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Nadine Cooperman is a guest character on The Nanny. She is portrayed by Ellen Ratner.


Nadine is the older sister of Fran Fine. She works as a caterer and, according to Fran, is absent from most family holidays due to her work.[1] Nadine was the reason that Sylvia and Morty had to marry when they did. They told people that Nadine was born prematurely, but a 13 pound preemie was simply too much for most people to believe. Fran attributes her well-shaped features to Nadine's large birth size: "We came from the same womb...after Nay, Ma was like a waterslide coming out."

Since Niles is busy rehearsing to sing for Maxwell and C.C.'s backers' audition, Fran brings in her sister, the caterer, to cook for the family. Fran has forgotten that whatever she has had, Nadine has wanted.

Sibling Rivalry[]

Although she is the elder sister, Nadine has always been jealous of everything Fran gets. When they were younger, Nadine would take what she wanted from Fran: clothing, toys, even boyfriends—Barry had been dating Fran for six months before Nadine stole him from her. When Fran refused to relinquish what Nadine wanted, Nadine would grab Fran by the nostrils and force her to move about. To get even and teach Nadine a lesson, Fran once had her hair cut into a shag hairstyle because she knew that Nadine would copy it. Now while the shag was not very flattering to Fran's features, it looked horrendous on Nadine, and took her much longer to grow out. When we see Nadine, her hair is cut so that she "looks just like Farrah Fawcett—everyone says that!" Now, she wants Maxwell and plans to cook her way into his heart. Fran figures the only way to get Nadine out of the picture is to reunite her with Barry.

Nadine and Barry Cooperman[]

Barry Cooperman was Fran's boyfriend until Nadine took him away from her, and later married him. The couple has two unnamed daughters that look a lot like their father. As the episode opens, we find out that air conditioner repairman Barry has left Nadine and went home to his mother. In response, Nadine had a "barbecue," piling all of Barry's clothes outside his mother's house and setting them on fire. The couple has not had sexual relations for two years now. Nadine claims it is due to the fact that Barry is incapable of performing sexually, while Fran thinks it may have more to do with the thing on Nadine's stomach that needed to be drained, or with the affair Barry carried on with that trampy salesgirl from Wilson's House of Suede that Nadine doesn't know about until Fran tells her.

The reason for the Coopermans' split is not readily apparent to the audience, to Fran, or even to Barry and Nadine themselves. It is not until they begin telling each other what they think is bothering each of them—"she's dishing it out to every guy in town" and "he doesn't appreciate what's on his own table at home"—that everyone realizes what is really bothering both of them is being away from each other. Their private time together is what keeps them together.


  • She is only seen as an adult in Episode 22 of Season 2: "What the Butler Sang." However, Nadine appears as a child, played by actress Sara Alexis Weiss, in the flashback scenes of Season 4's "Fran's Roots," and is mentioned by Sylvia a number of times in comparison to Fran.

Notes and references[]

  1. The Christmas Show