Worked With:

James Acheson

Dean Cain

Bob Newhart

Bradford Dillman

Mary Frann Biography

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Birth Name: Mary Frann
Born: 02/27/1943
Birth Place: St Louis, Missouri, USA
Death Place: Beverly Hills, California, USA
Died: 09/23/1998

With a solid resume of TV work, Frann made her big screen debut in "Woman in the Rain" (1976) but was unable to find suitable follow-up roles and returned to the medium where she excelled. The attractive blonde actress went on to appear in several ill-fated pilots and forgettable TV-movies, while awaiting that star-making role. 1982 saw her persistence pay off when she landed a lead in the first primetime series of her career ABC's serial "King's Crossing". The show aired only seven episodes, but for Frann the next big break was just around the corner. That fall "Newhart" premiered on CBS, teaming her with Bob Newhart as a married city-bred couple who move to a small Vermont town to run an inn. For eight seasons, Frann was featured on the highly-rated and critically-acclaimed program as the supportive, good-humored spouse, perpetually clad in fuzzy, pastel toned sweaters, proving a good match for Newhart's uptight Dick Loudon. Her no-nonsense serenity acted as a foil for his brand of exasperated comedy. The personable, energetic actress was a true team player for CBS during the run of the sitcom, appearing in dozens of specials on the network, and hosting numerous parades and pageants. Frann did a good bit of acting during the run of the show as well, guest starring on shows such as "Hotel" (ABC, 1985) and "The New Mike Hammer" (CBS, 1987) and stepping in for Betty Buckley in the NBC telefilm "Eight is Enough: A Family Reunion" (1987), playing amiable matriarch Abby Bradford. No stranger to the reunion TV-movie genre, she had previously starred in the syndicated "Gidget's Summer Reunion" (1985). In 1989, Frann appeared in "Single Woman, Married Men" a CBS movie of the week starring Michele Lee, and was featured the following year in the NBC miniseries "Jackie Collins' 'Lucky/Chances'" and the USA Network thriller "I'm Dangerous Tonight". After 1990's famed "Newhart" finale (where, in a takeoff of CBS's farfetched "Dallas", it was learned that the entire series including Frann's character existed only in a dream) Frann made several guest appearances on series including "Burke's Law" (CBS, 1994) and "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (ABC, 1996-97 season). She starred in the suspenseful "Fatal Charm", a film aired on Showtime in 1992, and made her final television appearance on the CBS medical mystery "Diagnosis: Murder" in 1998, months before her untimely death.