She was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes for her role as Fran Fine on The Nanny from 1993 to 1999. Later, she had recurring roles on Happily Divorced and The Fran Drescher Show.
She became known for her New York accent on Summer of Fear and Saturday Night Fever after appearing in the 1996 film Jack.
She appeared as Connie in the 1997 film Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta.
She was the runner-up in the Miss New York Teenager beauty pageant, and attended Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens.
She married Peter March Jacobson in 1978, and the couple divorced in 1999. She then married Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai in September 2014. She has an older sister named Nadine.