Renée Taylor (née Renée Wexler; March 19, 1933) is an American actress, Academy Award-nominated writer and one-time director, best known for having played Fran Drescher's title character's outspoken mother, Sylvia Fine, on the TV series The Nanny.
Taylor in 1974.
March 19, 1933
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, writer, director|
|Spouse(s)||Joseph Bologna (m. 1965; d. 2017)|
Taylor was born in The Bronx, New York to Charles and Frieda (née Silverstein) Wexler. Taylor worked as a comedian in the early 1960s at the New York City nightclub Bon Soir. Her opening act was a then-unknown Barbra Streisand. In 1968, Taylor played Eva Braun in Mel Brooks' feature film The Producers, a role she got while performing the play Luv with Gene Wilder, whom Brooks decided to cast as protagonist Leo Bloom.
Taylor and her husband, Joseph Bologna, co-wrote the Broadway hit comedy Lovers and Other Strangers, and received Oscar nominations for having written the 1970 film adaptation. In 1971, the couple co-wrote and starred in the film Made for Each Other. Their screenplay received a nomination for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy. Taylor played Arlene Sherwood, co-producer of a television show along with Jerry Orbach and John Candy in the 1991 film Delirious.
From 1992-94, Taylor played the overbearing Jewish mother of Brian Benben's lead character on the HBO series Dream On. In 1993, she was cast as the mother of Richard Lewis, and the ex-wife of Don Rickles, in the Fox sitcom Daddy Dearest, which was cancelled after a two-month run in the fall. Also in 1993, Taylor was slated for sporadic guest appearances on the new CBS sitcom The Nanny, playing Sylvia Fine, the mother of Fran Drescher's title character. After the cancellation of Daddy Dearest, Taylor was upgraded to a recurring cast member during the first season of The Nanny and eventually a full-time cast member by the third season. Her roles on the two broadcast network series were concurrent with her work on Dream On. Taylor is most often recognized for her role in The Nanny. Her character is intent on helping daughter Fran find a husband and has a passionate love for food. Taylor's husband, Joseph Bologna, made two guest appearances on The Nanny, the first as an egomaniacal actor named Allan Beck, who tormented Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy); and, in the final season, Bologna again guest-starred as a doctor and admirer of Sylvia in the episode "Maternal Affairs".
In recent years, Taylor guest-starred as Ted Mosby's neighbor, Mrs. Matsen, on How I Met Your Mother. She also had a guest-starring role on the Disney show, Shake It Up, portraying a cranky, mean elderly woman in a retirement home as Mrs. Lacasio, as well as a guest-starring role on the Nickelodeon show, Victorious as Robbie's cranky grandmother who needed Robbie's help with the internet.
In addition to her numerous guest-starring appearances, Taylor has worked as a voice-actor as the character Mrs. Start in the animated feature film Ice Age: The Meltdown, and in a recurring role as Linda's mother Gloria in the animated Fox series Bob's Burgers. Taylor also played Martha Benson in the film Opposite Day, released in 2009.
Taylor also appeared on Fran Drescher's latest show Happily Divorced as the best friend of Fran's Mother's character. In 2011, Taylor was cast in the short-lived Fox cartoon Allen Gregory, in which she voiced the character of Principal Gottlieb. In 2013, she starred in the Tyler Perry film Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor as Ms. Waco Chapman, the owner of Chapman drug company.
In 2016, Taylor starred in the Netflix movie The Do-Over with Adam Sandler as the role of Mrs. Kessler and in the TV show Rock in a Hard Place. Recently, Taylor appeared in the 2017 film How To Be A Latin Lover.
Taylor also had a role in Tango Shalom, which features both Taylor as a Hasidic mother, her husband Joseph Bologna who plays a Priest, Lainie Kazan as a Liberal Jewish mom, Jos Laniado as the Hasidic Rabbi, Judi Beecher as the Rabbi's Hasidic wife, Claudio Laniado as the Rabbi's liberal Jewish brother, Karina Smirnoff as the Tango Instructor, and Marci Fine as the daughter of Lainie's character. The film, which was inspired by a true story by Jos Laniado, is about a Hasidic Rabbi (played by Jos Laniado) who gets a calling to realize his dream to dance tango. Tango Shalom was written by the Laniado brothers Claudio Laniado, Jos Laniado, and Joseph Bologna. It was produced by the Laniado brothers, the father, and son, Joseph and Gabriel Bologna, Jordi Caballero, Joel Zwick, and executive produced by the Laniado brothers, Taylor, Judi Beecher, Yan Fisher-Romanovsky. It was directed by Joseph's and Renee's son Gabriel Bologna, a multiple-awarded director, and protégé of John Frankenheimer.
- "Renee Taylor bio at Film Reference.com". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- "Goodbye, Dolly". People.com. 2000-10-16. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- The Making of The Producers, Vanity Fair
- Renée Taylor on IMDb
- Rock in a Hard Place, 2000-01-01, retrieved 2016-06-21
- Marino, Ken (2000-01-01), How to Be a Latin Lover, retrieved 2016-06-21
- "Tango Shalom". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
- "Tweens: Celebrities: Renee Taylor". JUF. Retrieved 2014-02-21.