Nostalgic Jewish sitcom icon Fran Drescher is back and busier than ever

Despite past traumas, the Jewish-American actress has broken through many glass ceilings in her 65 years, and checked more than enough goals off her bucket list as an actress and a person

Inbal Hananel|
For Millennials, the name Fran Drescher is immediately associated with the distinctive iconic laugh of the role she played in the 90s sitcom "Nanny".
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  • The 65-year-old American TV star of Jewish decent has taken it upon herself to be the head of the Screen Actors Guild, religiously maintains her Instagram, and photographs as the new face of Thredup - an online consignment thrift store.
    In a brand new ad campaign for the new "Drescher" collection - aimed at reducing environmental waste, Drescher sported some iconic outfits which she wore on "Nanny".
    Furthermore, after recovering from Ovarian cancer, Drescher established the "Cancer Schmancer" organization, whose mission is "to save lives by transforming the nation’s current sick care system into one that focuses on genuine health care."
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    Fran Drescher's "Cancer Schmancer" book
    (Photo: Gettyimages)
    Raised by Jewish parents in the Queens borough of NYC, Drescher attended Hillcrest High, where she met Peter Marc Jacobson - her first husband. The actress took drama classes already at a young age, and in 1973 was the first runner-up in the "Miss New York Teenager" pageant.
    While her first breakthrough role was in the 1977 movie "Saturday Night Fever", the role that made her a household name was, without a doubt, the Sitcom "Nanny", which first aired 1993. The Emmy-winning sitcom was written by Drescher and her husband, who drew inspiration from her real life experiences.
    Jacobson wasn't only her husband, but one of her best friends who supported her through her recovery after she and her friend were raped at gunpoint in her home in 1985, while her husband was tied-up and gagged through the horrifying ordeal. Drescher claimed it took her a year to feel like herself again, and that - luckily - she was able to identify the rapist, after which he was sent to prison for 150 years without the possibility of parole.
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    פראן דרשר פיטר מארק ג'ייקובסון
    Fran Drescher and ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson
    (Photo: Gettyimages)
    Drescher also credits her dog for his constant affection and support while she was healing both physically and mentally.
    Unfortunately, she was forced to relive the traumatic event while filming "Nanny". She recalled that a magazine once elaborated on all the details of the rape, and even tried to go to prison and interview the rapist, but he refused.
    Her marriage ended in 1999, when her husband came out as gay. In an interview on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2011, she said that the couple lived a heterosexual life, like any marriage, and she had no idea he was homosexual.
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    Fran Drescher
    (Photo: Gettyimages)
    In 2000, Drescher's life got even more complicated when she was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer and underwent a Hysterectomy. Drescher believes the trauma from the rape exacerbated the situation. She believes that it was no coincidence that she was diagnosed with a gynecological type of cancer, given she didn't properly cope with the rape.
    With launching of the book "N is for Nanny", Drescher used the platform she created to convey the message that Americans need to examine what exactly compromises their own auto-immune system, arguing that solutions can be found in chemical-free alternatives.
    Her professional collaboration with her ex-husband was re-ignited in 2011 with the creation of the Sitcom "Happily Divorced", which ran for two seasons and was largely based on their marriage. In the show, she played a florist who discovers her husband of 11 years is gay. While not together romantically anymore, Drescher admitted that the two share a deep friendship.
    In 2014, Drescher married Indian politician and entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai. They had a ceremony is Drescher's beach house, but Ayyadurai made it clear it wasn't an official wedding, rather a "celebration of friendship" though a spiritual ceremony with friends and family. The couple broke up two years later.
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    Fran Drescher Shiva Ayyadurai
    (Photo: Gettyimages)
    Drescher has been single ever since, with a string of unsuccessful dates and a less-than-ideal experience with dating apps.
    The accomplished woman has even become an ordained minister with the "Universe Life Church Monastery", qualified to wed LGBT couples.
    In 2008, she was appointed a public diplomacy envoy for women's health issues for the State Department by President George W. Bush, and has gone around the world promoting issues relating to women's health, and ovarian cancer specifically.
    In 2021 she was elected President of the Screen Actors Guild, representing around 160,000 actors, journalists, radio personalities, recording artists and other media personell.
    On the social media front, Drescher has over 800,000 Instagram followers, and 150,000 on TikTok. She uses this platform to press the importance of voting, and promote early cancer screenings, amongst other things.
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    Fran Drescher
    (Photo: Gettyimages)
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