Renée Taylor

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Renée Taylor
Taylor in 1974
Renée Adorée Wexler

(1933-03-19) March 19, 1933 (age 90)
EducationAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts
  • Actress
  • Screenwriter
  • Playwright
  • Producer
  • Director
Years active1948–present
Frank Baxter[1]
(m. 1958; div. 1964)
[citation needed]
(m. 1965; died 2017)
Children1[note 1]

Renée Adorée Taylor (née Wexler; born March 19, 1933) is an American actress, screenwriter, playwright, producer and director.[6] Taylor was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing the screenplay for the film Lovers and Other Strangers (1970). She also played Sylvia Fine on the television sitcom The Nanny (1993–1999).

Early years[edit]

Taylor was born on March 19, 1933,[7] in The Bronx, New York City, to Charles and Frieda (née Silverstein) Wexler, an aspiring actress. Her mother named her after silent film actress Renée Adorée.[8] She graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts.[9]


Taylor acted with improv groups in the 1950s.[9] She worked as a comedian in the early 1960s at the New York City nightclub Bon Soir. Her opening act was a then-unknown Barbra Streisand.[10] In 1967, Taylor played an actress portraying Eva Braun in Mel Brooks' feature film The Producers, a role she got while performing the play Luv with Gene Wilder, whom Brooks cast as protagonist Leo Bloom.[11]

Taylor and husband Joseph Bologna co-wrote the Broadway hit comedy Lovers and Other Strangers, and received Academy Award nominations for writing the 1970 film adaptation. In 1971, the couple co-wrote and starred in the film Made for Each Other. Their screenplay received a nomination for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy. Taylor played Arlene Sherwood, co-producer of a television show along with Jerry Orbach and John Candy in the 1991 film Delirious.[citation needed]

From 1992 to 1994, Taylor played the overbearing Jewish mother of Brian Benben's lead character on the HBO series Dream On. In 1993, she was cast as the mother of Richard Lewis, and the ex-wife of Don Rickles, in the Fox sitcom Daddy Dearest, which was cancelled after a two-month run in the fall.

Also in 1993, Taylor was slated for sporadic guest appearances on the new CBS sitcom The Nanny, playing Sylvia Fine, the mother of Fran Drescher's title character. After the cancellation of Daddy Dearest, Taylor was upgraded to a recurring cast member during the first season of The Nanny and eventually a full-time cast member by the third season. Her roles on the two broadcast network series in 1993 were concurrent with her work on Dream On.

Taylor is most often recognized for her role in The Nanny. Her character was intent on helping daughter Fran find a husband and had a passionate love for food. Taylor's husband, Joseph Bologna, made two guest appearances on The Nanny—first, as an egomaniacal actor named Allan Beck, who tormented Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) and second, in the final season, as a doctor and admirer of Sylvia in the episode, "Maternal Affairs".[12]

Between 2008 and 2012, Taylor guest-starred as Ted Mosby's neighbor, Mrs. Matsen, on How I Met Your Mother. She also had a guest-starring role on the Disney Channel series Shake It Up, portraying a cranky elderly woman, Mrs. Lacasio, in a retirement home. She also had a guest-starring role on the Nickelodeon series Victorious, as Robbie's cranky grandmother who wants to learn how to use the Internet.[13] Like Sylvia Fine, Taylor's character on Victorious also has a husband named Morty.

In addition to her numerous guest-starring appearances, Taylor has worked as a voice-actor as the character Mrs. Start in the animated feature film Ice Age: The Meltdown, and in a recurring role as Linda's mother Gloria in the animated Fox series Bob's Burgers. Taylor also played Martha Benson in the film Opposite Day, released in 2009.[14]

Taylor also appeared on Fran Drescher's latest show Happily Divorced as the best friend of Fran's mother. In 2011, Taylor was cast in the short-lived Fox cartoon Allen Gregory, in which she voiced the character of Principal Gottlieb. In 2013, she starred in the Tyler Perry film Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor as Ms. Waco Chapman, the owner of Chapman Drug Company.[15]

In 2016, Taylor starred in the Netflix movie The Do-Over with Adam Sandler as the role of Mrs. Kessler and in the TV show Rock in a Hard Place. Taylor followed that with an appearance in the 2017 film How to Be a Latin Lover.[16]

Taylor had a role in Tango Shalom, in which she acted alongside her husband, Joseph Bologna in his final film role before his death. The film was released theatrically in North America on September 3, 2021, and on VOD and DVD in North America on October 29, 2021.[17] [18] Beginning July 25, 2018, Taylor appeared in My Life on a Diet at the Off-Broadway Theatre at St. Clement's, written with Bologna.[19] After two extensions, she took the production on tour across the U.S.

Personal life[edit]

Taylor married actor Joseph Bologna on August 7, 1965, in Stamford, Connecticut. They had a son, filmmaker, Gabriel[note 1] who directed his parents in the last film they starred in together, Tango Shalom.[5][20][21][22] They were married until Bologna's death in August 2017.[12]

Taylor is Jewish.[23]



Year Title Role Notes
1958 The Mugger Mac's wife
1961 The Errand Boy Miss Giles
1961 A Bowl of Cherries Party goer Short Film
1966 A Fine Madness Myrna
1967 The Producers Eva Braun
1968 The Detective Rachael Schoenstein
1970 Lovers and Other Strangers Writer
1971 A New Leaf Sharon Hart
1971 Jennifer on My Mind Selma Rottner
1971 Made for Each Other Pandora also Writer
1972 Last of the Red Hot Lovers Jeanette
1983 Lovesick Mrs. Mondragon
1989 It Had to Be You Theda Blau also Director/Writer
1990 The End of Innocence Angel
1990 White Palace Edith Baron
1991 Delirious Arlene Sherwood
1991 All I Want for Christmas Sylvia
1992 Forever Charlotte Shelby
1996 Love Is All There Is Mona also Director/Writer
2001 Dr. Dolittle 2 Female Tortoise Voice
2001 Dying on the Edge Lottie Minnow
2002 Returning Mickey Stern Jeannie
2003 Gold Diggers Betty Mundt
2004 Alfie Lu Schnitman
2005 Boynton Beach Club Woman on Cell Phone
2006 Ice Age 2: The Meltdown Mrs. Start Voice
2006 Kalamazoo? Golda
2006 A-List Mrs. Smigley
2007 Dancin' on the Edge "Adult" Eloise Brown Short Film
2008 The Rainbow Tribe Ms. Crappie
2009 Life During Wartime Mona
2009 Opposite Day Martha Benson
2010 Boston Girls Mrs. Palermo
2011 When Harry Met Sally 2 with Billy Crystal and Helen Mirren Uncredited Short Film
2012 Should've Been Romeo Tillie
2012 Rose's Diet Rose Short Film

also Producer

2012 Driving Me Crazy: Proof of Concept Doris Brown
2013 Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor Ms. Waco Chapman
2014 Zarra's Law Gabriella Zarra
2016 The Do-Over Mrs. Kessler
2017 How to Be a Latin Lover Peggy
2020 The Pack Podcast Stella / Debby
2021 Tango Shalom Deborah Yehuda also Executive Producer


Year Title Role Notes
1963 The Defenders Mrs. Thorpe Episode: "Judgement Eve"
1964 The Reporter Myrna Episode: "Rope's End"
1968 The Joan Rivers Show Herself Episode: "Mrs. Parkinson's Law"
1973 Calucci's Department Mrs. Woods Creator / Writer / Actor
"Life Is an Anchovy" (Actor)
Writer (3 episodes)
1973 Acts of Love and Other Comedies Television film, writer
1974 Paradise Marilyn / Carmel / Madeline Television film, also writer
1975 Fay Marian Episode: "Mr. Wonderful"
1975 Three for Two Television film, writer
1976 Woman of the Year Tess Harding Television film, also writer
1977 Good Penny Penny Television film, also writer
1977 Forever Fernwood Annabelle Kearns Television film
1980 A Cry for Love Television film, writer
1983 Matt Houston Sheila Baer Episode: "The Showgirl Murders"
1983 Lottery! Sylvia Berman Episode: "Being a Winner"
1983 Lovers and Other Strangers Television film; writer and producer
1984 Bedrooms Host / Riva / Wendy Television film; also director, writer, and producer
1984 St. Elsewhere Dr. Charlotte Miller 2 episodes
1986 The Love Boat Monica Douglas Episode: "Happily Ever After/Have I Got a Job for You/Mr. Smith Goes to Minikulu"
1986 Tales from the Darkside Pearl King Episode: "A Serpent's Tooth"
1987 The New Hollywood Squares Herself (Panelist) 2 episodes
1988 Win, Lose or Draw Herself (Contestant) Episode: "10.17.1988"
1989 Heartbeat Unknown role Episode: "From Russia with Love"
1990 Thirtysomething Electra Rosebloom Episode: "The Guilty Party"
1992 Empty Nest Anne Episode: "The Mismatchmaker"
1992 Carol Leifer: Gaudy, Bawdy & Blue Mrs. Himmelfarb Television film
1992–1994 Dream On Doris Tupper Recurring role (6 episodes)
1993 Daddy Dearest Helen Mitchell Series regular (13 episodes)
1993–1999 The Nanny Sylvia Fine Recurring role (94 episodes)
1996 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Roweena Johnson Episode: "Oedipus Wrecks"
1996 Caroline in the City Mrs. Fox Episode: "Caroline and the Therapist"
1996 Jeopardy! Herself (Celebrity Contestant) Episode: "1996 Celebrity Jeopardy! Game 5"
1997 A Match Made in Heaven Isobel Slotkin Television film
1997 Superman: The Animated Series Lucille Voice, episode: "Warrior Queen"
1998 The Simple Life Sylvia Fine Episode: "The Other Mother"
1999 Hollywood Squares Herself (Panelist) Recurring role (5 episodes)
2001 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd Phyllis Episode: "Matchmaking Mutt"
2001 61* Claire Ruth Television film
2004 Eve Ms. Berkowitz Episode: "Valentine's Day Reloaded"
2005 Everwood Betty Barrett Episode: "Piece of Me"
2005 Early Bird unknown role Television film
2007 Pandemic Kathryn Hadorn Miniseries
2007 The Wedding Bells Gladys Miller Episode: "For Whom the Bells Toll"
2008 Biography Herself (Interviewee) Episode: "Jude Law"
2009–2012 How I Met Your Mother Mrs. Matsen / Mrs. Matson Recurring role (3 episodes)
2010 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Maude Monaghan Episode: "Bedtime"
2010 Victorious Mammaw Episode: "The Birthweek Song"
2010 Sonny with a Chance unknown role Episode: "Random Acts of Disrespect"
2010–2012 Shake It Up Mrs. Locassio Recurring role (3 episodes)
2011 Allen Gregory Principal Gottlieb Series regular (4 episodes)
2011 Celebrity Ghost Stories Herself Episode: "Joan Osborne/Ahmad Rashad/Renee Taylor/Mia Taylor"
2011–2012 Happily Divorced Marilyn Recurring role (5 episodes)
2011–2020 Bob's Burgers Gloria Genarro Voice, 4 episodes
2012 2 Broke Girls Hinda Gagel Episode: "And the Kosher Cupcakes"
2012 Natasha Mail Order Bride Escape to America Eunice Television film
2013 Beverly Hills Broke Renee Television film; also writer and executive producer
2015 Weird Loners Nana Miniseries, episode: "Weird Dance"
2016 Rock in a Hard Place Mimi Unknown episode(s)
2017 Young & Hungry Mrs. Shapiro Episode: "Young & Couchy"
2021 Debris Hasmat #4 Episode: "Asalah"


The following is a list of awards and nominations received by Renee Taylor:

Association Year Nominated Work Category Results Ref
Academy Awards 1971 Lovers and Other Strangers Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated [24]
Emmy Awards (Primetime) 1973 Acts of Love and Other Comedies Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy, Variety or Music (shared with Joseph Bologna) Won [25]
1974 Paradise Outstanding Writing in Comedy-Variety, Variety or Music (shared with Joseph Bologna) Nominated
1996 The Nanny Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Writers Guild Awards 1971 Lovers and Other Strangers Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium (shared with Joseph Bologna & David Zelag Goodman) Nominated [26]
1972 Made for Each Other Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen (shared with Joseph Bologna) Nominated [27]


  1. ^ a b Although some sources have claimed that Taylor had two children with her second husband Joseph Bologna,[2][3] the couple stated in a 1996 interview that they had only one child, a son.[4] The other child who is claimed to be theirs, a daughter, is actually the wife of their son.[5]


  1. ^ "Renee Taylor and husband Frank Baxter play Miami". The Miami News. June 18, 1961. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  2. ^ Gates, Anita (August 14, 2017). "Joseph Bologna, Onscreen Tough Guy with a Sense of Humor, Dies at 82". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Barnes, Mike (August 13, 2017). "Joseph Bologna, 'My Favorite Year' Actor and Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter, Dies at 82". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
  4. ^ "A TAYLOR-MADE MARRIAGE WORKING WITH MY HUSBAND HAS PAID OFF FOR 30 YEARS, SAYS 'NANNY' STAR RENEE". New York Daily News. October 13, 1996. Retrieved September 14, 2021. "At 15, our son met the girl who is now his wife," says Bologna about his 27-year-old only child.
  5. ^ a b "'Tango Shalom' dances its way through cross-cultural tale of community". The Daily Bruin. October 13, 1996. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  6. ^ "Fourth Annual San Diego Writers Festival".
  7. ^ Partnow, Elaine (2004). The Quotable Jewish Woman: Wisdom, Inspiration & Humor from the Mind and Heart. Jewish Lights Publishing. p. 433. ISBN 9781580231930. Born on March 19, 1933, in New York...
  8. ^ ""My Life on a Diet": Renée Taylor, ladies and gentlemen, and what a life she's led!". 29 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b Silverman, Stephen M. (December 15, 2018). Funny Ladies. New Word City. ISBN 978-1640193529. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Goodbye, Dolly". People. October 16, 2000. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  11. ^ Kashner, Sam (January 6, 2004). "The Making of The Producers". Vanity Fair. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Rossi, Rosemary (August 13, 2017). "Joseph Bologna, Star of 'My Favorite Year,' Dies at 82". TheWrap. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  13. ^ "Actor: Renee Taylor". Geffen Playhouse. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  14. ^ "Opposite Day". Tribute Entertainment Group. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  15. ^ Foundas, Scott (March 29, 2013). "Film Review: 'Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor'". Variety. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  16. ^ Busch, Anita (October 26, 2015). "Ken Marino Set To Direct Eugenio Derbez In 'Latin Lover' For Lionsgate's Pantelion". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  17. ^ "Faith, footwork, freedom". San Diego Reader. February 4, 2021.
  18. ^ "Tour". My Life on a Diet. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  19. ^ "Review: Mixing the Salty and the Sweet in 'My Life on a Diet'". The New York Times. July 29, 2018.
  20. ^ "Hollywood's happiest 52-year collaborating marriage: Remembering Joseph Bologna". 9 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Joseph Bologna Obituary (1934 - 2017) the Star-Ledger".
  22. ^ "'Big Daddy' Actor Joe Bologna Dies at 82; Wife Releases Statement". International Business Times. 14 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Tweens: Celebrities: Renee Taylor". JUF. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
  24. ^ "Browser Unsupported - Academy Awards Search | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences". Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  25. ^ "Renee Taylor". Television Academy. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  26. ^ "Writers Guild of America, USA (1971)". IMDb. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  27. ^ "Writers Guild of America, USA (1972)". IMDb. Retrieved 2022-03-19.

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