WKRP in Cincinnati
Loni Anderson became famous as sexy receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on the popular comedy series “WKRP in Cincinnati,” which ran on CBS from 1978 to 1982. For her work, she was handed two Emmy nominations and three Golden Globe nominations. The stylish performer acquired additional attention for starring in a number of TV movies, most notably as Jayne Mansfield in 1980's “The Jayne Mansfield Story” and Thelma Todd in 1991's “White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd.” Her subsequent TV series gigs primarily had short lives, including “Partners in Crime” (1984), “Easy Street” (1986-1987), “Nurses” (1993-1994) and “The Mullets” (2003-2004). In 2006, she played the mom on the sitcom “So noTORIous,” which starred Tori Spelling as her daughter. As a movie actress, Anderson netted two Razzie nominations for her work in “Stroker Ace” (1983). She also acted in Sean McNamara's “3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain” (1998), opposite Hulk Hogan, and “A Night at the Roxbury” (1998), a comedy starring Will Ferrell. Anderson has also published an autobiography called “My Life in High Heels.”
Married and divorced before her 21st birthday, Anderson's personal life has been filled with failed marriages. She married first husband Bruce Hasselbeck in 1964, but they divorced in 1966 after producing a daughter named Deidra Hoffman. Her next marriage was to actor Ross Bickell and lasted from 1973 to 1981. However, it was her third marriage to Oscar nominee Burt Reynolds (together from 1988 to 1995) that earned the couple notoriety. Anderson and the film superstar have an adopted son named Quinton. On her marriage to Burt, she said, “I tried to save my marriage to Burt. I really gave it my all. But you know what I was competing with… a handful of pills and a bottle of booze. I can't win and I certainly don't take last place, so I hung it all out to dry.”
Loni married her ex-flame Bob Flick, who she first met at age 17, in 2008. She was also once romantically involved with Geoffrey Brown (dated in late 1993).
Childhood and Family:
The daughter of Carl K. Anderson and Maxine H. Kallin, Loni Kaye Anderson was born on August 5, 1945, in St. Paul, Minnesota. As a senior in high school, she was named Valentine Queen of her school's winter formal and later became the winner of the Miss Roseville beauty pageant contest (1963), which allowed her to represent her hometown at the Miss Minnesota competition. She was also crowned Miss Thermo-Jac Clothing, Miss County Style Ford and Queen of the Hole-In-One.
At age 19, Loni married Bruce Hasselbeck and they had a daughter named Deidra Hoffman. The marriage ended after two years. Around that same period, she was an art and drama major at the University of Minnesota and in order to make ends meet, the young single mother took a job as a teacher. Also an aspiring actress, she did local commercials and appeared in several theatrical productions during the early 1970s. Loni remarried in 1973 to actor Ross Bickell and they headed to Los Angeles two years later. She eventually found fame on the TV sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” but the success was not without cost. In 1981, after having been together for eight years, she divorced her second husband.
On April 1988, Loni enjoyed a high-profile marriage to actor Burt Reynolds (born on February 11, 1936), which resulted in an adopted son named Quinton Reynolds. The couple, however, divorced on March 7, 1995. Loni later married Bob Flick in 2008. They first met in 1962 when Loni was 17 years old
A winner of several beauty contests, Loni Anderson was prompted to take a teaching job to support herself and her infant daughter after divorcing from her first husband. At the time, she was still working on her college degree at the University of Minnesota. She began her professionally acting career working on TV commercials and performing with repertory companies in such productions as “The Star-Spangled Girl,” “Born Yesterday,” “Can-Can,” “Send Me No Flowers,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Threepenny Opera.”
Arriving in Hollywood in 1975, the Minnesota native broke into the small screen with a series of guest roles, including playing Andrea Hanover in a 1975 episode of “The Invisible Man” (1975), Dee Dee Danvers in a 1976 episode of “Barnaby Jones,” Susan Walters in a 1977 episode of “Three's Company” and Leslie Greely in an episode of “The Bob Newhart Show” (also 1977). Her first real break arrived in 1978 when she joined the cast of the hit CBS sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” in the soon-to-be-popular role of Jennifer Elizabeth Marlowe. Brilliantly playing the radio receptionist, she took home two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series (1980 and 1981) and three Golden Globe nominations for Best TV Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Musical/Comedy (1980, 1981 and 1982).
During her four years on the series, Anderson enjoyed additional fame as the star of the TV film “The Jayne Mansfield Story” (1980), a biopic of the rise and fall of Hollywood legend Jayne Mansfield. She also appeared in Bob Hope's “Spring Fling of Glamour and Comedy” (1981) and starred as Julie Davis in the Aaron Spelling produced TV movie “Sizzle” (also 1981), among others.
After the demise of “WKRP in Cincinnati” in 1982, Anderson starred as Pembrook Feeney in the action film “Stroker Ace” (1983), opposite her future husband Burt Reynolds. The role brought the actress Razzie nominations for Worst Actress and Worst New Star. She returned to series TV as a regular on the short lived detective series “Partners in Crime” (1984) and the NBC failed sitcom “Easy Street” (1986-1987). She could also be seen in television movies like 1984's “My Mother's Secret Life,” 1985's “A Letter to Three Wives,” 1987's “Blondie and Dagwood” (played the voice of Blondie Bumstead), 1988's “Necessity” and 1989's “Sorry, Wrong Number” (as Madeleine Stevenson).
Anderson next starred as tragic 1930s Hollywood comedy actress Thelma Todd in the made-for-TV film “White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd,” which was directed by Paul Wendkos. She then portrayed Cathy Dobson in the following year's independent film “Muchie,” by Jim Wynorsky, and reprised her famous TV role of Jennifer Marlowe on a syndicated revival called “The New WKRP in Cincinnati” (1991-1992). Next, she had recurring roles on the sitcom “Empty Nest” (1993, as Casey MacAfee) and “Melrose Place” (1996, as Teri Carson) and joined the cast of the NBC sitcom “Nurses” in the role of Casey MacAfee, which she played from 1993 to 1994. In 1998, Anderson costarred with Hulk Hogan for the motion picture sequel “3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain,” by Sean McNamara, and landed a significant supporting role as Barbara Butabi in the comedy film “A Night at the Roxbury,” starring Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan. She closed out the decade by making a guest appearance as Pamela Anderson's mother on an episode of the syndicated series “V.I.P.” Anderson also appeared as Janet in a 2001 episode of “Three Sisters,” a short lived comedy starring Dyan Cannon, Katherine LaNasa and Vicki Lewis. Two years later, in September 2003, she began her regular role of Mandi Mullet-Heidecker on the comedy series “The Mullets,” where she costarred with Michael Weaver and David Hornsby, but the show only lasted eleven episodes. More recently, in 2006, she was cast as the materialistic mother of Tori Spelling in eight episodes of the comedy show “So noTORIous.”
In 2008, Anderson appeared on “Entertainment Tonight.” It was her second appearance on the show.