Hanover, Donna 1950–

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Hanover, Donna 1950–

(Donna Ann Hanover Giuliani)

PERSONAL: Born February 13, 1950 (one source lists February 3), in Oakland, CA; daughter of Bob (an officer in the U.S. Navy) and Gwen Kofnovec; married Stanley Hanover (a writer; divorced); married Rudolph W. Guiliani (a politician), April 1984 (divorced, July 10, 2002); married Edwin Oster (a lawyer), August 3, 2003; children: (second marriage) Andrew, Caroline. Education: Stanford University, B.A.; Columbia University, M.A.

ADDRESSES: Home—NY and CA. Agent—Barking Dog Entertainment, 9 Desbrosses St., 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10013.

CAREER: Actor, journalist, producer, and writer. Radio and television journalist in Pennsylvania and Florida until early 1980s; WPIX-TV, New York, NY, newscaster, 1983–90; features reporter for Good Day New York and Good Day Sunday, Fox 5, New York, NY; host of television programs, including In Food Today, Food Network, House Beautiful, A&E, and Fine Living: Famous Homes & Hideaways, syndicated. Actor in films, including (as herself) The Paper, 1984; The People vs. Larry Flynt, 1996; Ransom, 1996; Night Falls on Manhattan, 1997; Celebrity, 1998; The Siege, 1999; Just the Ticket, 1999; Superstar, 1999; Light It Up, 1999; The Intern, 2000; Keeping the Faith, 2000; Series 7: The Contenders, 2001; Someone like You, 2001; and Just a Kiss, 2002. Television roles include appearances on Another World, As the World Turns, All My Children, One Life to Live, Law & Order, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Family Law, and Sex and the City. Stage appearances include The Vagina Monologues.


My Boyfriend's Back: True Stories of Rediscovering Love with a Long-Lost Sweetheart, Hudson Street Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Has written for Good Housekeeping.

SIDELIGHTS: Donna Hanover began her professional life in journalism, and in the 1980s started a second career as an actress. Her celebrity, however, arose from having been married to former New York City mayor Rudolph Guiliani. After her husband's election, she was active as first lady at the same time that she continued appearing on film and television. Among her early roles were appearances as herself and as a journalist; later, more prestigious acting jobs include a role in the feature film The People vs. Larry Flynt and a recurring role as Judge Deborah Bourke on the television drama Law & Order. Hanover's name became far better known when the couple's bitter marital disputes and divorce were highly publicized after eight years of marriage. Guiliani's affairs with two women and Hanover's demands in the divorce settlement received considerable media attention. One positive result from this coverage resulted for Hanover: News of her divorce inspired a call from Ed Oster, a boyfriend from her high school and college days. A year later, and more than thirty years after Hanover and Oster first met, the two were married. At a publisher's suggestion, Hanover decided to examine this phenomenon of re-kindling old romances in a book. The result was My Boyfriend's Back: True Stories of Rediscovering Love with a Long-Lost Sweetheart.

Using real-life examples of famous and not-so-famous couples, My Boyfriend's Back serves as an informal self-help guide. It includes advice from therapists as well as anecdotal evidence of why renewing romantic relationships is appealing. The couples featured in the book were selected in two ways: through a request on the Joan Hamburg radio show and through Hanover's personal contacts. Among the familiar figures in the book are actors Suzanne Pleshette and Tom Poston, sportscaster Scott Clark and childhood sweetheart Heather Lynn, and designer Nicole Miller and husband Kim Taipale. Hanover also writes about her own experiences. For example, she explains that there is a special sense of trust with someone you have known before. While Oster apologized for breaking up with her when they were freshmen at Stanford University, the author does not recommend revisiting such issues at length. She urges readers to use the Internet to contact old friends but warns that geographic incompatibilities can be very difficult to accommodate. She and Oster have a "bicoastal" marriage. They can afford to travel across country for a long weekend every week and spend vacations together.

Writing for Women's Wear Daily, Arthur Friedman described the book as being "organized journalistically: interviews with a lot of people who rekindled old loves, analysis and conclusions about what was learned. The approach was natural for Hanover, who has spent most of her career in the media." A Publishers Weekly critic commented, "you'd have to be heartless not to feel hopeful after reading this book."



Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 54, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2004.


Good Housekeeping, February, 2005, Donna Hanover, "My Boyfriend's Back: She Reunited with Her High School Flame, then Married Him!," p. 136.

In Style, February 1, 2004, Kathy Passero, "Reunited Sweethearts: College Couple Donna Hanover and Ed Oster Met Again at a Thirty-Year Reunion That Yielded Memories—and a Marriage," p. 268.

Publishers Weekly, January 17, 2005, review of My Boyfriend's Back: True Stories of Rediscovering Love with a Long-Lost Sweetheart, p. 46.

Town & Country, March, 2005, review of My Boyfriend's Back, p. 88.

Women's Wear Daily, March 3, 2005, Arthur Friedman, "Donna Hanover's Tale: Love Reunited," p. 23.