In the late 1970s, Loni Anderson was a familiar face on American television. She portrayed receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on the CBS comedy WKRP in Cincinnati.
Loni Anderson rose to fame playing the seductive, curvy Jennifer on CBS’ WKRP in Cincinnati.
Loni Anderson won three Grammys for the program, which aired from 1978 to 1982 and followed the ups and downs of the crew of a struggling fictional radio station in Ohio.
“I think women loved the fact I was sexy and smart,” she said. “I know it sounds crazy to people today but in 1978, when we came on, not many women were doing both in comedy.”
The upper middle class actress from Minnesota was born there and showed an early interest in acting. But that wasn’t the only early development she experienced.
”I was the first girl in school to wear a bra. And it was a pain. At first it was very exciting, everything was wonderful. And then I realized I was the only one having to go through all that. Then I was embarrassed,” Loni told Tampa Bay Timers in 1980 and added:
”A lot was made of my figure. I put up with a lot of stuff”.
Loni, a brunette back in the day, made her acting debut in the 1966 film Nevada Smith with Steve McQueen.
She continued to appear on television ever since, including in S.W.A.T., Phyllis, Police Woman, and Harry O. Loni Anderson was a poster girl in addition to being a working actress. The best-seller was an image of Loni in a bikini.
”I remember we all did posters back then. Everybody always asks me, “What made you do a poster?” I would say, “Because someday my grandchildren will look at this. And I’ll be able to tell them that I really looked like that. What you saw is what you got *laughs*,” Loni explained in 2021.
She was given the part of Jennifer in WKRP largely because of her posters. Hugh Wilson, the show’s producer, noticed a poster of Loni in a red bathing suit and made the decision to hire her, which propelled her to prominence.
“She was the oracle of the place,” Wilson said. “I never had to rewrite a line for her. She had such a definite look.”
Anderson has two children and has been married four times. Actor Burt Reynolds, to whom she was married for six years between 1988 and 1994, is arguably her most well-known partner.
The couple, who appeared to be Hollywood’s ideal match, decided to adopt a young boy named Quinton to complete their family.
But as many people are aware, Loni and Burt’s relationship came to a terrible end. Sadly, their divorce was well reported and turned nasty. It was difficult to watch Loni’s divorce from Burt Reynolds on the entertainment news.
”I should have known that you don’t marry an actress,” Burt Reynolds told People. ”It wasn’t lollipops and roses.”
Burt also gave away many details about their private life and told reporters that the couple never had sex anymore. According to Burt, it couldn’t have been a shock for Loni that their union didn’t work out.
“I don’t see how she can be in total shock when you have not … if your husband has not touched you in the biblical sense … in almost three years,” he said in Good Morning America: Evening Edition and added:
“How can you be surprised?”
There were also allegations of infidelity and a bitter custody battle over their adopted son. Loni, however, only a short comment.
”I do not intend to engage in a media war. I have to consider the welfare and best interests of my little boy.”
She kept quiet until 1995, but then she opened up and accused Reynolds of physically abusing her. She also said that Reynolds often missed out on paying his $15,000 in child support on time.
There was a lot of anger between Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson after their rocky marriage. But when Burt died in 2018, Loni was one of many who paid her respects.
”Quinton and I are extremely touched by the tremendous outpouring of love and support from friends and family throughout the world. Burt was a wonderful director and actor. He was a big part of my life for twelve years and Quinton’s father for thirty years. We will miss him and his great laugh,” she told Fox News.
Loni Anderson, who was compared to stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, is now 77 years old but is still as beautiful as ever.
She credits her youthful appearance to a healthy lifestyle and plans to change the perception of how the world views grandmas and what they look like.
She added: “I was never really interested in playing traditional, sensible-shoe-wearing, rocking-chair grandmas.
“I’m not saying traditional is boring, but I’m a grandma and the women around me are, too,” she says. “We’re different from that stereotype, so it’s time to change the face of what grandmas look like!”
Anderson said she exercises regularly and has been since she was in her late 30s, including cardio, weight training and walking into her daily routine.
She eats a healthy diet of mainly fruits and vegetables, also focusing on the health of her mind by remaining grateful for each day. “Then I make the best of it as the day flies by,” she said.
Anderson remains radiant by surrounding herself with the right people marrying her fourth husband and soul mate musician Bob Flick in 2008.
“I married the man I should have married in 1963 but then I wouldn’t have had all the wonderful people in my life,” Anderson mentioned.
“It’s so bizarre how we came together but it was destiny and we have wonderful grandchildren.”
In 2009, Loni’s daughter, Deidra Hoffman, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Loni broke down when she heard the news about Deidra, who she had with her first husband, Bruce Hasselberg.
“I fell apart,” Loni remarked in 2017.
“I mean, I didn’t want to fall apart in front of her because I knew she was struggling to just maintain herself, but it was very difficult to come to grips with,” she said.
Loni Anderson radiates happiness thanks to her positive outlook on life and surrounding herself with people who make her happy.
We could all learn a thing or two from this blonde bombshell’s perspective on life.