Youthful and charming, it is difficult for those who remember her performance on the popular sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati (that aired from 1978 to 1982) to believe that the lovely and erudite Loni Anderson is now a septuagenarian! Back in the 1970's, WKRP's creator Hugh Wilson cast her after she made a brief appearance on Three's Company. She reminded him of a young Jayne Mansfield/Marilyn Monroe type, and she became his radio station's receptionist, Jennifer Marlowe.
One of the challenges a beautiful woman has always had to contend with is the struggle to be taken seriously for her intellect. The 1940's-era actress Hedy Lamar was disregarded by the National Inventors Hall of Fame for sixty years after she applied for an important wartime patent because they saw her as just another pretty face. WKRP defied this stereotype by making Marlowe the intellectual center of her dysfunctional radio family. The roll propelled Anderson to star status, which led her to become one of the top-paid actors in television of the era. Alas, the roll did not lead her to better parts. After the show ended, she stayed in the limelight more for her famous marriage to actor Burt Reynolds from 1988 through 1993. She has had four husbands and raised two children. After her oldest, Dierdre, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009, Anderson became a spokesperson to aid in finding a cure.