Fran Drescher on Dating After Divorce

"The Nanny" star's new show "Happily Divorced" is based on own life.

ByABC News
July 7, 2011, 4:15 PM

July 9, 2011— -- With big hair, short and colorful skirts and an instantly recognizable voice, Fran Drescher won America's hearts as the flashy girl from Flushing in "The Nanny."

These days, much like the character she plays in her new sitcom "Happily Divorced," she's learning how to adjust to life as a single woman in today's dating world.

On this week's episode she calls up an old boyfriend from high school and they reconnect. He seems perfect -- until he reveals a little secret, and then it's back on the manhunt. As one of the show's writers, it's likely Drescher drew on her own dating woes to craft the plot.

After divorcing her husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, in 1999 after 21 years of marriage, he revealed to her that he was gay.

She admits their divorce wasn't amicable. In fact, it took years for the high school sweethearts to become friends again, let alone develop "Happily Divorced" based on their situation.

Even though Drescher anticipated her life would change after divorce, she couldn't have imagined the personal journey of self-discovery she'd experience.

"I learned not to be afraid to be alone," Drescher told "I learned to be wrong and apologize for it, and the world is not going to come to an end and nobody's going to hate me. I went through expensive psychotherapy."

At 53 she's also learned to accept her own frailties and ask for help instead of being everyone else's caregiver. Part of her awareness was learning that nobody has a crystal ball and that life will hand you those unexpected blows that will change your world forever.

Drescher certainly learned that in 2000 when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer.

"You have to let go of the plans and play the hand that's dealt you and play it elegantly and courageously," Drescher said. "Life is going to kick you in the teeth, and how you handle it or not handle it and what becomes of you is what makes room for success."