Loni Anderson

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Loni Anderson
Loni Anderson 2012.jpg
Loni Anderson, December 2012
Born Loni Kaye Anderson
(1945-08-05) August 5, 1945 (age 69)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1966; 1975–present
Spouse(s) Bruce Hasselberg (m. 1964–66)
Ross Bickell (m. 1973–81)
Burt Reynolds (m. 1988–93)
Bob Flick (m. 2008)

Loni Kaye Anderson (born August 5, 1945) is an American actress who is known for her four-year run as Jennifer Marlowe on WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–82), for playing Jayne Mansfield and Thelma Todd in television movies, and for playing Pamela Anderson's mother in one episode of V.I.P. (TV series).

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born on August 5, 1945 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the daughter of Maxine Hazel (née Kallin), a model, and Klaydon Carl "Andy" Anderson, an environmental chemist, and grew up in suburban Roseville. As a senior at Alexander Ramsey Senior High School in Roseville in 1963, she was voted Valentine Queen of Valentine's Day Winter Formal.[1] She attended the University of Minnesota.[2] As she says in her autobiography, My Life in High Heels, her father was originally going to name her "Leiloni" but then realized to his horror that when she got to her teen years it was likely to be twisted into "Lay Loni." So it was changed to simply "Loni".


Anderson in 1992

Anderson's most famous acting role came as the resourceful receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on the situation comedy WKRP in Cincinnati in 1978. She was offered the role when producers saw the poster of her in a red bikini: a pose similar to Farrah Fawcett's famous 1976 pin-up. The sitcom's creator, Hugh Wilson, later admitted that Anderson got the part because "She had a body like Jayne Mansfield and the overall sex appeal of Marilyn Monroe." Although the series suffered in the Nielsen ratings, it was popular with teenagers, but most especially with disc jockeys. Owing to her rising popularity as the show's so-called "main attraction," Anderson walked out on the sitcom during the 1980 summer hiatus of the show, requesting a steep salary increase. After renegotiating her contract, she returned and remained on the series until its end in 1982, after four seasons.

She and future husband Burt Reynolds starred in the 1983 stock car racing comedy film, Stroker Ace and the 1989 animated classic film, All Dogs Go To Heaven, as rough collie Flo, Charlie B. Barkin's girlfriend.

Shortly after her divorce from Reynolds, she appeared as a regular in the final season (1993–94) on the NBC sitcom Nurses. Anderson portrayed 1950s actress/sex symbol Jayne Mansfield in a made-for-TV biography, The Jayne Mansfield Story in 1980, with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mansfield's husband, Mickey Hargitay. She teamed with Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter in a 1984 television series, Partners in Crime.

Anderson made a series of cameo appearances on television series in the late 1990s and early 2000s, such as the Spellmans' "witch-trash" cousin on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Vallery Irons' mother on V.I.P. She played the 1930s comedienne actress Thelma Todd in the made-for-TV biography White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd in 1991.

Personal life[edit]

Anderson has been married four times; her first three marriages were to: Bruce Hasselberg (1964–66), Ross Bickell (1973–81), and actor (and one-time co-star) Burt Reynolds (1988–93). On May 17, 2008, Anderson married musician Bob Flick, one of the founding members of the folk band The Brothers Four.[3][4] The couple had met at a movie premiere in Anderson's native St. Paul a few years after Flick's group hit No. 2 on the pop charts with "Greenfields" in 1960. The ceremony was attended by friends and family, including son Quinton Reynolds.

She has two children: a daughter, Deidra Hoffman[5] (from her first marriage),[6] who is a school administrator in California;[7] and a son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds (born August 31, 1988), whom she and Burt Reynolds adopted.[8][9] Her autobiography, My Life in High Heels, was published in 1997.

Growing up with parents who smoked and were affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),[10] Anderson became the spokeswoman for the National Lung Health Education Program’s campaign and COPDTogether[10] to increase awareness about COPD[11] and caregiver support.[10]

Anderson was raised as a Lutheran.[12]


Selected television work[edit]


  1. ^ "classmates.com yearbooks Ramsey High School 1963". 
  2. ^ "Loni Anderson Biography (1945?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  3. ^ "Loni Anderson marries folk singer Bob Flick 15 years after divorce from Burt Reynolds". Star Tribune. May 18, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Loni Anderson". Biography.Com. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ Dougherty, Margot; Linda Marx; Victoria Balfour; Lois Armstrong (1988-05-16). "Burt & Loni's Wedding Album". People. Time Inc. Retrieved June 28, 2008. 
  6. ^ Schindehette, Susan (1993-09-13). "What a Mess!". People. Time Inc. Retrieved June 28, 2008. 
  7. ^ Lipton, Michael A. (September 15, 2003). "Red-Hot Grandmama". People. Time Inc. Retrieved June 28, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Deidre Hall's Miracle." The American Surrogacy Center, Inc., 1996. Retrieved September 7, 2006.
  9. ^ Burt and Loni, and baby makes glee (The Philadelphia Inquirer – September 3, 1988)
  10. ^ a b c "Loni Anderson — Caring for You". ABILITY Magazine. Dec 2013 – Jan 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ability Magazine: Loni Anderson interview by Chet Cooper and Gillian Friedman, MD". Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Religion of Loni Anderson". Adherants.com. August 27, 2005. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Loni Anderson and 'Sizzle'". The Lewiston Daily Sun. Associated Press. November 27, 1981. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]