Full Name: Loni Kaye Anderson
Birthdate: 5 August 1945
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Known for: An American Actress
Loni Anderson is a TV actress best known for her sultry portrayal as Jennifer Marlowe on the Cincinnati-based sitcom WKRP.
American actress Loni Anderson shot to fame in 1978 after landing a part in the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, where she became an instant sex icon. Her performance in the 1983 car racing sitcom Stroker Ace transformed her life once more. While filming, she befriended and started a romantic relationship with Burt Reynolds, a prominent figure in Hollywood at the time; their marriage cemented their status as a Hollywood celebrity couple.
Lori Anderson was born on August 5, 1946, to Carl Anderson and Maxine Kallin in Saint Paul. She was the second of three children born to them. Anderson has always been known as a striking brunette beauty, even as a child. Anderson was elected Valentine Queen of her high school’s winter formal when she was a senior.
In 1963, Loni Anderson enrolled in the University of Minnesota to pursue a degree in fine arts. As a result of her success in the Miss Roseville pageant, she was able to represent her community at the Miss Minnesota beauty contest, helping her pay for college. She finished second in the competition, although she won other titles during that period, including Miss Thermo-Jac Clothing, Miss County Style Ford, and Queen of the Hole-In-One.
Anderson married fellow Minnesotan Bruce Hasselbeck in 1964 when she was just 18 years old. Anderson and Hasselbeck welcomed their first child, a daughter named Deidra, not long after their marriage was sealed in marriage.. Sadly, Loni Anderson and Hasselbeck’s love affair ended in separation in 1966. To help sustain herself and her newborn daughter while finishing college, Anderson took a teaching post. It was a challenging period for her.
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Loni Anderson became interested in acting and began appearing in local advertisements and theatrical productions. She appeared in many early 1970s plays, including Born Yesterday, Send Me No Flowers, Can-Can, The Star-Spangled Girl, and Fiddler on the Roof, with her dark brown hair still intact.
The next year, Loni Anderson remarried Ross Bickell, who was also an up-and-coming actor. In 1975, the aspirational couple made the decision to relocate from Minnesota to Los Angeles in order to pursue their respective careers in cinema and television. During this time, Anderson bleached her hair blonde and scored small appearances on sitcoms including Barnaby Jones (1973), The Bob Newhart Show (1972), and Three’s Company (1977).
Anderson’s breakout role on the silver screen came in 1978 when she won a role on the iconic Cincinnati sitcom WKRP. Doctor Johnny Fever was played by Howard Hesseman, and the radio station’s seductive receptionist Jennifer Marlowe was played by Anderson. Anderson had become a sex icon almost instantly, and a centrefold portrait of her in a bikini was among the most popular posters of the 1970s. Anderson, far from being a stupid blonde, insisted on being capable of playing her role as a clever, empathetic woman before accepting the role. Her foresight paid off, and she was nominated for two Emmys and three Golden Globes for her performance.
Anderson’s professional career was thriving, but her relationship was in shambles. Her immediate celebrity caused her second marriage to fall apart, and Bickell and Anderson separated in 1981.
Anderson harnessed the power of her success to continue performing in cinema and television when the series was terminated in 1982. The Jayne Mansfield Story in 1980, in which she co-starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anderson went on to start her own production company and appear in a number of made-for-television movies. However, it was her appearance as Stroker Ace in the 1983 comedy-drama film Stroker Ace that completely changed her trajectory. She began a relationship with Burt Reynolds, a big-name actor at the time, while they were filming. Although Anderson’s performance in the film received mixed reviews, her marriage to Reynolds in 1988 elevated the two of them to stardom as a celebrity couple in Hollywood.
Reynolds and Anderson had a happy start to their marriage in the public eye. After adopting their son Quinton as a family, the couple went on to have a bitter divorce. Anderson and Reynolds’ high-profile custody fight over their son, as well as charges of a miserable and substance-abusive marriage, dominated the news until the couple’s divorce in 1994. Following their breakup, Anderson returned to acting on television, appearing in the last season of the NBC comedy Nurses (2001-2003). (1993-1994).