She was the flashy girl from Flushing. The nanny named Fran who from 1993 to 1999, entertained TV audiences at home with her nasal high-pitched laugh and a healthy dose of “Queens logic” in every episode. Through her, romantics at heart watched a city girl’s Cinderella story unfold and learned that opposites really do attract while young girls learned the importance of marrying for true love… especially if that true love happens to be a wealthy one. We laughed, we cried, we had cravings for chocolate-covered things. When the show ended, many fans missed the funny family they had grown so attached to. In fact, Fran and her ex-husband and fellow co-creator of The Nanny, Peter Marc Jacobson, weren’t ready for the show to go off the air. It was only due to fans putting pressure on the network for Maxwell and Fran to finally get married that caused the show to end. CBS caved to the fans’ demands and issued an ultimatum to Peter and Fran who knew that once a Sheffield-Fine wedding happened, the show would be over because the basic premise would be ruined. So they went out with a bang in 1999 but now we’ve rounded up the whole gang just for you. Such joie de vivre!
15. Hot! Maggie Sheffield Is All Grown Up!
Margaret, better known as Maggie, the sensible oldest child of Maxwell and the late Sara Sheffield, played by Nicholle Tom, was the sense of reason in the Sheffield mansion. Though at times she could be dreamy, romantic and have her head in the clouds like most every teenage girl, Maggie was generally seen as the dependable one. Her role on The Nanny was not unlike her role as Ryce Newton in 1992’s popular family movie, Beethoven and the 1993 sequel, Beethoven’s 2nd which she worked on right before starting The Nanny. On both projects, this actress played the eldest daughter of three siblings with a brother as the middle child and a younger sister. Nicholle nailed the role of a relatable fifteen-year-old girl in the 90’s, struggling with typical self-esteem, parent and sibling issues not to mention crushes on cute boys.
14. Not So Hot! Fran’s Super Sidekick
Val Toriello, Fran’s loyal friend to the end from Flushing was the Ethel to Fran’s Lucy, helping her get out of one jam after another and occasionally helping her into a pickle or two. But hey, that’s what friends do. Fran and Val were two peas in a pod and Rachel Chagall did a smash up job playing the part of the BFF. Rachel hasn’t worked since 2006 but before then, she kept plenty busy in the business, appearing on shows and movies with small roles and during the run of The Nanny, she even wrote one episode called “The Dummy Twins.” Go, Val! Whenever Fran needed support, some girl time or help finishing off a dessert of some kind, Val was there with bells on. In honor of friendship, true or fictional, we salute you, Val Toriello and Rachel for bringing Val to life!
13. Hot! Fran Goes Green And Still Looks Great
Here she is… the lady in green when everybody else is wearing tan. Even without her crazy outfits, Fran is still very much Fran. And she looks terrific! With so many beloved TV shows from the 90’s making comebacks today like Netflix’s Fuller House and Disney’s Girl Meets World, fans have been clamoring for the Sheffield gang to get their revival in order. While nothing has happened to make us think that something is in the works, Fran Drescher has said that she’s not opposed to the idea. “We wouldn’t do it for the money,” she said. “We would do it because we cracked the code on how to tell the story twenty years later. And make it interesting. I set a very high standard. At this stage of my life, it has to make my heart sing. As Peter said, once the sexual tension is gone, now she is the wife, there went the series. So, to go back… we would have to figure out where we are starting from and what it is.” We say, get to it!
12. Not So Hot! Mama Mia!
After we caught our first glimpse of Sylvia Fine in the first episode, people everywhere collectively nodded their heads and thought, Now I see where Fran gets it from. Thanks in part to excellent casting and mostly to wonderful acting by Renée Taylor, Mama Fine made her way into our hearts even though she had us cringing all the way with her fondness for gold lamé outfits, plastic-covered furniture and her special medicine (chocolate syrup) for her palpitations any time Fran lost a prospective date. She may not be supermodel hot but Mama Fine is one heck of an unforgettable character and served as a steady comedic goldmine for the show. Today, this blonde beauty is eighty-four and has an acting and writing resume as long as her favorite gold lamé shawl. Love ya, Maaaa!
11. Hot! Nicholle’s Staying Busy In The Biz
Since her work in the 90s, the thirty-nine-year-old actress has built quite a resume for herself appearing on many TV series. Most fans of the show Gotham don’t quite recognize Peter Scolari’s creepy daughter, Miriam Loeb but they know there’s something familiar about her. You guessed it! She also plays Maureen in Showtime’s Masters of Sex. Besides her current projects, Nicholle has worked on a handful of movies, made for TV movies and guest spots on TV shows such as the role of Sue Scanlon on the original Beverly Hills, 90210. While some child actresses have grown up into barely recognizable women, you can’t miss Maggie Sheffield in Nicholle’s eyes and expression in this photo, especially if you happen to be a 90s kid.
10. Not So Hot! Watch Out, C.C.!
She was the one that everyone loved to hate and her snarky exchanges with Niles were like candy for the brain. Lauren Lane depicted the snobbish Chastity Claire “C.C.” Babcock who was the perfect love rival for loud mouthed, faux animal print-wearing Fran Fine. Today, Lauren looks nothing like the stuck-up, perfectly polished C.C. but hey, that’s a good thing. She looks relaxed, happy and full of life. Can you imagine how miserable fictional C.C. might be today? If The Nanny does a reboot, do you think C.C. and Niles will still be married? We’re not quite sure that we can picture a realistic storyline where Niles and C.C.’s marriage lasted for this long. Perhaps she would still be pining away for Maxwell for all of these years?
9. Hot! From Gracie To Grown!
Madeline Zima stole America’s collective heart from the very start. The first line that Madeline as Grace Sheffield says is after Maxwell asks his little girl, “Sweetheart, how was therapy today, hm? Any, uh, any breakthroughs?” Grace responds with, “We did some regression work. Dr. Bort took me back through my childhood.” When Fran says, “Must have been a quick trip!” Grace answers, “Oh, you have NO idea how complicated I am.” With a dramatic shake of her head, viewers knew that Grace would soon steal the show. For such an adorable little girl, Grace was as serious as a stone and wise centuries beyond her years. Fans of the show will never forget when Fran walked in on Grace and her dolls and sat down to play with her only to have Grace inform Fran that she wasn’t playing but conducting a group therapy session.
8. Not So Hot! The Handsome Father And Successful Producer
He was the father that found Fran beguiling and Charles Shaughnessy brought him to life for six years to delighted TV audiences. Second only to Andrew Lloyd Webber himself, Maxwell really made a name for himself (with plenty of I Love Lucy-type help from Fran) as a highly sought after Broadway theatrical producer. While kids loved watching Fran and how the kids reacted to her antics, mothers everywhere swooned over the handsome and debonair Maxwell Sheffield. Living vicariously through her, they hoped and prayed that Maxwell would finally come to see that Fran was his true love. Spoiler alert – he did. Though he’s a tad older now, Charles still has plenty of that suave charm left in his handsome eyes. We can just hear his silky smooth accent now, asking a pink fuzzy bathrobe clad Fran to pass the silver pot of coffee as the family sits around the breakfast table in their prim and proper outfits.
7. Hot! Sweet Face
Even though Madeline is an adult now at thirty-one years old, she still has retained much of her innocent baby-faced looks from childhood. Her doe eyes and sweet, sincere smile probably helped to propel tiny Madeline ahead of the other two-year-old girls vying for a spot as the star of a Downy fabric softener commercial so many years ago. After that, Madeline shot to childhood acting stardom when she won the role of young Emma Bartel in 1992’s mega box office smash The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. On The Nanny, Madeline played the baby of the family but in real life, she is the oldest child with two younger sisters, Yvonne and Vanessa who are both actresses as well. The sisters look so much alike that Madeline and Yvonne shared the role of Jo Ann Foley in 1999’s TV movie, Chasing Secrets, Madeline playing the older version.
6. Not So Hot! The Wisecracking Butler
Many fans credit Niles for being the comedic backbone of the show. Those fans have Daniel Davis to thank for his portrayal of Maxwell Sheffield’s ever loyal and ever sarcastic butler. Besides his very successful run on The Nanny, Daniel Davis guest-starred on Star Trek: The Next Generation as Professor Moriarty and as recent as last year, this seventy-one-year-old brought the house down as Selsdon Mowbray in Noises Off in New York City. Since 1970, his career has been peppered with roles on soap operas, movies and voicing gigs. Speaking of voice, if you thought Daniel Davis had a true English accent, he fooled you. He’s a Southern boy, true and true, from Arkansas with phenomenal acting skills.
5. Hot! Madeline Is A Californicated Girl
Today, Madeline might be best known for her role as the provocative and mysterious teenager Mia Lewis on Californication which starred David Duchovny. As recently as this year, she played the role of Tracey on Twin Peaks and has kept consistently busy since The Nanny went off the air, picking up tons of roles in horror movies, TV shows and made for TV movies. She’s even done voice over work on shows like King of the Hill. It’s been known that Madeline has shown an interest in sketch writing and has voiced her interest in being on SNL. Critics of The Nanny were constantly impressed with young Madeline’s professionalism and superb knack for comedic timing. If anyone would make a great cast member for the comedy show, it’s Madeline.
4. Not So Hot! The Bothersome Brother
Brighton Sheffield, the middle child who called like he saw them, was a much-needed male presence on the highly female-dominated show. Brighton brought in tons of laughs each episode by being the annoying little brother to Maggie, forever trying to ruin her dates and he once gave Fran a heck of a headache when he couldn’t stop kissing her cousin’s granddaughter, Tiffany in the episode, “The Family Plumbing.” Brighton was just a boy but he had apparently been gifted with his father’s smooth appeal though he mostly used it for whatever nefarious shenanigans he was cooking up. He made a good verbal sparring opponent and at times was more like a miniature version of Niles than Maxwell, always ready with a sarcastic and funny quip and we have to say that Benjamin Salisbury did an excellent job at pulling off this complicated character for six years.
3. Hot! The Nanny Named Fran 18 Years Later
It all started with a flight and some lucky seating arrangements. While flying to Paris, Fran happened to find herself next to none other than a CBS executive. Fran was on her way to see her buddy, former supermodel Twiggy and managed to finesse her way into an agreement with the exec that she could pitch an idea for a sitcom. Once in Paris, Fran was jazzed. But now, she needed an idea to pitch. It turned out that Twiggy was too busy to hang with Fran after all so the resourceful gal took it upon herself to drag Twiggy’s then twelve-year-old daughter around with her during her Paris stay. Before she left, the idea for the perfect sitcom hit her like a bus on the New York State Thruway. “I couldn’t get this relationship out of my head,” Fran said of her temporary twelve-year-old Parisian charge. “I thought of the idea. A spin on ‘The Sound Of Music,’ only instead of Julie Andrews, I come to the door.”
2. Not So Hot! Kind But Kooky Yetta
Ah. Yetta. Sweet, senile, chain-smoking, fanny pack-loving, ever forgetful Yetta Jones was a truly memorable gal. The only reason we say she is “not so hot” is because on the show, Yetta defied scales of determining hotness. She was always putting her granddaughter, Fran to shame with her ability to flirt, get dates and even get married again at her portrayed age. Yetta may not have always known what time it was or even what century it was but she always had a smile and a joke ready. Sadly, this great actress passed away in 2016. In her younger days, Ann had a steady role on The Dick Van Dyke Show as neighbor Millie and also worked on The Golden Girls and Grumpier Old Men as well as many other TV shows and movies. Yetta or “Yettie” as Fran affectionately called her was a special character that required skillful comedic timing and Ann played the part to perfection. Rest in peace, Ann.
1. Hot! Nicholle’s Real Life Sibling Relationships Are Tight-Knit, Too
On her most popular works, The Nanny and Beethoven franchises, she played the eldest daughter of three children who occasionally fought and bickered as children do but for the most part, were there for each other when needed. In real life, she is one of three as well but Nicholle is really the little sister to big sis, Heather who starred on The Young and The Restless for years. She also has a twin brother, David, from Brand New Life who holds a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series. In 2008, David and Nicholle guest-starred on an episode of Criminal Minds together. From all appearances, Nicholle seems to be very close to her family, especially with her siblings. You know what they say – the family that guest-stars together, stays together.
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