The Nanny star Fran Drescher has revealed that she will never marry again – but plans to grow old with her openly gay ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com Drescher said her relationship with Jacobson is ‘closer than when we were married’, adding: ‘We still love each other.’
Drescher, 64, and Nanny show creator and producer Jacobson overcame a tumultuous divorce in 1999, thanks to their agent, who she said persuaded them ‘not to throw the baby out with the bath water.’
The pair were side by side as the actress picked up the inaugural Judy Garland Legacy Award at the Hollywood Museum’s LGBTQ+ Real To Reel Awards on June 9.
The showbiz world was shocked when Jacobson split with his childhood sweetheart wife in 1999, coming out as gay, at the height of her career. The Nanny ran from 1993-1999, earning Drescher an Emmy Award and two Golden Globe nominations.
But Drescher told DailyMail.com that practicing ‘Buddhist philosophy’ and accepting ‘bad things happen to good people’ helped her overcome her personal struggles.
Fran Drescher and The Nanny show creator and producer Peter Marc Jacobson, both 64, overcame a tumultuous divorce in 1999 after he came out as gay. The pair were together as the actress picked up the inaugural Judy Garland Legacy Award at the Hollywood Museum’s LGBTQ+ Real To Reel Awards on June 9
The couple were childhood sweethearts and had been together since they were 15. Drescher said she would not re-marry her ‘soul mate’ Jacobson – nor anyone else. The couple are pictured at the 1997 Golden Globes
The New York-native said rather than destroy their lifelong connection, both listened to their agent about building a friendship moving forward.
She explained: ‘We had a very wise woman, who was both our manager, at the time we were starting to separate.
‘She advised us to reinvent the relationship and not throw the baby out with the bath water…there is love there. Maybe the marriage no longer works, but there should be a friendship that could still enjoy the test of time.
‘We took her sage words very seriously. Over the course of time, we kept moving towards each other and now we are probably closer than when we were married: business partners, best of friends and definitely a family.’
Drescher said she would not re-marry her ‘soul mate’ Jacobson – and no one else either.
‘I don’t think I will ever walk up the aisle with anyone. But I do see us growing old together,’ she said.
‘We are divorced, but still single because it is hard to compete with what we shared. We have been together since we were 15 and we’ve been through so much.’
The actress and president of Hollywood labor union SAG-AFTRA, says her faith helped with the acceptance of the marital break-up.
‘Like many people I have had high highs and low lows.
‘But I try to practice Buddhist philosophy. I always ask how can I rise above it, what can I learn and how can I come back a better person.
‘Bad things happen to good people. We just have to play the hand dealt with as much grace, courage and elegance as we can.
‘It is not always easy, but sometimes we falter.’
Drescher had the audience in hysterics during her time on stage at the Hollywood Museum’s LGBTQ+ Real To Reel Awards, discussing her marital dramas with Jacobson, admitting she had ‘no gaydar’ so didn’t realize her then-husband’s sexuality
‘We are divorced, but still single because it is hard to compete with what we shared. We have been together since we were 15 and we’ve been through so much,’ she said. Pictured in 1990
Jacobson said, ‘We vacation together. We do everything together… It is a deep, deep love.’ But he agreed with his ex he wouldn’t marry again: ‘I don’t think there is any reason to get married – it is just a license’. Pictured in 1992
Drescher had the event audience in hysterics during her time on stage, discussing her marital dramas with Jacobson, admitting she had ‘no gaydar’ so didn’t realize her then-husband’s sexuality.
The Nanny star told the audience a humorous story about a pact they made in the 1990s.
‘We would give each other one free pass should we meet the celebrity that we loved….he picked Cher,’ she said.
After the crowd burst out laughing, she added: ‘And I picked Bruce Jenner.’
She called the Garland award she received ‘a great honor’, then joked: ‘Judy and I do have a lot in common.
‘We are both known for our voices and both married gay men.
‘I always feel like it’s very important that if you have celebrity, you must apply it towards the greater good or else you are absolutely wasting it.
‘Fighting for gay civil liberties is something that it just always seemed so natural to me because there are so many people that I love, in my life, that are gay.
‘It’s just so important that we all always go to the mat to defend people’s civil liberties and that nobody ever should be marginalized in our society.’
Jacobson, 64, also spoke of their unique bond: ‘When you are lucky in life and you meet your soul mate, there is nothing that can tear you apart.
‘We vacation together. We do everything together… It is a deep, deep love.’
But he agreed with his ex he wouldn’t marry again: ‘I don’t think there is any reason to get married – it is just a license,’ he said.
‘It is the heart, not a signed piece of paper.’
Jacobson spoke of their unique bond: ‘When you are lucky in life and you meet your soul mate, there is nothing that can tear you apart’
The Nanny ran from 1993-1999. Drescher shied away from discussing a TV reboot of The Nanny, but teased: ‘The Nanny has a long life ahead of it. The fans are so enthusiastic’
The producer also detailed how ‘it was love at first sight’ when he clocked her at school aged 15.
Joking he added of her infamous squeaky tones: ‘She was so stunning and then she spoke.
‘I could not believe that voice came from that face. She has done pretty well with it!
‘When all of Hollywood wanted her to get rid of that voice, I was like: “No that is what will make you famous. That makes you unique.” Thank God I was right.’
Drescher, who also runs charity Cancer Schmancer, and Jacobson are heading to New York in July to begin ‘thrilling’ work on The Nanny The Musical, where they begin preview work with actress Rachel Bloom on musical numbers.
She shied away from discussing a TV reboot of The Nanny, but teased: ‘The Nanny has a long life ahead of it. The fans are so enthusiastic.’
The Hollywood Museum saluted Drescher, singer Michael Feinstein and actress Geri Jewell while launching an exhibit which features the Ruby Red Slippers from The Wizard of Oz.
The stars were honored for their contribution to the LGBTQ entertainment industry at the ninth annual Real to Reel: Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTQs in Hollywood exhibit in partnership with Los Angeles City Council member Mitch O’Farrell.
‘This retrospective of LGBTQ images in film and television featuring costumes, props, photos, and iconic imagery tell the story of the milestones and influence LBGTQ characters and plot lines have had in Hollywood’, said Donelle Dadigan Founder and President of the Hollywood Museum.
Watch the Iconic Series, The Nanny only on Stan in Australia.