Mary Frann

Actor, TV host, Dancer
Raised as Mary Frances Luecke in St Louis, Missouri, television actress Mary Frann was best known for her portrayal of Joanna Loudon on the popular CBS sitcom "Newhart" (1982-90). The aspiring actress began her career ... Read more »
Born: 02/26/1943 in St Louis, Missouri, USA

Filmography

Actor (41)

Burke's Law 1993 - 1994, 1996 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Diagnosis Murder 1996 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 4th Annual Desi Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

A Salute to America's Pets 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Easter Seals Telethon 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Jackie Collins' "Lucky/Chances" 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS Comedy Bloopers 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS Tournament of Roses Parade 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

I'm Dangerous Tonight 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Newhart 1982 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The National Love and Sex Test 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Ninth Annual Emmy Awards For Sports 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

1987 Miss USA Pageant 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS Tournament of Roses Parade 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Fit For a Lifetime 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Happy Birthday, Hollywood! 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1987 Miss Universe Pageant 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS Tournament of Roses Parade 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1986 Miss USA Pageant 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1986 Miss Universe Pageant 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

America's Junior Miss, 1985 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars XVIII 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS Tournament of Roses Parade 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

CBS All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The CBS Cotton Bowl Parade 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

First Time, Second Time 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

The TV TV Show 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Return to Peyton Place 1971 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Dance 'Til Dawn (TV Show)

Actor

Fatal Charm (TV Show)

Actor

Gidget's Summer Reunion (TV Show)

Actor

King's Crossing (TV Show)

Actor

Portrait of an Escort (TV Show)

Actor

Single Women, Married Men (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Raised as Mary Frances Luecke in St Louis, Missouri, television actress Mary Frann was best known for her portrayal of Joanna Loudon on the popular CBS sitcom "Newhart" (1982-90). The aspiring actress began her career on local television commercials, and was crowned Miss Missouri in America's Junior Miss pageant. After two years studying at Northwestern University with the help of her Junior Miss scholarship, Frann abandoned plans to pursue her education at Yale Drama School and sought to begin her career, taking a job as a weather reporter on KSDA-TV in her hometown. She later moved to Chicago to host a morning show on the city's ABC affiliate. While in Chicago, the actress began her stage work, and in 1968 made the move to Los Angeles. The following year she made her television debut as a guest star on NBC's "My Friend Tony", kicking off a prolific small screen career. (Although Frann went to New York soon after for a brief run in her Broadway debut in 1970's "Story Theatre".) From 1973 to 1974, she had a regular role on the NBC soap "Return to Peyton Place" then joined the cast of NBC's "Days of Our Lives", playing Amanda Peters until 1979.

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.

Relationships

Del Luecke

Mother

Jonathan Cookson

Companion

Harry Luecke

Father

Harry Luecke

Brother
younger survived her

Jacqueline Rogers

Sister
younger survived her

Patricia Sauve

Sister
younger survived her

EDUCATION

attended a Catholic high school where Marsha Mason was a fellow student

Northwestern University

Evanston , Illinois
won an America's Junior Miss scholarship; attended for two years; intended to tranfer to Yale but chose to pursue career

Milestones

1998

Final TV appearance as a guest performer in an episode of "Diagnosis Murder"

1992

Co-starred in the film "Fatal Charm"; sold for airing on the Showtime cable network

1990

Played Clementine Duke in the NBC minseries "Jackie Collins' 'Lucky/Chances'"

1987

Took over the role of Abby Bradford for the NBC television movie "Eight is Enough: A Family Reunion"

1982

Primetime series debut in the short-lived "King's Crossing" (ABC)

1976

Film debut in "Woman in the Rain"

1973

Had featured role on the NBC soap opera "Return to Peyton Place"

1969

Broadway acting debut in "Story Theater"

1968

TV acting debut in an episode of "My Friend Tony" (NBC)

1968

Moved to Los Angeles

1948

Began taking dance lessons at age five (date approximate)

Began stage acting career in Chicago

Played Amanda Peters on the NBC daytime drama "Days of Our Lives"

After two years at Northwestern, began career doing weather segments for KSDA-TV in St Louis

Raised in St Louis, Missouri

Co-starred as Joanna Loudon, the sweater-wearing innkepeer's wife, in the CBS sitcom "Newhart"

Moved to Chicago to work for the ABC affiliate; co-hosted morning show

Named Miss Missouri in the America's Junior Miss pageant

While a high school student, appeared in TV commercials for the locally produced show "The St Louis Hop"

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