CBS sitcom The Nanny was one of the most-watched shows of its kind in the 1990s. Here’s a quick guide to The Nanny cast and their characters.
With rumors of a revival afoot, let’s take a look back at The Nanny cast and their characters. Classic 90s sitcom The Nanny aired for six seasons and over 140 episodes on CBS between 1993 and 1999 and was the show that made star Fran Drescher a household name. Co-created with her then husband Peter Marc Jacobson, The Nanny was partly inspired by a trip Drescher took to London to visit her former Princesses co-star Twiggy. After spending a lot of time with the British model-actress’ kids, Drescher got the idea for a show riffing on The Sound Of Music but with her as a nanny instead of some Julie Andrews type.
And so The Nanny was born, with Drescher starring as Fran – the loud-mouthed nanny to the three children of a stuffy British widower and Broadway producer living in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It was a role that scored Drescher two Golden Globe nominations while The Nanny ranked as one of the most-watched sitcoms of its time.
Thanks to its popularity The Nanny was able to nab all sorts of guest stars during its six-season run from musicians like Elton John and Coolio to actors Chevy Chase, Hugh Grant, and even current POTUS Donald Trump. The heart of the show though was its main cast – here’s a recap of The Nanny cast and the characters they played.
Fran Drescher – Fran Fine
Fran Drescher played Fran Fine who, after being dumped by her boyfriend and boss, stumbles into a job as nanny to three kids. An outgoing, working class Jewish woman with a heart of gold and a heavy Queens accent, Fran is the polar opposite of her new employer Maxwell but soon becomes an indispensable part of the family.
Charles Shaughnessy – Maxwell Sheffield
Stuffy British Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield is a widower whose busy schedule leads to him hire Fran to look after his three kids. Maxwell was played by British actor Charles Shaughnessy whose recent credits include a four-episode stint as Christopher Plover on The Magicians.
Nicholle Tom – Maggie Sheffield
Nicholle Tom played Maxwell’s eldest child Margaret ‘Maggie’ Sheffield, an initially shy and awkward teen who came out of her shell under Fran’s guardianship. Outside of The Nanny, Tom is best known for her role as Ryce Newton in the first two Beethoven movies.
Benjamin Salisbury – Brighton Sheffield
Mischievous middle child Brighton often felt left out as the only male sibling in the Sheffield brood which caused a lot of squabbles with his sisters. Brighton was played by Benjamin Salisbury who largely left acting behind after The Nanny bar bit roles on shows including Numb3ers.
Madeline Zima – Grace Sheffield
Although Madeline Zima is best known for her roles on Californication and Heroes, it was The Nanny that gave the actress her first regular TV gig. She played Grace, the youngest of the Sheffield kids who forms a close bond with Fran.
Daniel Davis – Niles
American actor Daniel Davis played the Sheffield family’s loyal British butler and chauffeur Niles. His English accent was so convincing many viewers thought it more authentic than his co-star Charles Shaughnessy – who actually was English. Davis also used his on point British accent when he played Professor Moriarty on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Lauren Lane – C.C. Babcock
Rounding out the main cast of The Nanny was Lauren Lane who played C.C. Babcock, Maxwell’s long-time business partner who has a rivalry with butler Niles and sees Fran as a threat.