- Category : Actress
- Type : GE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (5,14)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Refinement 1
Loni Kaye Anderson (born August 5, 1945) is an American actress who is known for having played the role of Jennifer Marlowe on the CBS sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati and for playing Jayne Mansfield and Thelma Todd in television movies.
Anderson was born on August 5, 1945 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the daughter of Maxine Hazel (née Kallin), a model, and Klaydon Carl "Andy" Anderson, an environmental chemist, and grew up in suburban Roseville. As a senior at Alexander Ramsey Senior High School in Roseville in 1963, she was voted Valentine Queen of Valentine's Day Winter Formal. She attended the University of Minnesota. As she says in her autobiography, My Life in High Heels, her father was originally going to name her "Leiloni" but then realized to his horror that when she got to her teen years it was likely to be twisted into "Lay Loni." So it was changed to just plain "Loni".
Anderson's most famous acting role came as the resourceful receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–82). She was offered the role when producers saw the poster of her in a red bikini; a pose similar to Farrah Fawcett's. WKRP's creator, Hugh Wilson, admitted that Anderson got the part because "She had a body like Jayne Mansfield and the overall sex appeal of Marilyn Monroe". She remained on WKRP until its end in 1982, after four seasons. She and future husband Burt Reynolds made one live-action film together, the 1983 stock car racing comedy Stroker Ace, a box office failure. They also worked together for the 1989 animated children's classic, All Dogs Go To Heaven, in which Loni played the romantic interest, rough collie Flo, of Reynold's character, Charlie B. Barkin.
Shortly after her divorce from Reynolds, she appeared as a regular in the final season (1993–94) on the NBC sitcom Nurses. Anderson portrayed 1950s actress/sex symbol Jayne Mansfield in a made-for-TV biography, The Jayne Mansfield Story in 1980, with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mansfield's husband, Mickey Hargitay. She teamed with Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter in a 1984 television series, Partners in Crime.
Anderson made a series of cameo appearances on television series in the late 1990s and early 2000s, such as the Spellmans' "witch-trash" cousin on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Vallery Irons' mother on V.I.P. She played the 1930s comedienne actress Thelma Todd in the made-for-TV biography White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd in 1991.
Anderson has been married four times; her first three marriages were to: Bruce Hasselberg (1964–66), Ross Bickell (1973–81), and actor (and one-time co-star) Burt Reynolds (1988–93). On May 17, 2008, Anderson married musician Bob Flick, one of the founding members of the folk band The Brothers Four. The couple had met at a movie premiere in Anderson's native St. Paul a few years after Flick's group hit No. 2 on the pop charts with "Greenfields" in 1960. The ceremony was attended by friends and family, including son Quinton Reynolds.
She has two children: a daughter, Deidra Hoffman (from her first marriage), who is a school administrator in California; and a son, Quinton Anderson Reynolds (born August 31, 1988), whom she and Burt Reynolds adopted. Her autobiography, My Life in High Heels, was published in 1997.
Growing up with parents who smoked and were affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Anderson became the spokesperson for the National Lung Health Education Program’s campaign and COPDTogether to increase awareness about COPD and caregiver support.
Anderson was raised as a Lutheran.