Renée Taylor (born Renée Wechsler; March 19, 1933) is an American actress, Academy Award nominated writer and one-time director, best-known for having played Fran Drescher's outspoken mother, Sylvia Fine, on the TV series The Nanny. She plays Mrs. Locassio on Shake It Up.
Born in the Bronx, New York, Taylor worked as a comedian in the early 1960s at the New York City nightclub Bon Soir. Her opening act was a then unknown Barbra Streisand. In 1968, Taylor played Eva Braun in the feature film The Producers.
Taylor and her husband, Joseph Bologna, co-wrote the Broadway hit comedy Lovers and Other Strangers, and received Oscar nominations for having written the 1970 film adaptation. In 1971, the couple co-wrote and starred in the film Made for Each Other. Their screenplay received a nomination for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy.
From 1992 to 1994, Taylor played the stereotypically overbearing Jewish mother of the lead character on the HBO series Dream On. Beginning in 1993, she began playing the overbearing mother of Fran, the title character on The Nanny. The two roles overlapped while both shows were on the air at the same time.
Taylor is most often recognized for her standout role in The Nanny, in which she played Sylvia, the overbearing mother of thirty-something Fran Fine (Fran Drescher), who is determined to live to see her daughter get married. Her character is intent on finding Fran a husband and has a passionate love for food. Taylor's husband, Joseph Bologna, made a guest appearance on The Nanny as an egocentric actor named Allan Beck, who tormented Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy); and, in the final season, Bologna again guest-starred on the series, playing an admirer of Sylvia in the episode "Maternal Affairs".
In recent years, Taylor has guest-starred as Ted Mosby's neighbor, Mrs. Matsen, on How I Met Your Mother. She also had a guest-starring role on the Disney show, Shake It Up!, portraying a cranky, mean elderly woman in a retirement home (once again as same character), as well as a guest-starring role on the Nickelodeon show, Victorious as Robbie's cranky grandmother who needed Robbie's help with the internet. In addition to her numerous guest-starring appearances, Taylor has worked as a voice-actor as the character Mrs. Start in the animated feature film Ice Age: The Meltdown, and as Linda's mother Gloria in the animated Fox series Bob's Burgers. Taylor also played Martha Benson in the film Opposite Day, released in 2009
Taylor also guest-starred on Fran Drescher's newest show Happily Divorced as Fran's mother's best friend. A reference is made to The Nanny when Taylor's character tells Fran that she's the daughter she never had, and again when Fran looks to the camera and states "I'm feeling some deja vu" as Taylor eats a piece of cake.