Nanny Faye Chrisley is the elder matriarch of the Chrisley clan on Chrisley Knows Best. Thanks to the show’s constant comedy gold, it’s arguable that the biggest appeal of the hit reality series is the hilarious family dynamic. The program follows the Chrisley family as they navigate life with overbearing father Todd Chrisley leading the way. And though Todd may be the reason the show exists, there’s one person who truly makes the show as entertaining as it is, and that’s Nanny Faye.
The eldest Chrisley has completely stolen the hearts of viewers all over the world, with her sass, charm, and sweet grandmotherly ways. Her biography on the USA website describes her as someone with "a good heart and a sharp sense of humor — but she’s also a serious gambler with a rebellious edge."
Honestly, she might just be the unsung hero of Chrisley Knows Best, but the untold truth of Nanny Faye Chrisley proves that the adorable grandma has lived quite an interesting life, even before she became a reality star. Read onto learn all about her.
Nanny Faye Chrisley’s childhood wasn’t easy
Fans of Chrisley Knows Best know that the Chrisley family doesn’t appear to struggle with money, though here’s how much the Chrisley family is really worth. And while Todd Chrisley has had some drama when it comes to his finances, he’s provided a nice home and lavish lifestyle for his family, including his mother. But while Nanny Faye Chrisley doesn’t seem to struggle with money now, when she was a child, she didn’t have it so easy.
In one episode of Chrisley Knows Best, Nanny Faye gets visibly upset with three of her grandchildren: Grayson, Chloe, and Chase. It all went down when they were looking at their electronic devices instead of listening to her. Then when Grayson points out that she uses her own devices just as much, she scoffs. "I think about how hard I had to work, milking cows every morning at 4:30 in the morning, and then going to feed the hogs and the chickens," she said. "Y’all couldn’t survive one week on what I had to do." Honestly, she might be right about that!
Nanny Faye Chrisley lost one of her children when he was a baby
Though the Chrisley clan is super close-knit, that doesn’t mean the family is without its drama. And for Nanny Faye Chrisley, whose family is significantly larger than the cast of Chrisley Knows Best, there’s a tragic story there, too. Though Todd Chirlsey seems to be Nanny Faye’s favorite son, he isn’t the only child she had.
Nanny Faye actually had two other sons in addition to Todd: Randy and Derrick Chrisley. Randy is still alive, though he’s got his own drama going on, according to Radar Online. As for Derrick, he sadly passed away when he was just a baby, as noted by Networth Reporter (via TV Show Space). It’s unclear how, but Derrick reportedly died back in 1971 when he was only 4 months old.
It’s truly hard to imagine the grief that Nanny Faye must have felt losing her baby, but she remained strong for her other children. In fact, Todd posted a throwback photo on Instagram, sharing that she worked 60 hours a week just to provide for her family.
Nanny Faye Chrisley’s relationship with her son Todd Chrisley is special
On Chrisley Knows Best, it’s pretty obvious that Todd Chrisley and Nanny Faye Chrisley have a special relationship, despite the fact that Todd pranks his mother on occasion. But at the end of the day, the pair are two peas in a pod.
Todd has also shared his love for his mother on social media, too. In a sweet, heartfelt Instagram post in honor of Nanny Faye’s birthday, Todd revealed just how much he loves his mother. "There are no words that will ever explain how blessed I am to have you as my mother, through every trial and tribulation our family has ever gone through," he wrote, alongside a photo of the two smiling together. "With all of my heart, I love you beyond words and thank God every day for you." Aww!
Nanny Faye isn’t silent when it comes to her affection towards her son, either. In fact, she’s shared several posts on her Instagram page about how fond she is of Todd, showing the world just how proud she is of him. These two might just be the sweetest mother-son pair out there.
Nanny Faye Chrisley likes to gamble
As a grandmother and even a great-grandmother, many people might assume that Nanny Faye Chrisley a reserved and gentle matriarch — but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is Nanny Faye quite the spitfire, but she also has a shady side, and really likes to gamble. Like, she could even be considered a professional at the Blackjack table.
Nanny Faye is such a gambling aficionado that in one Instagram post, in which she posed with grandchildren Chase and Savannah Chrisley — who’s undergone a stunning transformation — she wrote a hilarious caption about the important things in life. "Love these children," she shared. "But I like them more when they go gambling with me." Hey, at least she’s honest!
As Nanny Faye said in a special video for USA, "I’ve been all over, and any place I go, I Google to see if there’s a casino around." Gambling might not be your typical grandma hobby, but if makes Nanny Faye happy, and that’s all that matters.
Nanny Faye Chrisley is beloved by her family
While Todd Chrisley is the head of his family, and typically pretty fun to watch on Chrisley Knows Best, his mother is also pretty entertaining. In fact, Nanny Faye Chrisley is arguably the best part of the show, as she’s the most beloved member of the family — except for maybe Chloe Chrisley.
Not only does Nanny Faye get plenty of love and attention from her family on the show, but they’ve also shown her lots of love on social media. In one Instagram post, Savannah Chrisley wished her grandmother a happy birthday with a sweet message. "Y’all know her as the funny crazy grandma…but me…oh I am lucky and blessed to know so much more of her," she wrote alongside several photos of the pair.
Nanny Faye’s grandchildren aren’t the only ones showering her with love, either. Savannah’s partner, Nic Kerdiles, has also treated her like the queen she is. In one Instagram post, he can be seen fanning Nanny Faye as she lays out by the pool. "I’ve got a pretty good gig going as long as @savannahchrisley stays out of my business," she quipped in the caption.
Nanny Faye Chrisley’s husband passed away
While Nanny Faye Chrisley is close to her entire family, there’s someone who is no longer around that the sassy grandma misses dearly. What really happened to Todd Chrisley’s dad? Sadly, in 2012, Nanny Faye lost her husband to cancer, according to his obituary on Find A Grave. Gene Chrisley, a Korean War veteran, was 77 when he passed on, after living a long and full life. While his death took a toll on the whole family, it was especially hard for his widow.
Still, Nanny Faye seemed almost ready to try and find someone new in Season 1 of Chrisley Knows Best, when she tried out a dating website. "I was just looking for someone to find a cup of coffee with or to go out to dinner. Someone to be a companion," Nanny Faye explained. However, as her grandson Kyle Chrisley helped her figure out the website, she sadly noted, "None of them look like Poppa do they." She concluded, "I’m not ever gonna find nobody like him." It’s clear that her husband was the love of her life.
Nanny Fay Chrisley tried to move on
As funny and sassy as Nanny Faye Chrisley is, she has a softer side as well. And though she misses her late husband, she’s also tried to move on and find a new romantic partner on more than one occasion. After all, everyone deserves love.
In Season 1, Nanny Faye tried moving on by going on a coffee date with a man — but that didn’t work out. Then in Season 5, Nanny Faye attempted to join a dating app with the help of her grandson Chase Chrisley. Not one to give up, Nanny Faye also tried out speed dating in Season 8, making it clear what she required in a relationship. "First question I’d ask him is, ‘how much money do you have in your bank account, and do you have a yacht?’" she told Chase, while they watched Frances chat it up with a silver fox.
Nanny Faye Chrisley is a dog lover
Though Nanny Faye has her own children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, that doesn’t mean she’s done having a baby around the house. But this time, Nanny Faye’s baby has a little more fur. Yes, Nanny Faye Chrisley is a total dog lover, and totally can’t hide it.
In one episode of Chrisley Knows Best, Nanny Faye has had enough with Todd Chrisley’s rude remarks about her dog, Miley. "I would never leave her here with that hater," she says, as she struggles to find a place for Miley to stay while she goes on a trip. "She has to stay where she can watch the Hallmark channel because she has separation anxiety." And when Todd kept harassing her about Miley? Nanny Faye stood her ground. "One damn thing about it, you ain’t my boss, and I’ll do what I please," she proclaimed.
Nanny Faye has also shown Miley some love on social media. "I love my little Miley," she gushed an Instagram post of her and her pooch. She really does!
Nanny Faye Chrisley had a cancer scare
Most fans of Chrisley Knows Best know that Julie Chrisley, Todd Chrisley’s wife — and oftentimes the only voice of reason on the show — had a long battle with breast cancer. Julie obviously survived, but she had to undergo surgery and attend many doctor’s appointments to get healthy, as noted by Tennessean. So, when Todd heard that his own mother, Nanny Faye Chrisley, might have the same thing, he understandably was concerned.
It was on Season 4 of Chrisley Knows Best that Nanny Faye had her cancer scare. Julie called Todd to tell him that she took Nanny Faye to the hospital to run tests because the doctors found a lump in her breast. Obviously, everyone was worried, but the doctors ran tests right away.
The family didn’t have to wait long to find out that the tests came back negative, and Nanny Faye didn’t have breast cancer. Still, it was a trying time for the Chrisley clan, given the family’s history with the disease. That couldn’t have been easy for the doting grandmother to deal with.
Nanny Faye Chrisley’s home was foreclosed on for a surprising reason
When you watch Chrisley Knows Best, you might assume that the family has never had money issues, but that couldn’t be further than the truth. In fact, there was once a time when Nanny Faye Chrisley’s home was foreclosed on because of the Chrisleys’ financial problems. Given how rich the family looks on television, that might seem a bit hard to believe — but it’s true.
In 2014, Radar Online obtained official court documents, which proved that the U.S. Bank National Association and Homebanc Mortgage Loan started the foreclosure process on Nanny Faye’s home. The bank reportedly alleged that Todd Chrisley defaulted on a $362,300 home loan, missing $33,533.38 in payments. Perhaps that’s the reason why Nanny Faye seemed like she lived with her son and his family for a while?
Fortunately everything worked out, as Chrisley Knows Best fans have seen Nanny Faye living in her own home, but still regularly visiting her son. It makes you wonder how much the Chrisley family is really worth.
Nanny Faye Chrisley learned to swim later in life
Nanny Faye Chrisley is very wise, and has been through a lot in life. But interestingly enough, for as long as she’s lived, she never learned to swim. That was something that the Chrisley family had to rectify, for sure.
To that end, in Season 7 of Chrisley Knows Best, Chase Chrisley tried to teach Nanny Faye tried to learn how to swim, but it wasn’t working. But, once Chase hired a different swim teacher for his grandmother, she seemed pumped about learning. When the very attractive instructor walked in, shirtless, Nanny Faye’s face lit up, and she couldn’t help but gasp, "oh Lord," as he walked towards her. "This is the best lesson I’ve ever had," she gushed. Grandma has no shame!
Nanny Faye later shared a post on her Instagram page of her and her chiseled swim instructor, proving that it really was the most exciting swim lesson she’s ever had. And while swimming may not be in the cards for Nanny Faye, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like to look good while at the pool or beach.
Nanny Faye Chrisley loves her grandchildren
On Chrisley Knows Best, Nanny Faye Chrisley often picks on her grandchildren, or bosses them around. But even though Nanny Faye can be quite feisty, she’s also a total softy — especially when it comes to her grandkids, who she clearly loves dearly.
Taking to Instagram, Nanny Faye shared a sweet photo of Chase and Savannah Chrisley leaning in for a hug from their grandma. "I just love my grandchildren…but I don’t always like them," she hilariously captioned the photo. Then, remaining true to her sassy form, Nanny Faye also gave a special shoutout to Savannah on Instagram. "I love my granddaughter @savannahchrisley so much, she checks on me three or four times a day," she captioned a photo of her granddaughter looking gorgeous. "I mean, it’s a little much because I’m not that old but I love her with all my heart."
Honestly, Nanny Faye’s Instagram account might just be the best out of all the Chrisley family, because even though she loves her grandkids, she still keeps it real.
Nanny Faye Chrisley has a knack for cooking
Fans of Chrisley Knows Best probably wouldn’t be surprised if Nanny Faye Chrisley never cooked, and had chefs prepare her gourmet meals daily. After all, she is the queen of the family. But as it turns out, Nanny Faye has quite a knack for cooking and baking, especially classic southern meals.
In a clip promoting Julie Chrisley’s online cooking show, What’s Cooking With Julie Chrisley, Nanny Faye supervised Julie’s attempt to master her biscuits and gravy recipe — and didn’t let Julie off the hook when she made mistakes. Specifically, Nanny Faye said Julie was folding the dough too roughly. "You learn over time," she explained. "The more you make, the better you get." Then, when the dough was ready to be cut, Nanny Faye handed Julie a rolling pin to use, which confused Julie because Nanny Faye never uses a rolling pin. "I don’t have to, beginners need to," Nanny Faye hilariously answered.
At the end of the segment, when Todd taste-tested the biscuits, they were so good he didn’t believe Julie had made them. That goes to show that Nanny Faye has true prowess in the kitchen.