The Nanny was a huge hit back in the '90s when most Aussies had only a few channels and a limited programming selection. The show starred Fran Drescher as Fran Fine, a cosmetic saleswoman from downtown Brooklyn hired by a wealthy Broadway producer to look after his three children.
A huge part of show's charm came from the kids Fran had to look after: Maggie, Brighton and Grace. So whatever happened to the child actors who played those roles from 1993 to '99?
Nicholle Tom as Maggie Sheffield
Nicholle Tom, who played oldest Sheffield child Maggie, was from a showbiz family herself. Her twin brother David Tom starred in The Young and the Restless, while her older sister, Heather Tom, is a five-time Emmy Award-winning actress, best known for playing Katie Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful, as well as Victoria Newman on The Young and the Restless.
Prior to co-starring in The Nanny, Nicholle had already seen some early success, appearing in the popular Beethoven movies, as well as episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Beverley Hills, 90210.
Nicholle was 15 years old when she took on the role of Maggie on The Nanny. Then, after six fabulous seasons of the show, it was all over — Nicholle continued acting after the show ended, but never again achieved the same level of success that she'd enjoyed earlier in her career.
Now 45, Nicholle still appears at showbiz events, but likes to keep her private life relatively private. Well, apart from her love of DIY, which she shares with the world via her YouTube channel.
Benjamin Salisbury as Brighton Sheffield
Benjamin was 13 years old when he started playing the middle Sheffield child. Although he had already appeared as Martin Short's son in the movie Captain Ron.
Benjamin really enjoyed his time on the show, revealing at the time he felt a lot like his TV character. "I'm definitely sarcastic," Salisbury said in 1997 on The 700 Club. "I definitely tease my sisters, my real ones and my TV sisters. So it's pretty much the same. It's a pretty easy job."
"It truly is this gigantic family," he added. "I mean, the girl who plays my little sister, Madeline Zima, she and I are probably closer than my sisters are now because Madeline and I spend so much time together."
Benjamin actually appeared in quite a few movies and TV shows during his time on The Nanny, but then, when the show ended in 1996, he seems to have put his acting career on pause. The former child star briefly returned to the small screen in 2005, acting in an episode of Numb3rs, and then in 2006 he featured in some Domino's pizza commercials.
Now 42 and a dad of three, Benjamin has largely stayed out of the public eye. But he did join the rest of the cast to do a table read of the pilot episode for fans during a pandemic lockdown.
Madeline Zima as Grace Sheffield
Despite being just six years old when she started playing the youngest Sheffield child Grace, The Nanny wasn't Madeline Zima's first gig. In fact, Madeline was just two when she first starred in a television commercial for fabric softener.
Still, Madeline learnt a whole a lot during that formative six years on The Nanny. "It was a wonderful learning experience. I got a first-hand masterclass in sitcom comedy and professionalism," she told The Morning Show in 2020.
"If you're introduced to somebody like [lead actress Fran Drescher] at a young age, you can see what's possible with a lot of ambition, if you believe in yourself," Madeline added. "So that was a really great role model to have."
Madeline, now 37, has more than made the most of her childhood fame, going on to star in numerous hit TV shows like Californication, Heroes, Betas and from just last year, Doom Patrol. She also enjoys regular film work and is currently shooting Subservience with Megan Fox.
It seems Madeline has remained realistic about the ups and downs of showbiz though. "Success in acting is being able to pay [my] rent and car insurance with acting," the former child star told the LA Times in 2021. "I have managed to be in this business for 32 years and I am very proud of that."
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