Fran Drescher’s Tribute to Her Late Father Is So Touching

Fran Drescher’s Tribute to Her Late Father Is So Touching

Morty Drescher, who guest-starred in several episodes of “The Nanny,” passed away on March 20.
Our condolences to Fran Drescher and her family. Her father, Mort Drescher, passed away on March 20, and the “The Nanny” creator shared a moving ode to her Jewish father on Instagram.

“Although he was 94.5, it still feels untenable how permanent the loss of this great man is,” she wrote. “His values were always in the right place. He honored and respected everyone equally,” she continued, sharing that what he cherished most was his family and life’s simple pleasures.

She shared that Morty, who had starred in episodes of “The Nanny” and who died in his sleep with his daughter and wife by his side, was always “the life of the party, funny and smart.” He was a lover of sports and a valued member of his community. The system analyst, she wrote, was who she inherited her own analytical mind from, skills that made her successful as a labor leader and the president of SAG-AFTRA during its recent historic strike.

She recalled that he loved both her and her sister Nadine equally and was proud of both their achievements — Fran’s in the realm of entertainment, and Nadine as a nurse and single mother of two children.
He was an “amazing father” who taught the two how “to swim, ride a bicycle and drive a car,” and was very much in love with his wife, Sylvia — he died one day shy of their 71st wedding anniversary.

“I am so happy he got to see me not only achieve success as an actor but even more importantly as a labor leader because doing volunteer work on behalf of the greater good was the ethics by which he raised me,” she added, sharing that “if there is a heaven, he’s there now because he lived purely, honestly and lovingly.”
Morty and his wife were both incredibly supportive of Fran from an early age, in awe of her passion for entertainment and the way she could imitate Lucille Ball. “The Nanny” was an ode to her family: Fran insisted her character be Jewish and from Queens, just like her, and paid tribute to her whole family, naming both her parents Sylvia and Morty, and her sister Nadine. Both her parents were extras on the show, with Morty playing both his namesake character and Uncle Stanley.

It’s a role he later reprised in the 2002 “Livin’ With Fran.” You can see him and Sylvia dancing in the bar mitzvah episode of the show, Morty donning a yarmulke. Sylvia plays Aunt Frieda. “You guys are still like newly weds,” Fran compliments them, and Morty as Stanley replies: “Thank god for the blue pills.”

The two didn’t just charm viewers on their daughter’s project; they were also guest restaurant and movie critics on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” in which they rated restaurants with their knish system. One restaurant in Florida called The Bronx even falsely advertised that the Drescher’s gave it “for knishes” (the typo was in the advert, too). They later visited in in disguise (Sylvia with an Elizabeth Taylor wig, and Morty with a mustache), giving the restaurant four knishes during early bird special and 3.5 knishes during regular dinner service, because while the prices were steep, Sylvia and Morty loved the live music.
Fran shared that she always knew her parents were deeply in love, and grew up hearing them laugh together through the wall her bedroom shared with theirs. In a December 2023 article for The Daily Beast, she called her mother her hero for the way she took care of her father as he was dying from Parkinson’s.

“When he remembers something that she can’t, she praises him profusely on how smart he is,” Fran wrote. “That’s what she was most attracted to about him. ‘You’re so smart, Morty!’”

Morty and Sylvia were always by Fran’s side, in every venture. When she starred in “Saturday Night Fever,” Morty snuck on the closed Brooklyn set saying he was the star’s father, and “they said ‘come on in Mr. Travolta,’” Drescher recalled in the 2020 episode of “Fran Drescher: In My Own Words.”

During her brief stint as a talk show host on The Fran Drescher Tawk Show, they were the first guests, and even shot a darling video to wish her luck. “We named her Joy as her middle name,” Morty told the cameraman outside the couple’s dressing room, “and she’s brought us joy her whole life.”

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