Fran Drescher has been through a lot in her 60 years, including having her own hit sitcom, battling uterine cancer, writing a New York Times best seller and starting a major health movement. She also had a run-in with a future president and his very specific demands.
Back in 1996, Donald Trump appeared in an episode of Drescher's sitcom The Nanny called "The Rosie Show" (yes, his now-nemesis Rosie O'Donnell was also in it) and was unhappy when he saw that he was referred to as a "millionaire" in a draft of the script.
"We got a note from his people that said, 'Mr. Trump is not a millionaire. He’s a billionaire, and he would like you to change the line,'" Drescher told SheKnows. But she didn't give in to his demand, and instead changed the line to "zillionaire," which is how it appeared in the show.
"My now-gay-ex-husband thought that was such an amazing request that he actually kept that note and framed it, never seeing in the future what was to come," she added, saying that her ex-husband (Nanny cocreator Peter Marc Jacobson) still has it hanging in his office.
Among the other New York-centric guest stars on The Nanny was an up-and-coming stand-up comedian named Jon Stewart, who appeared in a 1997 episode called "Kissing Cousins," in which the pair briefly date before finding out they're cousins. Drescher said she loved working with Stewart and thought he was "really cute," but didn't make a move because he was married.
"You know, I would have gone for him in a New York minute, but I don’t go after anybody’s man — ‘cause you have to narrow the pool somehow," she quipped.
Those who'd like to relive the fun and amazing fashion of the '90s are in luck. The Nanny has been added to Cozi TV's 2018 lineup and will include health tips from Drescher between episodes.
But you don't need to wait until then to hear Drescher's take on health. Following the success of her New York Times best-selling book Cancer Schmancer, she launched an organization and movement of the same name dedicated to shifting the focus from searching for a cure for cancer to one that encourages early detection and prevention. This includes being an active patient during illness as well as making informed decisions regarding what you're putting in, on and around your body in order to prevent exposure to environmental pollutants that can contribute to conditions like cancer.
Now, 17 years post-cancer, Drescher talked about her experience with the illness — including how it took two years and eight doctors for her to get an accurate diagnosis — as part of Healthline's recent launch of their State of Cancer report. Focusing on the impact of digital information and patient support networks in cancer treatment and care, the report highlights the differences between the generations regarding how people with cancer and caregivers use online resources.
Accessing accurate, digestible information is only one aspect of Drescher's vision. Much of it also has to do with challenging people to rethink traditional medicine and health care.
"My mission is to enlighten people to a whole other way of thinking and approaching our health, which isn’t necessarily driven by big business profit or a brainwashing that these doctors have had since medical school of how you’re supposed to act with no radical thinking of asking other questions or considering that there’s another way to solve a problem," Drescher said. "For me, this word 'idiopathic' means that the idiots aren’t asking themselves the right questions of what is the cause."
As a proponent of focusing on the root causes of illnesses like cancer — rather than simply attempting to stop and treat a condition when it arises — Drescher wants people to start asking themselves what they are doing to contribute to their own health and well-being.
"Let's stop talking about what the next chemo is and start thinking about all the woes in the world making us sick," she added.
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