Fran Drescher Talks About Working on TV With Her Dog, Esther

The Pomeranian plays herself on "Happily Divorced" and accompanies her mom nearly everywhere.


“She’s a little angel — the kindest living thing I’ve ever met,” Fran Drescher says about her Happily Divorced co-star, Esther, an 11-year-old Pomeranian. Raise a paw if you can relate to that sentiment. The bond between celebrity and celebri-dog continues off camera, as Drescher is real-life dog mom to Esther.

Esther comes to the studio often with Drescher and when not working on set as an older rescue dog, she hangs out in her famous mom’s dressing room.

Longtime fans of Drescher will recall that she lost her last dog, Chester, when he was 19 years old.

“I knew he would leave a hole in my life the size of the Grand Canyon,” she recalls.

When she found Esther, she remembers a friend saying to her, “That’s like a Chester waiting to happen!” Eleven years later, mom and dog go everywhere together — including to work every day on the set of Happily Divorced.

Drescher is perhaps best known for her starring role on the 1990s television show The Nanny. She and her former spouse, Peter Marc Jacobson, created the current sitcom. The show centers on Los Angeles florist, Fran, whose nearly 20-year marriage ends when her husband, Peter, reveals he is gay. When the couple is unable to sell their home due to a bleak economy, the couple continues to live together but re-enters the dating realm. It’s based on the real-life story of Drescher.

The show’s supporting cast includes Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris) as her best friend Judi; Rita Moreno (Oz) and Robert Walden (All The President’s Men) as Fran’s parents Glen and Dori; and Valente Rodriguez (George Lopez) as Cesar, her flower shop employee.

The show, which had its season premiere Nov. 28 at 10:30 p.m. on TV Land, is taped in front of an audience, much to the delight of a pint-sized scene-stealing Pomeranian. (See the attention Esther got while appearing on The Rosie Show in the video clip below.)

Drescher was dog-less growing up and really wanted a dog, even though her then-husband and present co-star, Jacobson, was opposed. After years and tears, she finally got her wish.

“The minute we [got] him, he started barking and didn’t stop for 19 years,” she muses.

Fast forward to present time and Drescher admits to traveling with her pristine Pom quite often. She likes to go to pet-friendly hotels and to their home in New York. When staying at places like The Four Seasons, Drescher says the staff goes out of its way to make her pooch happy.

Asked what Esther’s first words would be if she could talk, Drescher says, “Probably ‘I’m hungry’ since eating is her favorite pastime.”

Every morning, she takes her pooch out on the deck to gaze at the ocean before leaving for work. After a long day working, the first thing they do is look out onto the waters together. Mom and pooch eat organic, vegetarian healthy food throughout the day on set.

Every celebrity, and that includes celebri-dogs, has a favorite snack. Esther’s is small vitamin bones that are natural and good for her. In addition she eats manna bread, which Drescher says is an ancient organic recipe. Of course, any television diva deserves some special TLC foods, so Esther chooses chicken and pasta from time to time.

In addition to being an actress, author, and dog mom, Drescher is also a uterine cancer survivor. She is president of Cancer Schmancer — an organization designed to educate and prevent/detect cancer — and is also a United States diplomat. Her title is Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health Issues, and she helps the State Department raise awareness about cancer and cancer detection.

TV Land reported earlier this year that Season Two of Happily Divorced will contain 24 episodes, so fans of Esther and her famous mom can expect to catch plenty of tail wagging fun.

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