Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



Loni Anderson: TV icon talks 'WKRP,' hair and Snow White
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

This article shared 13316 times since Wed Sep 5, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Loni Anderson will be forever known for playing Jennifer Marlowe on the hit CBS show WKRP in Cincinnati. (In one episode, she talked Les Nessman from jumping out of a window after he's accused of being gay.)

This friend of the community embraces those memories by traveling to Naperville this weekend for a WKRP screening and hitting up the Hollywood show in Rosemont to mingle with the fans.

We chatted about her past and how a brunette became a blonde bombshell television star.

Windy City Times: Hi, Loni. I have been watching that show since I was kid.

Loni Anderson: It just keeps going with the reruns. Life is so different as far as television is concerned these days. Everything we have ever been on keeps going. You can find it everywhere.

WCT: How do you feel about doing events like this one about WKRP?

Loni Anderson: I am everybody's biggest fan in the show because I think, "What a group and how did this ever happen, how were we all so lucky?" We keep in contact with one another. Only Gordon is gone.

WCT: So it is a high school reunion when you get together?

Loni Anderson: It is, and just fantastic.

WCT: You are going to be in Naperville and they are going to show some of the episodes.

Loni Anderson: Yes; it is a great chance to get to talk about them. I am looking forward to the Q&A and sharing those old episodes with people. I screened the episodes first and they hold up because Hugh Wilson who was our mad genius creator always said, "The humor should come out of the story and not out of the jokes." I makes a show last and makes it funny forever.

WCT: It was a good concept for a show.

Loni Anderson: Of course, there is not a radio station in existence where everything isn't already programmed electronically these days.

WCT: You are originally from Minnesota.

Loni Anderson: I am. I spent a lot of time in Chicago. I worked for Shirley Hamilton, who was my first commercial agent. I did my first national commercial in Chicago for Secret deodorant way back in 1974. I had black hair and it was a different life.

WCT: What made you decide to go blonde?

Loni Anderson: WKRP. When I first moved out to L.A. in 1975, people told me that my hair was so dark that it absorbed the light—that is looked like an ink blob. Someone suggested that I put lighter streaks in it to break it up. The lighter I went the more work I got. I had never thought of myself as a blonde except for a few Broadway roles. I was a serious brunette actress. When I did the pilot, I wasn't quite blonde. I was a strawberry color. Hugh Wilson said, "Let's have her be Lana Turner and the smartest person in the room." That was the creation of this slave to blonde hair.

WCT: You are stuck with it!

Loni Anderson: [Laughs] It has been all of these years. My roots insist on growing out black. I don't know what the deal is!

WCT: Did you exercise to have that pinup body?

Loni Anderson: I didn't work out for a second. I didn't work out until after WKRP. It wasn't a trend. I had taken dancing lessons and was active with swimming, but I had two glazed doughnuts every day for breakfast! I even had malted milk balls on my desk for the show the whole week. Now when I think back about it, I shiver with horror. I was the luckiest girl on the planet.

WCT: You wrote a book about your life called My Life in High Heels.

Loni Anderson: That was back in 1995. I have had so much more happening since then. That was two years after Burt Reynolds and I split up. I thought I needed to get it out of my system.

WCT: So you would like to do some updates?

Loni Anderson: Well, you know Oprah Winfrey said I should do My Life in Sneakers.

WCT: She is a brilliant woman!

Loni Anderson: Isn't she?

WCT: I read you have a big miniature collection. Do you still have this?

Loni Anderson: I do. I have an extensive Snow White collection. Because I have that black hair when I was a little girl, my dad would read stories to me where all the princesses were fair and had blue eyes. I was very sad at 3 years old to not look like a princess, so he found Snow White for me. She had hair as black as night. I always considered her who I was. She was my alter ego. All my life I have been collecting it.

WCT: You are doing a signing at the Hollywood Show. What is the craziest thing a fan has ever asked you at a convention?

Loni Anderson: Embarrassingly enough, a woman asked me what Burt Reynolds was like in bed. My jaw did drop and it was shocking.

WCT: What did you tell her?

Loni Anderson: I said, "Whatever your fantasies are, just keep thinking them!"

WCT: That's a good answer.

Loni Anderson: But otherwise, I just get asked out on dates. Either they are not paying attention to the fact that I am married or they don't care. They always ask about the rest of the cast. I did six series, so there are fans of other series or TV movies. Henry Winkler and I talked about that one time: You are forever The Fonz or that thing that catapulted you into everybody's face. That is why it is always the biggest thing and my favorite thing that I ever did, too. In the '70s there weren't glamorous smart people. Now we don't think anything of that. In 1978 that wasn't happening; it was innovative, and I am so glad to have been a part of that.

WCT: I am a big Lynda Carter fan and you did that series with her.

Loni Anderson: I always keep a picture of her with me because a lot of people are big Partners in Crime fans. Lynda and I are such good friends. I just saw her perform and she is so terrific.

Anderson brings Hollywood to Illinois this weekend at the Hollywood Palms Cinema, 352 S. Route 59, Naperville, on Saturday, Sept., 8, at 7 and 9 p.m.

She will be at the Hollywood Show, 5500 N. River Rd., Rosemont, Sept. 7-9. For details, visit .

This article shared 13316 times since Wed Sep 5, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Judge: Kevin Spacey owes almost $31 million 2022-08-04
- On Aug. 4, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana confirmed that embattled actor Kevin Spacey must pay House of Cards producer MRC nearly $31 million for alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the ...

Gay News

TELEVISION Darwin Del Fabro ('They/Them') talks horror, love scenes and inner strength 2022-08-04
- Queer Brazilian singer/actor Darwin Del Fabro is one of the cast members of the horror movie They/Them (pronounced "they-SLASH-them")—a slasher movie (get it?) set ...

Gay News

Hollywood medium Tyler Henry at Hard Rock Live on Nov. 17 2022-08-03
-- From a press release - Medium Tyler Henry—the openly gay star of the NETFLIX series Life After Death with Tyler Henry and E! Entertainment's megahit television show Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry—will bring his national live show to Hard Rock Casino ...

Gay News

Showrunners send abortion-protection letters to Hollywood execs 2022-08-02
- Recently, more than 400 TV creators and showrunners—all of them women (including Shonda Rhimes, Issa Rae, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Natasha Lyonne and Ava DuVernay)—sent letters to top executives at Hollywood studios ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Comic Con, WNBA player, Timothee Chalamet, Kate McKinnon 2022-07-31
- Out Magazine listed at least seven LGBTQ+-related characters and projects that were unveiled at San Diego Comic Con. Some of them include Michaela Coel (from TV's I May Destroy You) as a queer character in the ...

Gay News

Show about trans+ women models to debut Aug. 5 on Here TV 2022-07-29
- The Here TV docuseries Road to the Runway—which focuses on trans+ women models—will debut Friday, Aug. 5. The series profiles the 20 hopefuls competing in this year's annual Slay Model search. Cameras follow the women to ...

Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-07-24
- "First of all, I'm glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle."—Pete Buttigieg's response to Rep. Troy Nehls' quip that Biden "falls off bicycles." Anyone can sue over anything. There is no guilt or ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Broadway, 'Game of Thrones' prequel, Dexter Mayfield, Shania Twain 2022-07-24
- The Broadway League announced that theaters will continue their recently adopted mask-optional policy for audiences at least through August, Deadline reported. The mask-optional policy—in which audiences are encouraged but not ...

Gay News

TELEVISION In the kitchen with Kristen Kish, newest host of 'Iron Chef' 2022-07-22
- Iron Chef premiered on Japanese television in October 1993. This over-the-top culinary competition took the world by storm. Over the course of seven seasons and 309 episodes, viewers were wowed by renowned chefs facing off against ...

Gay News

Chappelle show canceled after social-media pushback 2022-07-21
- On July 20, Dave Chappelle's stand-up show at a Minneapolis club was canceled just hours before the controversial comedian was set to perform, Variety reported. First Avenue—the iconic venue that provided the setting for Prince's Purple ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Warhol/Basquiat, 'Raven's Home,' Jonathan Bailey, Broadway, Ricky Martin 2022-07-17
Video below - The Collaboration—Anthony McCarten's hit London play about artists Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat—will make its U.S. premiere on Broadway this fall, with Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope as the two ...

Gay News

'Ted Lasso,' 'Succession' lead Emmy noms; LGBTQ+s represented 2022-07-12
- On July 12, the nominations for the 74th Emmy Awards were announced. Succession earned the most nominations of any show, earning a total of 25 nods, including one for outstanding drama, as well as outstanding lead ...

Gay News

COMEDY Hannah Gadsby talks Chicago, Netflix, self 2022-07-11
- Global comedy figure Hannah Gadsby took the comedy world by storm just a few years ago with the show Nanette. Among the honors it garnered were a Peabody Award (2018) and an Emmy for Outstanding ...

Gay News

'Cheer' star receives prison sentence 2022-07-07
- On July 6, Jerry Harris, the former star of hit Netflix docuseries Cheer, has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for child pornography soliciting sex from minors, Variety noted, citing USA Today. Harris, 22, ...

Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-07-04
- "And this was Richard Gere in 1977. … He was so beautiful. And I'm there. My mom didn't go. It was just me and my mom's two gay friends. And I just remember being like, 'Oh my God, I'm gay. … ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.