Fran Drescher on the 'Silver Lining' of Cancer & the Key to Staying 'Happily Divorced'


The real-life story of Fran Drescher's divorce to gay ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson is the inspiration for TV Land's newest sitcom "Happily Divorced," and as Drescher tells ET, she and her co-creator ex are "living proof" that couples can really stay "Happily Divorced." 

Drescher and Jacobson started their relationship as high school sweethearts, and during their 20+ years together the couple collaborated on a number of projects including "The Nanny."

One year after their split in 1999, Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Fran says the illness made her realize that although she and her husband were divorced, the love they once shared was not exclusive to marriage. "My cancer survival was kind of one of the silver linings because when Peter was told that I had cancer, he burst into tears and at that moment, all of the anger melted away and all that was left was the love."

She says that "love" she felt as her ex-husband supported her through a difficult cancer fight made it much easier to work through Jacobson's subsequent gay confession. Drescher calls that love "the global message of the show."

John Michael Higgins, who plays Fran's husband, was intrigued by the unusual premise, calling it "really fun to play."

Rita Moreno plays Drescher's mother on the show, and the legendary Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winner says that having both Peter and Fran together on set "wonderful." "She's a joy. She is simple bliss."

Watch the video to hear more from the cast of "Happily Divorced" as well as the stars of "Hot in Cleveland."

"Happily Divorced" premieres on TV Land Wednesday, June 15 along with the return of the hit sitcom "Hot in Cleveland."