Loni Anderson

Active - 1973 - 2011  |   Born - Aug 5, 1945 in St. Paul, Minnesota, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Crime, Mystery, Thriller

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Loni Anderson's first acting appearance, at age 10, was in the auditorium of her St. Paul grammar school. An art student at the University of Minnesota, Loni worked her way through her freshman year by winning beauty contests. Married and divorced at 18, Loni was compelled to take a teaching job to support herself and her infant daughter, but she was able to eventually complete her college education. Still a brunette in the early stages of her professional career, Loni acted in Midwestern repertory companies and TV commercials before coming to Hollywood with her second husband in 1975. Three years later, a newly blonde Loni was cast as "look but don't touch" radio station receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on the popular sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. After the series' cancellation in 1982, Loni appeared in films and starred in two subsequent series, Partners in Crime (1984) and Easy Street (1986), as well as a syndicated WKRP revival in 1990. One of the uncrowned queens of the TV movies, Loni has starred in the made-for-television biopics of Jayne Mansfield and Thelma Todd, and through the auspices of her own production company appeared in TV remakes of Leave Her to Heaven and Sorry Wrong Number. Loni Anderson's most recent husband was film superstar Burt Reynolds, whom she met on the set of Stroker Ace (1983); after several months of well-publicized courtroom histrionics (most stemming from a custody battle over their adopted son), Loni and Burt's marriage came to a comparatively swift and silent end in 1994.

She would work in frequently from that point on, though she starred in 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain and appeared in the SNL adaptation A Night at the Roxbury. In 2011 she was one of the people who appeared in the affectionate documentary Carol Channing: Larger Than Life.

Movie Highlights

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Factsheet

  • Was the runner-up in the Miss Minnesota pageant at the age of 18.
  • Taught high school for a short time before pursuing an acting career.
  • Agreed to take the role of Jennifer Marlowe on WKRP in Cincinnati on the condition that she be allowed to play her as "a bright, sensitive, together woman" rather than a dumb blonde.
  • Wrote, with Larkin Warren, her autobiography, My Life in High Heels, in 1995. 
  • Works to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; both of her parents died from smoking-related illnesses.
  • Married musician Bob Flick on May 17, 2008, the 45th anniversary of the day they met.