Fran Drescher Reflects on ‘The Nanny,’ ‘Indebted’ & More for ‘In My Own Words’

Fran Drescher In My Own Words

Funny, honest, inspiring. Fran Drescher is all three in the riveting profile Fran Drescher: In My Own Words, which traces her rise from a beautiful 9-pound, 2-ounce newborn who captivated strangers in the hospital nursery to cocreator and star of the hit ’90s sitcom The Nanny.

Also bravely detailed: her history as a survivor — of a sexual assault in 1985, a bitter divorce in 1999 and a uterine cancer diagnosis in 2000. Drescher opens up to us on a variety of topics.

On claiming she won the 1973 Miss New York Teenager pageant, when she was the first runner-up, to land an agent:

I had such a clear focus at a very young age that I just used the contest as a stepping stone.

On considering giving up acting before The Nanny:

I did a pilot that I was miserable doing, playing, like, a third banana. I gave myself five years to get on the inside in a big way and be in control of my own destiny, or get out and do something else.

On the attitude that carries her through difficult times:

I call myself a Bu-Jew. It’s part of the Buddhist philosophy that bad things happen to good people, but how we grow through it is what makes all the difference.

The Nanny

The Nanny (Credit: Cliff Lipson /© CBS/ Courtesy Everett Collection)

On the recent cancellation of her NBC sitcom Indebted:

I’m somewhat relieved because I really like to be in charge. Sometimes we think, well, maybe at this stage I could just show up and I don’t have to have all the pressure of running things. But for me, it’s more pressure being muzzled.

On her proud parents, Sylvia and Morty, stealing this show:

My mom’s in her eighties, my dad just turned 90. I asked for all the footage because [they were interviewed] for hours. To have that for posterity, that alone was worth doing it.

Fran Drescher: In My Own Words, Sunday, August 16, 10/9c, Reelz