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.