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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Who is Francine Joy Drescher ?

Who is Francine Joy  Drescher? The entertainment and acting world knows her as Fran Drescher. Drescher is an American film and television actress, comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, author, singer, talk show host, political lobbyist and health activist.
Drescher made her screen debut with a small role in the 1977 blockbuster filmSaturday Night Fever prior to appearing in films such as the biopic American Hot Wax (1978), and Wes Craven's horror film Summer of Fear (1978). In the 1980s, she gained recognition as a comedic actress in the films The Hollywood Knights (1980), Doctor Detroit (1983), This Is Spinal Tap (1984), and UHF (1989) while establishing a television career with guest appearances on several series. In 1991, Drescher garnered her first leading role in the short-living CBS sitcom Princesses and, in 1993, achieved wider fame as Fran Fine in her own sitcom vehicle The Nanny, for which she was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Television Series during the show's run. She received further recognition for her performances in Jack (1996) and The Beautician and the Beast (1997) and reinforced her reputation as a leading sitcom star with Living With Fran (2005–2006) and Happily Divorced (2011).
A uterine cancer survivor, Drescher is an outspoken healthcare advocate and LGBT rights activist, and is noted for her work as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women's Health Issues for the U.S. State Department. Divorced from writer and producer Peter Marc Jacobson, she currently lives in Malibu, California.

Early life

Drescher was born September 30, 1957 in Flushing, Queens, New York, the daughter of Sylvia, a bridal consultant, and Morty Drescher, a naval systems analyst.[1] Her Ashkenazi Jewish family is of South-East Central European origin (her great-grandmother was born in Focşani, Romania).[2] She has an older sister, Nadine.
Drescher was a first runner-up for "Miss New York Teenager" in 1973, as revealed in her first autobiography "Enter Whining" released December 29, 1995, and on her interview on William Shatner's Raw Nerve, which first aired on January 27, 2009. She attended Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens, where she met her future husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, whom she married in 1978, at age 21. They divorced in 1999.[3] Jacobson was Drescher's constant supporter in her show-business career, and he wrote, directed and produced her signature television series, The Nanny.


Early careers

Her first break was a small role as the dancer Connie in the blockbuster movie Saturday Night Fever (1977) in which she delivered the line "Are you as good in bed as you are on the dance floor?" to John Travolta. A year later, she began to gain more attention in films such as American Hot Wax (1978), and Wes Craven's Summer of Fear (1978). She also took on a rare dramatic role in the Milos Forman 1981 film, Ragtime.
During the 1980s, Drescher found moderate success as a character actress with memorable roles in films such as The Hollywood Knights, Doctor Detroit, The Big Picture, UHF, Cadillac Man, and This is Spinal Tap.

The Nanny and later film roles

Drescher and Jacobson created their own television show, The Nanny in 1993. The show aired on CBS from 1993 and ended in 1999, and Drescher became an instant star. In this sitcom, she played a charming and bubbly woman named Fran Fine who casually became the nanny of Margaret ("Maggie"), Brighton, and Grace ("Gracie") Sheffield; with her wit and her charm, she endeared herself to their widower father: stuffy, composed, proper British gentleman, and Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield (played by British actor Charles Shaughnessy).
Drescher appeared in Jack (1996), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Beautician and the Beast (1997) (for which she was also executive producer) and Picking Up the Pieces (2000) co-starring Woody Allen. She also was the voice of "Pearl" in Shark Bait (2006).

Return to television

In recent years, Drescher has made a return to television both with leading and guest roles. In 2005, she returned to TV with the sitcom Living with Fran, in which she played Fran Reeves, a middle-aged mother of two, living with Riley Martin (Ryan McPartlin), a man half her age and not much older than her son. Former Nanny costar Charles Shaughnessy appeared as her philandering ex-husband, Ted. Living with Fran was cancelled May 17, 2006, after two seasons.
In 2003, Drescher appeared in episodes of the short lived sitcom, Good Morning, Miami as Roberta Diaz. In 2006, Drescher guest starred in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent; the episode, "The War at Home", aired on US television on November 14, 2006.[4] She also appeared in an episode of the series Entourage and in the same year, gave her voice to the role of a female golem in The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror XVII". In 2007, Drescher appeared in the US version of the Australian improvisational comedy series Thank God You're Here.
In 2008, Drescher announced, that she was developing a new sitcom entitled The New Thirty, also starring Rosie O'Donnell. A series about two old high school friends coping with midlife crises, Drescher described the premature plot of the show as "kind of Sex and the City but we ain't getting any! It'll probably be more like The Odd Couple."[5] The sitcom failed to materialize however.[5] In 2010, Drescher returned to television with her own daytime talk show, The Fran Drescher Tawk Show. While the program debuted to strong ratings, it ended its three-week test run to moderate success, resulting into its shelving.[6][7] The following year, the sitcom Happily Divorced, created by Drescher and her ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson, was picked up by TV Land for a ten-episode order. It is scheduled to premiere there June 15, 2011.[8]

Personal life

After separating in 1996, Drescher and Jacobson divorced in 1999. They did not have any children. Drescher stated, "I would have been able to conceive but not hold on".[9] Drescher and Jacobson remained friends, and she has worked to support homosexual rights issues after her ex-husband came out.[10] Drescher has stated that the primary reason for the divorce was her need to change directions in life.

1985 robbery and rape

In January 1985, two armed robbers broke into Drescher and Jacobson's Los Angeles apartment. While one ransacked their home, the other raped Drescher and a girlfriend at gunpoint. Jacobson was also physically attacked, tied up, and forced to witness the entire ordeal. It took Drescher many years to recover, and it took her even longer to admit this to the press. She was paraphrased as saying in an interview with Larry King that although it was a traumatic experience, she found ways to turn it into something positive. In her book Cancer Schmancer, the actress writes: "My whole life has been about changing negatives into positives." She saw her rapist, who was on parole at the time of the crime, returned to prison, sentenced to two life sentences.[9]

Cancer battle

After two years of symptoms and misdiagnosis by eight doctors, Drescher was admitted to Los Angeles's Cedars Sinai Hospital on June 21, 2000, after doctors diagnosed her with uterine cancer. She had to undergo an immediate radical hysterectomy to treat the disease. Drescher was given a clean bill of health and no post-operative treatment has been ordered.
She wrote about her experiences in her second book, Cancer Schmancer.[9] Her purpose for this book was to raise consciousness for men and women "to become more aware of the early warning signs of cancer, and to empower themselves." Drescher says, "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."

Cancer Schmancer Movement

On June 21, 2007, the seventh anniversary of her operation, Drescher announced the national launch of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all women's cancers be diagnosed while in Stage 1, the most curable stage. She celebrated her tenth year of wellness on June 21, 2010.

Her goal is to live in a time when women's mortality rates drop as their health care improves and early cancer detection increases. More information can be found on her website at
Her efforts as an outspoken healthcare advocate in Washington DC helped get unanimous passage for H.R. 1245 (also known as Johanna's Law) and she is acknowledged in the Congressional Record.


In September 2008, Drescher, a Democrat, was appointed as a U.S. diplomat by the U.S. State Department. Her official title is Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women's Health Issues. In traveling throughout the world, she will support U.S. public diplomacy efforts, including working with health organizations and women's groups to raise awareness of women’s health issues, cancer awareness and detection, and patient empowerment and advocacy. Her first trip was in late September and included stops in Romania, Hungary,[12] Kosovo and Poland.

In 2008, Drescher supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. She attended a Super Democrat rally for Clinton. Drescher said that she had been considering a run for the United States Senate in 2008 to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton, but ultimately decided against it.[13][14]


On September 28, 2009, she released a single entitled "Eye For An Eye".


Drescher has been the recipient of the John Wayne Institute’s Woman of Achievement Award, the Gilda Award, the City of Hope Woman of the Year Award, the Hebrew University Humanitarian Award, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Spirit of Achievement Award.
Most recently she was honored with the City of Hope Spirit of Life Award, which was presented to her by Senator Hillary Clinton.
On April 10, 2010, she was guest of honor at the "Dancer against Cancer" charity ball held at the Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria, where she received the first "My Aid Award" for her achievements in support of cancer prevention and rehabilitation.[15]



Year↓ Film↓ Role↓ Notes
1977 Saturday Night Fever Connie
1978 American Hot Wax Sheryl
Stranger in Our House Carolyn Baker
1980 The Hollywood Knights Sally
Gorp Evie
1981 Ragtime Mameh
1983 Doctor Detroit Karen Blittstein
1984 This is Spinal Tap Bobbi Flekman
The Rosebud Beach Hotel Linda
1988 Rock 'n' Roll Mom Jody Levin
1989 UHF Pamela Finklestein
Love and Betrayal Germaine
1990 Wedding Band Veronica
Cadillac Man Joy Munchack
Wedding Band Veronica
1992 We're Talking Serious Money Valerie
1993 Without Warning: Terror in the Towers Rosemarie Russo
1994 Car 54, Where Are You? Velma Valour
1996 Jack Dolores "D.D." Durante
1997 The Beautician and the Beast Joy Miller Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
2000 Picking Up the Pieces Sister Frida
2003 Beautiful Girl Amanda Wasserman
2005 Santa's Slay Virginia Mason
2006 Shark Bait Pearl voice
2007 The Reef Aunt Pearl
2011 Mindwash. The Jake Sessions Madame LaRue voice


Year↓ Title↓ Role↓ Notes
1982 Fame Rhonda 1 episode, ″Metamorphosis″
1983 9 to 5 Tapioca 1 episode, "The Oldest Profession"
1985 Silver Spoons Annie 1 episode, "Marry Me, Marry Me: Part 2
227 Mrs. Baker 1 episode, "The Refrigerator"
1985–1986 Who's the Boss Joyce Columbus/Carol Patrice 2 episodes, "Charmed Lives" and "The Heiress"
1986 Night Court Miriam Brody 1 episode, "Author, Author"
Charmed Lives Joyce Columbus 4 episodes
1990 ALF Roxanne 1 episode, "Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"
WIOU Jo Finc 1 episode, "Pilot"
1991 Princesses Melissa Kirshner 8 episodes
Dream On Kathleen 1 episode, "The Second Greatest Story Ever Told"
1993–1999 The Nanny Fran Fine/Fran Sheffield 145 episodes, also Writer, Producer and Director
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1996,1997)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1996,1997)
American Comedy Awards for Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (1996)
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1997)
TV Guide Awards for Favorite Actress in a Comedy (1999)
TV Land Awards Favorite Nanny (2008)
2003 Good Morning, Miami Roberta Diaz 3 episodes
2004 Strong Medicine Irene Slater 1 episode, "Cinderella in Scrubs"
Director "Like Cures Like"
The Nanny Reunion: A Nosh to Remember herself Hosted by herself and her mother Sylvia Drescher, also Producer
2005 What I Like About You Fran Reeves as her Living with Fran character, Fran Reeves, 1 episode, Girls Gone Wild
2005–2007 Living with Fran Fran Reeves 26 episodes, also Producer
2006 The Simpsons The Female Golem 1 episode, Treehouse of Horror XVII
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Elaine Dockerty 1 episode, The War At Home
2007 Thank God You're Here Herself
2008 Live from Lincoln Center Morgan Le Fay 1 episode, "Camelot"
Entourage Mrs. Levine 1 episode, "The All Out Fall Out"
2010 Glenn Martin, DDS Arlene Stein 1 episode, voice
The Fran Drescher Show Host Talk-Show, also Producer
2011 Happily Divorced Fran also Writer and Producer


Year↓ Title↓ Notes
2002-2004 The Exonerated Theatres at 45 Bleecker/Bleecker Steet Theatre
2006 Some Girl(s) Lucille Lortel Theatre
2009 Love, Loss, and What I Wore Westside Theatre


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Who is Adrienne-Joi Johnson?

Who is Adrienne-Joi Johnson? The entertainment and acting world knows her as A.J. Johnson. Johnson is an American actress, choreographer and fitness coach. Acting since 1988, Johnson has made many guest appearances on sitcoms, television dramas and music videos; she also has numerous supporting roles in films, including House Party and Baby Boy.

Early life

Johnson was born September 3, 1963, she graduated with honors in 1985 from Spelman College, the all-female college in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a past Miss Maroon & White and the first Miss Collegiate Black America. Originally from New Jersey, the former high school homecoming queen is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She was initiated into the organization while attending Spelman College during her undergraduate years.


She has appeared in A Different World, In the Heat of the Night, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Amen, the short-lived Sirens, Chicago Hope, The Jamie Foxx Show, and Touched By An Angel. She has also appeared in TV movies such as A Mother's Courage: the Mary Thomas Story (1989), Clippers (1991), Murder Without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story (1992), Love, Lies & Lullabies (1993), and The Beast (1996).
Johnson has appeared in theatrical releases and independent films such as School Daze (1988), House Party (1990), Double Trouble (1992), Sister Act (1992), The Inkwell (1994), High Freakquency (1998), Two Shades of Blue (2000), Tara (2001), Baby Boy (2001), and Skin Deep (2003).

Personal life

In addition to being an actress and dancer, Johnson is also a wellness coach to celebrities and was the host of the VH1 reality fitness competition From Flab to Fab and has made numerous fitness/healthy living television and magazine appearances. Johnson has been the spokesperson for American Cancer Society (having lost her mother to cancer at age 17), weight loss products and has made appearances for Procter & Gamble, GSK Pharmeceuticals and Wal Mart.


Television Work

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result
1990 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story Won
1991 Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Female in a comedy-drama film House Party Nominated
2002 Black Reel Awards Theatrical- Best Supporting actress in a Motion Picture Baby Boy Nominated

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Who is Jacqueline Yvonne Harry ?

Who is Jacqueline Yvonne Harry? The entertainment and acting world knows her as "Jackée". Jackée, is an American actress and television personality,[1] primarily known for her roles on sitcoms and other types of television shows. She is best known for her roles as Sandra Clark, the sexy neighbor and nemesis of Mary Jenkins (played by Marla Gibbs), on the TV series 227 (a role she played from 1985 to 1989), and as Tia's mother, Lisa Landry, in the long-running comedy, Sister, Sister.



Jackée was  born August 14, 1956 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and raised in Harlem, New York, Harry began studying acting at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side in New York City and began a career on the New York stage. She appeared in A Broadway Musical, playing a chorine. In 1983, she made her television debut by on Another World as Lily Mason, a role she continued until 1986. In 2003, she was a surprise guest on the Another World Reunion that SOAPnet coordinated and aired.
In 1985, Harry began a co-starring role opposite Marla Gibbs as the apartment building vamp, "Sandra Clark", on the NBC sitcom 227, the role with which she is most associated. Her mother, Flossie, celebrated her getting the part but died before the show aired.
Harry became the first African American to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Her performance on 227 inspired NBC producers to create a television pilot for her entitled Jackée. The pilot episode failed with audiences and is now shown as an episode of 227.
After leaving 227 in 1989, Harry starred opposite Oprah Winfrey in the adaptation of Gloria Naylor's novel, The Women of Brewster Place. In 1991, Harry joined the cast of The Royal Family, whose run ended after one season when star Redd Foxx died unexpectedly that autumn.
From 1994-99, Harry played Tia Mowry's character's adoptive mother on the sitcom, Sister, Sister. She won NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for two consecutive years in 1999 and 2000. First on ABC, the series moved to the WB network until it ended. She had a recurring role as Vanessa on The CW series Everybody Hates Chris. She currently has a recurring role on the BET Series Let's Stay Together.


In 1994, Harry made her return to the theater by starring as Billie Holiday in the play Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill. Following that stage production, she fulfilled the role of "madam who runs a bordello" in the Broadway musical The Boys From Syracuse, a play based on William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.
In 1992, she starred as the assistant coach in Ladybugs. Harry served as a guest panelist on the 2000 revival of To Tell the Truth. Harry appeared on the second season of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club 2 in 2005.
In the mid-2000s, she appeared in stage productions of The Sunshine Boys, Damn Yankees, and A Christmas Carol. She most recently toured nationally in JD Lawrence's The Clean Up Woman.



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