The Nanny’: The Main Characters, Ranked By Likability

‘The Nanny’: The Main Characters, Ranked By Likability

The Nanny is one of the most iconic sitcoms with some likable characters.
The Nanny is among the most beloved and acclaimed sitcoms from the 90s. Fran Drescher starred as Fran Fine, a Jewish woman working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens, ’til her boyfriend kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes. Seeking employment, she ends up working as a nanny for the three children of a wealthy Broadway producer.
Campy and hilarious, The Nanny had a cast of memorable and hysterical characters. Each was unique and entertaining, although some were far funnier than others. And while Fran was the show’s beating heart, every other main character played a big role in The Nanny’s success.

10Brighton Sheffield

Mr. Sheffield’s middle child, Brighton, is twelve in the show’s first seasons and attends a prestigious private school. He has a complicated relationship with his sisters, often mocking and engaging in petty pranks against them. Brighton quickly warms up to Fran and develops a close relationship with her, despite not being as overt in his feeling for her as his sisters.
Brighton is the least overtly likable character in The Nanny, mainly because his behavior is typical of an adolescent boy. However, he loves his family and becomes very protective of Fran, once defending her honor after a group of college students makes off-hand and rude comments about her. Brighton can be annoying, but he has a sweet personality, even if he likes to keep it private.

Maggie Sheffield

Maggie is Mr. Sheffield’s oldest child, fifteen at the show’s start. A teenager in need of female guidance, Maggie instantly bonds with Fran, admiring her beauty and fashion sense and appreciating the support she receives from her. Maggie is also notably one of the few characters who also instantly bonds with Fran’s mother, Sylvia, and grandmother, Yetta.

Thansk to their close bond and love for each other, Maggie and Fran have one of the best mother-daughter relationships on tv. Maggie is one of Fran’s bridesmaids during her wedding to Mr. Sheffield and postpones her own wedding after Fran experiences early labor pains. Maggie is sweet, shy, and a wonderful contrast to the brazen Fran and her more outgoing siblings.

C. C. Babcock

Lauren Lane plays C. C. Babcock in The Nanny. She is Maxwell’s business partner, harboring an intense and not-so-subtle crush on him that’s obvious to everyone, but him. C. C. also shares a passionate rivalry with Niles, mercilessly teasing each other to hide their mutual attraction.
C. C. is a biting and hilarious character, even if she is often the butt of the joke. Niles and the children are brutal toward her, although C. C. sometimes has a few clever clap backs. C. C. has an initial adversarial dynamic with Frna, but the two eventually become close, if not necessarily friends. C. C. is a heavy drinker, often rude and tactless; however, she cares about the family, albeit in her unique, selfish way.

Grace Sheffield

Gracie is the youngest child in the Sheffield house, only six in season one. Because of her young age, she doesn’t remember her mother much; thus, she is the first to see Fran as a substitute maternal figure, even asking her to participate in her school’s mother-daughter festival.

A child with a vivid imagination, Grace has several imaginary uniforms in the early seasons. She is close with her siblings, but her age prevents her from bonding with them deeply. Her closest connection is with Fran, often accompanying her shopping and playing with her. Gracie is sweet and gentle, a likable character if there ever was one.

Val Toriello

Fran’s closest friend is Val Toriello, played by Rachel Chagall. They’ve been friends since elementary school and worked together at the bridal shop in Flushing, Queens before Fran got fired. Val is a loyal and supportive friend; she’s also very dim-witted, which annoys and entertains Fran.

Val is a constant supporting character throughout the show. She and Fran have one of the best friendships on television, and the two are always there for each other. Initially unlucky in love, Val eventually meets a pharmacist named Fred and becomes pregnant with his child.

Maxwell Sheffield

Charles Shaughnessy plays Maxwell Sheffield in The Nanny. The show’s de-facto male protagonist, Mr. Sheffield is a wealthy English Broadway producer living in a fancy townhouse in the Upper East Side. He lost his wife, Sarah, before the show’s start and is reluctant to date again for the sake of his children. Mr. Sheffield is oblivious to C. C.’s interest in him and plays dumb regarding his own interest in his new nanny.

Mr. Sheffield is unintentionally funny. A classic British gentleman, he is prim, proper, and slightly stuck-up, although he occasionally lets loose. Maxwell is a Republican and holds somewhat conservative beliefs; however, his perspective changes upon meeting Fran. Mr. Sheffield is always entertaining, especially when

interacting with Fran, Niles, or C. C.

Yetta Rosenberg

Fran’s grandmother, Yerra Rosenberg, is a chain-smoking Romanian immigrant with a remarkable life. She is quite old, although her age is never stated; however, she experienced several crucial events in World War II, once claiming she “fled Poland” on her wedding anniversary.

The Nanny was a platform for Jewish characters, and Yetta was one of the most prominent examples. She was a recurring character on the show, constantly appearing to offer vague comments about random things. Because of her age, she is often confused; for example, she thinks Maxwell’s children are Fran’s and constantly expresses disbelief at their ages. Yetta is a hilarious, endearing character and one of The Nanny’s secret weapons.

Sylvia Fine

Academy Award nominee Renée Taylor plays Fran’s mother, Sylvia Fine, in The Nanny. Sylvia is a loving, supportive, but overbearing mother, constantly insisting that Fran get married. She loved to eat and often raided the Sheffields’ well-stocked refrigerator while offering her unique brand of witty but puzzling advice.
Sylvia is a scene-stealing character who often was the most hilarious figure in The Nanny. Taylor was notably the only performer from the show to receive an Emmy nomination besides series lead Fran Drescher. Sylvia was unpredictable and slightly embarrassing, but her love for her daughter was undeniable.


Niles is one of the sitcom supporting characters who stole the show. Played by Daniel Davis, Niles is the extremely British buttler of the Sheffield household. He has known Maxwell since childhood, as his father was Maxwell’s father’s butler.

Machiavellian, sardonic, witty, clever, and very loyal, Niles is truly one-of-a-kind. He is ruthless toward C. C. Babcock, relentlessly mocking her to conceal his secret attraction to her. Niles cares deeply about the Sheffield children but always remains coolly detached from them, treating them with warm familiarity but not overt sentimentalism. Niles is possibly the funniest character in The Nanny, with his intelligent insults provoking the biggest laughs.

Fran Fine

Fran Fine is among the most iconic sitcom protagonists of the 90s. A Jewish woman with a heart of gold and an overflow of enthusiasm, Fran is the nanny to Maxwell’s three children, earning their love with her kindness and loyalty. Despite her lack of formal education, Fran is sassy, witty, and street-smart.

One of the most fashionable characters in movies or tv, Fran is a 90s star. Drescher earned two Emmy Award nominations for her performance, receiving critical and fan praise and becoming one of the most beloved figures in modern tv. Fran is a shining star, a universally likable character known for her trademark voice, stellar fashion sense, and heartwarming personality.

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