and in 2010 was a guest on The Fran Drescher Show. Lane is currently on the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
The 34-year-old actress played Grace, Mr. Sheffield’s youngest and smartest child for the entire run of the series. Zima remained a familiar face frequently appearing in other series. She was a series regular in Heroes from 2009 to 2010, Californication from 2007 to 2011, and Betas from 2013 to 2014. In 2017, she worked for acclaimed director David Lynch for two episodes of the returning season of the iconic TV series Twin Peaks, playing Tracey. Most recently, she starred in the mournful thriller Painkillers. In that role, she portrays a wife and mother who has tragically lost her son. On the role, she said:
"I think it’s something that is very relatable on a metaphorical level of something we can all relate to. The difficulty of continuing to exist, to being a human being, the unbearable weight of blaming yourself for things that go wrong in your life. I know I’ve experienced that, I’ve beat myself up mentally for things that were beyond my control; we all do that. I thought that was something that was really smart, a true analogy, and a way to sort of explore these emotions."
Zima's time on The Nanny occurred at a very early and critical stage in her life - from the ages of six to thirteen. She recently recalled the experience as a life-changing in which she got, "a first-hand masterclass in sitcom comedy and professionalism." Last year, she wrote and directed her first film, 'Warm Human Magic', which starred one of her sisters, Yvonne Zima.
THE NANNY REBOOT?
Given how many '90s reboots the entertainment industry has been churning out over the past few years, fans have been chomping at the bit for news about the potential of a Nanny reboot — potential that is very quickly becoming a reality. Drescher addressed a potential reboot, saying it would be a prequel to The Nanny we all know and love. While Drescher didn’t mention any storylines, she said she could come back as Sylvia, the mother.
“We would have to write it for somebody else, which I would be excited to do actually,” she said. “I could play Sylvia, the mom. And John Leguizamo could play [Fran’s dad], Morty. So, you know, we’ll see. There’s a lot of opportunities to do something fantastic with it and bring it right into the 21st century.”
Thanks to fans who demanded that Cardi B star in the new version, Drescher met with the singer's team last month to talk about the benefits of the show. Although Cardi B hasn't even confirmed if she's interested or not, Drescher said she is working hard to secure the fellow NewYorker for the role.
“That was just kind of laying out groundwork,” Drescher said. “I do think she’s great, and she would be kind of like my top choice if she’s disciplined to do this show every week. It can be a grind, but she’s got a baby now, and it could be a very comfortable, lovely way to, you know, work, be seen worldwide, and still do mini-concert tours when you’re on hiatus.”
The multi-talented performer is currently hosting Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow, a rap competition program. The show's panelists, Cardi, T.I., and Chance, work together in Los Angeles, and then canvass their respective hometowns of New York City, Atlanta, and Chicago with guest judges. Cardi has become the show’s most reliable and entertaining persona with flamboyant outfits and voices. She’s also proven to be Rhythm + Flow’s voice of reason, as she tells contestant after contestant to focus on marketability.
We think Cardi is perfect to play the role, and she just might too! In October of last year, she compared her style to Drescher’s style on Instagram. At last year’s Milan Fashion Week, she captioned the photo “Fran Drescher in @dolceandgabbana.” Drescher further commented on Cardi B, regarding their similarities:
“I actually think she’s funny. I think she’s beautiful and she has a funny voice. She’s from New York. She’s got the style of a star, and you can’t buy that. There are just some people like JLo and Cher and Diana Ross. It’s just a given,” Drescher said of Cardi B. “She and I on social media, on Instagram and stuff, she’s often putting us together. My picture, her picture. She’s very influenced by the style of myself and The Nanny from back in the day, and it’s very flattering to me.”