A buxom, be-dimpled, pert-nosed knockout, Loni Anderson took an assuredplace on one of the television sex symbol pedestals during the late1970s and early 1980s. A breakout hit in her Emmy-nominated role asJennifer Marlowe on the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati" (1978) , shelater became a soap-styled fixture in mini-movies. All eyes were peeledon this worthy pin-up who helped to bring back the glossyplatinum-blonde allure of 'Marilyn Monroe' , 'Jayne Mansfield' and 'Mamie Van Doren' . A stylish, highly appealing actress whosehourglass figure and piled-on, bleached-blonde mane belied an enviableI.
Q. , Loni strove for much more as she tried to parlay her newly foundfame into a viable dramatic career. She met with a measured degree ofsuccess as she recreated the lives of such artificial sex sirens asMansfield and 'Thelma Todd' on television, but got bogged down intelevision-movie re-tellings of famous movie classics( Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) , Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) , Leave Her to Heaven (1945) )that could not help but pale in comparison. This attempt at seriousnesswas further hampered by messy tabloid headlines in her private life. Loni Kaye Anderson was born with very dark (jet black) hair on August 5,1945 in St.
Paul, Minnesota. An art student at the University ofMinnesota, she entered (and won) beauty contests on the sly (includinga Miss Minnesota runner-up placing in 1964). Married and divorcedbefore she reached the age of 21, Loni took on a teaching position tosupport herself and baby daughter (Deidre) while completing college. Developing an interest in acting, she went the route many aspiringthespians do -- apprenticing in local commercials and theater shows. Still dark-haired, she played in several early 1970s productions suchas "Born Yesterday" (as Billie Dawn), "Send Me No Flowers", "Can-Can"and "The Star-Spangled Girl".
She even played "Tzeitel" in "Fiddler onthe Roof" and appeared in a production of "The Threepenny Opera". Re-married in 1973 (to another actor, 'Ross Bickell' ), the coupledecided to move away from Minnesota to Los Angeles in 1975 and activelypursue film and television work. Pounding the proverbial pavement, sheeventually went blonde and this, plus her gorgeous looks, helped her tosecure minor but sexy roles on such series as "S. W. A.
T. " (1975) , "Police Woman" (1974) , "Barnaby Jones" (1973) , "Three's Company" (1977) and "The Bob Newhart Show" (1972) . By the time she nabbed the roleof Jennifer Marlowe on "WKRP in Cincinnati" (and, with it, two Emmynominations), she had grown quite admirably as an actress. She and 'Howard Hesseman' became the breakaway stars of the sitcomand Loni skyrocketed to sexy status. On the other hand, her instantfame led to the breakup of her second marriage in 1981.
Loni foundhit-and-miss success outside the parameters of her comedy series. Shewas front-and-center in a number of television-movies, notably playingtragic Hollywood sex sirens 'Jayne Mansfield' in The Jayne Mansfield Story (1980) (TV) , opposite'Arnold Schwarzenegger' as her muscle-bound husband'Mickey Hargitay' , and 'Thelma Todd' , in White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd (1991) (TV) ,whose untimely death in 1935 is still questioned. Loni also appearedlusciously alongside 'Bob Hope (I)' , brightening up several of hisclassic television specials. On the minus side, she fizzled in herteaming up with equally sexy "Wonder Woman" (1975) star'Lynda Carter' in the tepid, short-lived series "Partners in Crime" (1984) and then played a former Las Vegasshowgirl who inherits a bundle in the sitcom misfire "Easy Street" (1986) . She also was given a chance to work infeature films such as Stroker Ace (1983) .
While her performancein that film was panned, it did have her meeting and co-starringopposite mega star 'Burt Reynolds (I)' . Appearing in routine, mini-movie soap operas (via her own productioncompany), if anything, kept Loni in the public eye as a serious-mindedactress, but it was an uphill battle to rise above her manufacturedimage as a fantasy bombshell. Not helping things was her high-profilemarriage to Reynolds in 1988, which began blissfully enough (andproduced adopted son Quinton), then dissolved quickly into a nastydivorce that damaged the reputations of both stars. In recent years,Loni has shown incredible perseverance. As always, the stalwart beautycontinues to play up the glam but has since downplayed the dramatics.
She seems more focused these days on having innocuous fun, playing anumber of hearty vixens in sitcoms and series guest spots. Over time,she has enjoyed such lightweight sitcoms as "Nurses" (1991) , "The Mullets" (2003) and as 'Tori Spelling' 's materialisticmother in "So Notorious" (2006) , which did not get the seal ofapproval from Tori's real-life mother. .
|1||A Night at the Roxbury||1998||as Barbara Butabi|
|2||All-Star Party for Dutch Reagan||1985||as Herself|
|3||All-Star Party for Burt Reynolds||1984||as Herself|
|4||Bob Hopes Bag Full of Christmas Memories||1993||as Christmas Guest|
|5||Carol Channing: Larger Than Life||2012||as Herself|
|6||Circus of the Stars and Sideshow||1992||as Herself - Ringmaster|
|7||Merry Christmas from the Grand Ole Opry||1979||as Herself - Host|
|8||Sorry, Wrong Number||1989||as Madeleine Stevenson|
|9||The 1994 Annual Diversity Awards||1994||as Herself|
|10||The 31st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards||1996||as Herself|
|11||The 31st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards||1979||as Herself - Presenter: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series & Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series|
|12||The 3rd Annual TV Land Awards||2005||as Herself|
|13||The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards||1991||as Herself - Presenter: Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series & Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series|
|14||The 5th Annual Sterling Awards||1991||as Herself|
|15||The Annual Friars Club Tribute Present a Salute to Liza Minnelli||1987||as Herself|
|16||The Bob Hope Christmas Special||1981||as Herself|
|17||The Magnificent Magical Magnet of Santa Mesa||1977||as Mrs. Daroon|
|18||Live with Regis and Kathie Lee||1988||as Herself|
|19||The McLean Stevenson Show||1976||as Mrs. Swenson|
|20||The Mike Douglas Show||1961||as Herself - Actress|
|21||The Lonely Guy||1984||as Herself|
|22||3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain||1998||as Medusa|
|23||A Letter to Three Wives||1985||as Lora Mae Holloway|
|24||A Party for Richard Pryor||1991||as Herself|
|25||A Whisper Kills||1988||as Liz Bartlett|
|26||All Dogs Go to Heaven||1989||as Flo|
|27||All-Star Birthday Party||1980||as Herself|
|28||All-Star Look at TVs Prime Time Wars||1980||as Herself|
|29||Annul Victory||2009||as Herself|
|30||Blondie & Dagwood||1987||as Blondie Bumstead|
|31||Blondie & Dagwood: Second Wedding Workout||1989||as Blondie Bumstead|
|32||Blown Away||1990||as Lauren|
|33||Bob Hopes 1990 Christmas Show from Bermuda||1990||as Herself|
|34||Bob Hopes Wicky-Wacky Special in Waikiki||1984||as Herself|
|35||Candid Cameras 35th Birthday||1983||as Herself|
|36||CBS at 75||2003||as Herself|
|37||Circus of the Stars #4||1979||as Herself|
|38||Coins in the Fountain||1990||as Leah|
|39||Connie Francis: A Legend in Concert||1989||as Herself|
|40||Country Gold||1982||as Mollie Dean Purcell|