Loni Kaye Anderson
August 5, 1945
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Loni Kaye Anderson (born August 5, 1945) is an American actress best known for her role as receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on the CBS sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982), which earned her three Golden Globe Awards and two Emmy Award nominations.
Anderson was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the daughter of Klaydon Carl "Andy" Anderson, an environmental chemist, and Maxine Hazel (née Kallin), a model. She grew up in suburban Roseville, Minnesota. As a senior at Alexander Ramsey Senior High School in Roseville, she was voted Valentine Queen of the Valentine's Day Winter Formal of 1963. As she says in her autobiography, My Life in High Heels, her father was originally going to name her Leiloni, but realized that when she got to her teen years, it was likely to be twisted into "Lay Loni"—so it was changed to simply Loni.[page needed]
Her acting debut came with a bit part in the film Nevada Smith (1966), starring Steve McQueen. After that, she was virtually unemployed as an actress for nearly a decade, before she finally began achieving guest roles on television series in the mid-1970s. She appeared in two episodes of S.W.A.T., then on the sitcom Phyllis, and the detective series Police Woman and Harry O.
She auditioned well for the role of Chrissy on the popular sitcom Three's Company. She didn't win the role, but in 1978 guest-starred as Susan Walters on a season two episode, an appearance that brought her to the attention of the ABC network.
Anderson's most famous acting role came as the sultry receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982). She was offered the role when producers saw a poster of her in a red swimsuit—a pose similar to Farrah Fawcett's famous 1976 poster. The sitcom's creator, Hugh Wilson, later said Anderson got the role because her body resembled Jayne Mansfield's, and because she possessed the innocent sexuality of Marilyn Monroe.
Although the series suffered in the Nielsen ratings throughout most of its four-year run, it had a strong following among teens, young adults and disc jockeys. Owing to her rising popularity as the series' so-called "main attraction", Anderson walked out on the sitcom during the 1980 summer hiatus, requesting a substantial salary increase. While she was renegotiating her contract, she starred in the CBS made-for-television film The Jayne Mansfield Story (1980). When the network agreed to her requests, she returned to the series and remained until its cancellation in 1982. It has remained popular in syndication around the world.
Aside from her acting career, Anderson has become known for her colorful personal life, particularly her relationship and marriage to actor Burt Reynolds. They starred in the comedy film Stroker Ace (1983), which was a critical and box office failure. She later appeared as herself in the romantic comedy The Lonely Guy (1984), starring Steve Martin. She voiced Flo, a collie in the animated classic film All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989).
In the mid-to-late 1980s, Anderson's acting career gradually declined. She was teamed with Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter in the television series, Partners in Crime in 1984. She appeared in television adaptations of classic Hollywood films, such as A Letter to Three Wives (1985) with Michele Lee, and Sorry, Wrong Number (1989) with Patrick Macnee and Hal Holbrook, both of which received little attention. After starring in Coins in the Fountain (1990), Anderson received considerable praise for her portrayal of comedian actress Thelma Todd in the television movie White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd (1991). In the early 1990s, she attempted to co-star with her husband Burt Reynolds on his new CBS sitcom Evening Shade, but the network was not fond of the idea, thus replacing Anderson with Marilu Henner. After Delta Burke was fired from the CBS sitcom Designing Women in 1991, producers offered Anderson a role as Burke's replacement, which never came to pass because the network refused to pay Anderson the salary she had requested. She agreed to return as Jennifer Marlowe on two episodes of The New WKRP in Cincinnati, a sequel to the original series. In 1993, Anderson was added to the third season of the NBC sitcom Nurses, playing hospital administrator Casey MacAffee. Although her entering the series was an attempt to boost the series' ratings, the series was canceled shortly thereafter. Anderson has since returned to guest-starring on several popular television series, such as playing the "witch-trash" cousin on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and as Vallery Irons' mother on V.I.P. She also starred in the comedy film A Night at the Roxbury (1998).
In April 2018, Anderson was seen promoting the WKRP in Cincinnati television series and other classic television series on the MeTV television network.
Anderson has been married four times. Her first three husbands were Bruce Hasselberg (1964–1966), Ross Bickell (1973–1981), and actor Burt Reynolds (1988–1994). On May 17, 2008, she married musician Bob Flick, one of the founding members of the folk band The Brothers Four. They had originally met at a movie premiere in Minneapolis in 1963.
Anderson has two children: a daughter, Deidra Hoffman (fathered by Hasselberg), who was a school administrator in California; and a son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds (born August 31, 1988), whom she and Reynolds adopted and who became an EMT. She also has a sister, Andrea Sams. Anderson's autobiography, My Life in High Heels, was published in 1997.
Growing up with parents of the World War II generation, who both smoked, Anderson witnessed the effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung disease often caused by smoking. In 1999, she became a spokesperson for COPD. During a visit to Seattle for a COPD education campaign, she became reacquainted with future husband Bob Flick.
|1966||Nevada Smith||Brunette Saloon Girl||Uncredited|
|1983||Stroker Ace||Pembrook Feeny||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress|
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst New Star
|1984||The Lonely Guy||Herself||Uncredited|
|1989||All Dogs Go to Heaven||Flo||Voice|
|1998||3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain||Medusa|
|1998||A Night at the Roxbury||Barbara Butabi|
|1977||The Magnificent Magical Magnet of Santa Mesa||Mrs. Daroon|
|1978||Three on a Date||Angela Ross|
|1980||The Jayne Mansfield Story||Jayne Mansfield|
|1982||Country Gold||Mollie Dean Purcell|
|1984||My Mother's Secret Life||Ellen Blake|
|1985||A Letter to Three Wives||Lora Mae Holloway|
|1987||Blondie & Dagwood||Blondie Bumstead||Voice|
|1988||Whisper Kill||Liz Bartlett|
|1988||Too Good to Be True||Ellen Berent|
|1989||Sorry, Wrong Number||Madeleine Stevenson|
|1989||Blondie & Dagwood: Second Wedding Workout||Blondie Bumstead||Voice|
|1990||Coins in the Fountain||Leah|
|1991||White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd||Thelma Todd|
|1992||The Price She Paid||Lacey|
|1994||Gambler V: Playing for Keeps||Fanny Porter|
|1994||Without Warning||Actress in opening movie segment||Uncredited|
|1995||Deadly Family Secrets||Martha|
|1975||S.W.A.T.||Miss Texas||Episode: "The Steel Security Blanket"|
|1975||S.W.A.T.||Art Teacher||Episode: "Deadly Tide: Part 1"|
|1975||The Invisible Man||Andrea Hanover||Episode: "Man of Influence"|
|1975||Harry O||Linzy||Episode: "Lester Two"|
|1975||Phyllis||Rita||Episode: "The First Date"|
|1975||Police Woman||Waitress||Episode: "Farewell, Mary Jane"|
|1976||Police Story||Waitress||Episode: "Odyssey of Death: Part 2"|
|1976||Barnaby Jones||Dee Dee Danvers||Episode: "Deadly Reunion"|
|1976||Barnaby Jones||Joanna Morgan||Episode: "Sins of Thy Father"|
|1976||The McLean Stevenson Show||Mrs. Swenson||Episode: "Going His Way"|
|1977||The Bob Newhart Show||Leslie Greely||Episode: "Carlin's New Suit"|
|1977||The Love Boat||Barbie||Episode: "Lost and Found / The Understudy / Married Singles"|
|1978–82||WKRP in Cincinnati||Jennifer Marlowe||89 episodes|
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1980–81)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1980–81)
|1978||The Incredible Hulk||Sheila Cantrell||Episode: "Of Guilt, Models and Murder"|
|1978||Three's Company||Susan Walters||Episode: "Coffee, Tea, or Jack"|
|1980||The Love Boat||Passenger||Episode: "The Kinfolk / Sis and the Slicker / Moonlight and Moonshine / Affair"|
|1980||Fantasy Island||Kim Holland||Episode: "The Love Doctor / Pleasure Palace / Possessed"|
|1984||Partners in Crime||Sydney Kovak||13 episodes|
|1985||Amazing Stories||Love||Episode: "The Guilt Trip"|
|1986–87||Easy Street||L.K. McGuire||22 episodes|
|1990||B.L. Stryker||Dawn St. Claire||Episode: "Grand Theft Hotel"|
|1991–92||The New WKRP in Cincinnati||Jennifer Marlowe||2 episodes: "Where Are We Going?", "Jennifer and the Prince"|
|1993||Empty Nest||Casey MacAfee||3 episodes|
|1993–94||Nurses||Casey MacAfee||22 episodes|
|1995||Burke's Law||Claudia Loring||Episode: "Who Killed the Highest Bidder?"|
|1995||Women of the House||Loni Anderson||Episode: "Women in Film"|
|1996||Melrose Place||Teri Carson||3 episodes|
|1997||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Racine||Episode: "Witch Trash"|
|1998||Clueless||Barbara Collier||Episode: "Labor of Love"|
|1999||Movie Stars||Audrey Wyatt||Episode: "Mothers & Brothers"|
|1999||V.I.P.||Carol Irons||Episode: "Stop or Val's Mom Will Shoot"|
|2001||Three Sisters||Janet||Episode: "Mother's Day"|
|2003–04||The Mullets||Mandi Mullet-Heidecker||11 episodes|
|2006||So Notorious||Kiki Spelling||8 episodes|
|2016||Baby Daddy||Nana Lyle||Episode: "Not So Great Grandma"|
|2016–18||My Sister Is So Gay||Frances||12 episodes|
|2017||Love You More||Jean Carlyle-Dixon||TV pilot|
- Anderson, Loni; Warren, Larkin (1995). My Life in High Heels. New York: Morrow. ISBN 978-0-688-14272-8. OCLC 32703710 – via archive.org — her autobiographyCS1 maint: postscript (link)
- "Loni Kaye Anderson, Minnesota Birth Index, 1935–2002". FamilySearch. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
- "1963 Alexander Ramsey Senior High School Yearbook photos, pictures and photo tags". classmates.com. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
- Anderson, Loni; Warren, Larkin (1995). My Life in High Heels. New York: Morrow. ISBN 978-0-688-14272-8. OCLC 32703710 – via archive.org.
- Cormier, Roger (January 1, 2016). "16 Regal Facts About Three's Company". Mental Floss. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- D'Zurilla, Christie (September 6, 2018). "Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson: The ugly divorce that just wouldn't end". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
left divorce court in 1994
- "Loni Anderson marries folk singer Bob Flick 15 years after divorce from Burt Reynolds". Star Tribune. May 18, 2008.
- "Loni Anderson Biography". bio. A&E Television Networks. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- Orloff, Brian (June 26, 2008). "Loni Anderson's Sweet Happily Ever After". People Magazine. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
- Dougherty, Margot; Marx, Linda; Balfour, Victoria; Armstrong, Lois (May 16, 1988). "Burt & Loni's Wedding Album". People. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
- Schindehette, Susan (September 13, 1993). "What a Mess!". People. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
- Lipton, Michael A. (September 15, 2003). "Red-Hot Grandmama". People. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
- "Deidre Hall's Miracle." Archived December 3, 2005, at the Wayback Machine The American Surrogacy Center, Inc., 1996. Retrieved September 7, 2006.
- "Burt and Loni, and baby makes glee". The Philadelphia Inquirer. September 3, 1988.
- Nolasco, Stephanie (May 15, 2021). "Loni Anderson on 'Hollywood Museum Squares,' trying on Marilyn Monroe's dress: It 'gave me chills'". Fox News. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
- Stephens, Stephanie (December 11, 2015). "Loni Anderson: Now's the Time to Give Back". Parade. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- "Loni Anderson Rallies Around Her Daughter as She Battles MS". Closer. June 28, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- "Loni Anderson and 'Sizzle'". The Lewiston Daily Sun. Associated Press. November 27, 1981. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
- "Stranded: Full Credits". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
- "Without Warning – Full Credits". tcm.com. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
- "Baby Daddy: Not So Great Grandma". zap2it.com. Tribune Media Entertainment. Retrieved June 10, 2017.
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