Loni Anderson burst onto the acting scene in the late 1970’s and, in the era of platinum blonde bombshells with big hair, she captured America’s heart.
But she wasn’t born into the glitz and glamor. Loni was born in St. Paul, Minnesota to modest beginnings.
Originally her parents were going to name her Leiloni. But her father knew horny teenaged boys would likely twist it to ‘Lay Loni’ so they shortened her name to Loni.
Loni started acting in the 1960’s. Landing bit parts and small roles in movies and tv sitcoms. Her first major role was a couple episode run on Three’s Company.
Her appearance caught the eye of ABC executives who thought she resembled Farrah Fawcett. They gave her a role in a new show about a radio station called WKRP In Cincinnati. Producers later admitted Loni only got the role because of her looks and her innocent sexuality, they say reminded them of Marilyn Monroe
Loni Anderson would play the role of sultry receptionist Jennifer Marlowe for four seasons. This catapulted her to stardom.
Loni would get her biggest Hollywood role in 1983 with a role in the movie Stroker Ace. This would be a pivotal moment in her life, as Loni met her future husband Burt Reynolds on the set of this film.
Loni continued to land TV and movie rolls throughout the 1980’s, even lending her voice to the hit Disney film All Dogs Go To Heaven.
In the 1990’s Loni would mostly work in TV, usually in guest spots. She unsuccessfully tried out to replace Delta Burke on Designing Women. She was offered the role but the network refused her salary demands.
Loni still works in acting occasionally. She recently did commercials for MeTV promoting classic programs like WKRP In Cincinnati.
What is your favorite Loni Anderson role?