Fran Drescher on Creating The Nanny and her Mission to Eliminate Cancer

March 31 2017|Kelle Long

This month, we have been celebrating "reel women" whose drive, talent, and creative vision have shaped the landscape of film and television and inspired generations of artists who follow. We had a chance to sit down with one of the women who paved her own way in Hollywood, created a sitcom classic, and brought to life one of the most iconic television roles of all time. In the tradition of Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore, Fran Drescher created a character so memorable that she carried an entire series. Drescher gave us the story behind her creative inspiration and also caught us up on her new passion - fighting cancer before it starts.

A generation of kids grew up wishing that Fran Fine from The Nanny was their own live in babysitter. Her style was fabulous and daring, her New York style street smarts were her own special kind of magic, and she was just plain fun to be around. Drescher is every bit as enchanting in real life as you always hoped. Bright, inspiring, and attentive, she truly can whip up the solution to your troubles in the length of a TV episode. Also, the Queens accent isn’t put upon and if you really get her going, she’ll let slip one of her famous raspy and intoxicating laughs.


The Nanny courtesy Sony Pictures Television

A celebrated actress and producer, a New York Times bestselling author, and a women’s health advocate, it seems Drescher was always destined for stardom. Her journey, however, has never been an easy one. She has always made her own opportunities and that doggedness even saved her life when she was diagnosed with cancer at a young age. Her Hollywood career is a testament to what happens when talent meets determination and now she’s using her famous voice to teach women how to prevent and detect cancer.

Drescher traces her go-getter attitude back to a single audition early in her career. As a teenager, her family lived two buses and a train ride away from Manhattan. After making the trek one day, she realized she had regrets about her performance. “I went up on an audition and I don’t know what they wanted me to do, but I felt stupid doing it at the audition,” Drescher recalled. “I sabotaged myself. Coming home, I thought to myself, ‘This feeling of regret that I’m not making the most of it is worse than just doing it. What’s the point blowing out my hair, putting on my make-up, picking out the outfit, schlepping all the way there, and then being self-conscious and not doing a good job?’ And I didn’t get the job!”

That typical teenage embarrassment that most people try to forget became a turning point for Drescher. “I said, ‘Never again. Carpe diem.’ Because I don’t like this feeling of regret. And that one experience became a life lesson for me.’”