Wednesday, May 22, 2002

The Nanny Star's Emmy Glory by Daniel R. Coleridge

Whatever became of Charles Shaughnessy, who played Fran Drescher's beloved "Mr. Sheffield" for six years on The Nanny? He sleeps with the fishes!

No, he's not dead. The 47-year-old Brit is merely the voice of Dennis, the pet goldfish on Disney Channel's popular kid cartoon Stanley. In fact, he's just won a Daytime Emmy for his fishy frolics. "My seven-year-old, Maddy, loves it," he tells TV Guide Online. "She's a huge hit at school because I do this her status has shot up. If I was on ER or won an Oscar for some movie, no one would give a hoot. But Stanley! Everyone wants to know her now."

Unfortunately, his overenthused daughter causes Daddy no end of embarrassment. "She's actually very sweet," he chuckles, "because we'll be on the street or in a store and she'll wait until there's lots of people nearby and in a very loud voice, she'll say, 'Daddy, do you like being Dennis the goldfish?' I'll shush her and whisper, 'No, honey, it's just not appropriate right now.' And she loudly says, 'But why, Dennis the goldfish on Stanley?!'"

Not that Shaughnessy needs Maddy's help attracting fan recognition, which he says is "still split 50/50" from his time as "Mr. Sheffield and Shane Donovan from Days of Our Lives. The daytime soaps make such an impact." Would he ever go back? "Never say never," he shrugs. "Days seems to be regrouping the whole gang. There's so many people on now from when I was there. Shane's ideal [to return] he's been away chasing bad guys in Europe for 10 years, so he could come back with any number of illegitimate children, ex-wives and God knows what!"

As long as we're waxing nostalgic, has he checked out Drescher's new book sassily titled Cancer Schmancerfor any dish about himself? "My wife's actually reading it right now," he says. "I think it really focuses on her experiences after The Nanny, when she was diagnosed with cancer. It's more about that than gossip about the show or anything else. We had a very good relationship. I have enormous respect for Fran."

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