Who is Loni Anderson?
American actress Loni Kaye Anderson was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota USA, on 5 August 1945, making Leo her zodiac sign. She has 65 acting credits to her name, but is perhaps still known best for starring as Jennifer Marlowe in all 90 episodes of the comedy series “WKRP in Cincinnati”, which also starred Gordon Jump and Gary Sandy, and was created by Hugh Wilson. It follows the employees of a Top 40 rock ‘n’ roll radio station, the series aired from 1978 through 1982, and won two of the 18 awards for which it was nominated.
Loni hasn’t been active in the film industry since 2020, but hasn’t officially retired from acting.
Education and early life
Loni was raised Lutheran, in Roseville, Minnesota alongside her sister Andrea Sams, by their mother Maxine Hazel (nee Kallin) who was a model, and father Klaydon Carl ‘Andy’ Anderson who was an environmental chemist. Loni’s revealed that her father wanted to name her ‘Leiloni’, but eventually changed his mind.
Loni studied at Alexander Ramsey High School, and became interested in acting during her four years there; she was also passionate about dancing and playing sports, and was voted Valentine Queen during her senior year.
Loni matriculated in 1963, and then enrolled at University of Minnesota, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1967.
Roles in movies
Loni’s debut film role was playing Brunette Saloon Girl in the 1966 western movie “Nevada Smith”, which starred Karl Malden and Steve McQueen, and was directed by Henry Hathaway; the movie follows a half-American Indian as he’s trying to find and kill his parents’ murderers, and it was nominated for a 1967 Golden Laurel Award for Action Drama.
Loni didn’t appear in any movies or TV series in the following eight years, and it remains unknown what she did for a living during that time.
In 1976, she portrayed Peaches in the crime action adventure “Vigilante Force”, while some of her following roles were in the 1977 science fiction thriller comedy “The Magnificent Magical Magnet of Santa Mesa”, the 1978 romantic comedy “Three on a Date”, and the 1980 biographical drama “The Jayne Mansfield Story”.
Loni Anderson of WKRP IN CINCINNATI (1978-1982), STROKER ACE (1983) and many other roles, predominantly on television.
In 1983, she portrayed Pembrook Feeney in the romantic action comedy “Stroker Ace”, which starred Ned Beatty and Burt Reynolds, and was directed by Hal Needham. It follows the life of a famous NASCAR driver, and the movie won one of its five award nominations. The remainder of the ‘80s saw Loni appear in the 1984 drama “My Mother’s Secret Life”, the 1986 comedy “Stranded”, and the 1988 crime drama “Necessity”.
The year 1992 saw her star as Cathy in the family fantasy comedy “Munchie”, which also starred Jamie McEnnan and Andrew Stevens, and was directed by Jim Wynorski. It follows a new kid in town who’s being bullied at school, but has now met a friendly gremlin-like creature that’s going to help him. Loni could then have been seen appearing in the 1995 drama “Deadly Family Secrets”, the 1998 action adventure comedy “3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain” and the 1998 romantic musical comedy “A Night at the Roxbury”.
Loni’s since had only a single film role, playing Jean Carlyle-Dixon in the 2017 comedy “Love You More”; it follows ‘a big girl with a big personality and a big love for Chardonnay’.
Roles in TV series
Loni’s debut TV series role was playing Art Teacher in two episodes of the 1975 crime action “S. W. A. T.”, and the same year saw her appear in an episode of the adventure science fiction thriller “The Invisible Man”, the crime action “Harry O” and the comedy “Phyllis”.
From 1977 through 1980, she played Kim Holland and several other characters in four episodes of the romantic comedy “The Love Boat”, which starred Bernie Kopell and Gavin MacLeod, and was created by Wilford Lloyd Baumes. It follows the crew of a cruise ship, the series aired from 1977 through 1987, and won four of its 25 award nominations.
In 1984, Loni starred as Sydney Kovak in all 13 episodes of the crime mystery “Partners in Crime”, which also starred Lynda Carter, and follows Sydney and Carole who’re trying to catch their former husband’s killer. Some of her roles in the remainder of the ‘80s were in the adventure comedy “Amazing Stories”, the comedy “Easy Street”, and the mystery “B. L. Stryker”.
In 1993 and 1994, Loni played the supporting character Casey MacAfee in 22 episodes of the comedy “Nurses”, and she could then have been seen appearing in an episode of many series, including the comedy “Movie Stars”, the action crime comedy “V. I. P.” and the comedy “Three Sisters”.
In 2003 and 2004, she portrayed Mandi Mullet-Heidecker in all 11 episodes of the comedy “The Mullets”, which starred David Hornsby and Michael Weaver, and was created by Bill Oakley; it follows the lives of two Mullet brothers.
Loni’s since appeared in only three TV series: she played Kiki Spelling in eight episodes of the 2006 comedy “So Notorious”, Nana Lyle in the 2016 episode “Not So Great Grandma” of the family comedy “Baby Daddy” and Frances in 13 episodes of the comedy “My Sister Is So Gay” from 2016 through 2020.
Loni received special thanks for the 2000 episode “Jim Nabors” of the biographical documentary series “Headliners & Legends with Matt Lauer”.
Some of her recent talk-show appearances have been in “Too Opinionated”, “Meet the Biz”, and “History of the Sitcom”.
Awards and nominations
Loni’s won one of her 10 award nominations: a 2007 California Independent Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.
She was nominated for two Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series in 1980 and 1981, both for her performance in “WKRP in Cincinnati”.
Love life and husbands
Loni’s married four times.
Her first husband was American non-celebrity Bruce Donald Hasselberg; they married on 10 July 1964 and divorced two years later. Loni gave birth to their daughter Deidra Hoffman in 1965. Her second husband was American actor Ross Bickell; they exchanged vows on 28 January 1974 and divorced on 20 August 1981.
Loni and her third husband, the late American actor, producer and director Burt Reynolds married on 29 April 1988, and they adopted their son Quinton not long after that; Loni and Burt divorced in 1994, and Burt died aged 82 on 6 September 2018.
Since 17 May 2008, she’s been married to her fourth husband, American musician Bob Flick; he’s probably known best for being a founding member of the folk singing group The Brothers Four.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Loni published her autobiography “My Life in High Heels” in 1995.
Both her parents were heavy smokers, so Loni had a chance to witness the smoking-caused chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); she became a spokeswoman for the non-profit organization COPD Together in 1999.
She’s a huge fan of Disney and has a massive collection of Disney memorabilia; one of her favorite animated movies is “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.
Loni won many beauty pageants during her teenage years, including Miss Roseville, Miss Thom McCann Shoes and Miss Thermo-Jac Clothing.
One of Loni’s favorite actresses is Helena Bonham Carter, and some of her favorite movies include “Les Miserables”, the franchise “Harry Potter” and “Fight Club”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Loni’s age is 77. She has brown eyes and blonde hair, is 5ft 7ins (1.7m) tall and weighs around 135lbs (62kgs).
Loni’s net worth’s been estimated at over $12 million, as of June 2023.