"The Facts of Life" first aired over four decades ago, and even though it did not show much promise in the first season because it had too many cast, the show eventually found its voice and turned out to be a true classic.
The first episode of the 30-minute show, "The Facts of Life," first aired on August 24, 1979. After nine seasons and 201 episodes, the show aired its last episode on May 7, 1988.
The classic situation comedy series focused on the life of a group of young girls who were coming of age at boarding school. It taught positive messages such as the importance of making good choices, facing the consequences of one's actions, and being honest.
From left: George Clooney, Nancy McKeon, Mackenzie Astin, Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn, and Cloris Leachman in the middle in a promotional photo for "The Facts of Life" | Source: Getty Images
As the show picked up the pace with fans, it was nominated 17 times in different awards and categories and took six wins home. Some of its cast members, like Taliesin Jaffe and Kim Fields, also won some awards.
From Mindy Cohn, Lisa Welchel, Charlotte Rae, and George Clooney, here are the details of what the cast of "The Facts of Life" have been doing with their lives in the past three decades.
Nancy McKeon, Mindy Cohn, Charlotte Rae, Lisa Whelchel, and Kim Fields on the set of "The Facts of Life" | Source: Getty Images
CHARLOTTE RAE AS EDNA GARRETT
Charlotte Rae played the role of the housekeeper, Edna Garrett, on "Diff'rent Strokes" and suggested the spin-off known as "The Facts of Life," where she also took on the same name.
This time, she cared for the young ladies at a boarding school. Rae was on the show for the first seven seasons and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
It is worthy of note that she was already a famous actress before she joined the show as she was a comedienne, a spokesperson for Mr. Muscle oven cleaner, and had starred in "Car 54, Where Are You?," "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom," "Good Times," and more.
Charlotte Rae on the set of "The Facts of Life" | Source: Getty Images
After leaving the series, she returned to the stage and starred in "Tom and Jerry: The Movie" and "You Don't Mess with the Zohan." In 2015, Rae retired after starring in "Ricki and the Flash."
For 35 years, she was married to John Strauss, and they divorced in 1976 after he asked for an open marriage, but she refused. However, she stayed friends with him and his new partner.
They had only one son, and her ex-husband died in 2011, following a prolonged battle with Parkinson's disease. On August 5, 2018, Rae died at 92 after being diagnosed with bone cancer.
KIM FIELDS AS DOROTHY 'TOOTIE' RAMSEY
Kim Fields was nine when she was booked for this show and played the role of a 12-year-old. The actress, born on May 12, 1969, starred in all 201 episodes of "The Facts of Life."
Fields continued acting and also became a director and producer. She has starred in "Mork & Mindy," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, "Living Single," "227," "Light Up My Christmas," "Martin," and more.
Kim Fields on the set of "The Facts of Life" | Source: Getty Images
Besides acting, she joined reality television shows such as "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" and "Dancing with the Stars." Fields also married twice.
Fields' first marriage was to Johnathon Franklin Freeman in 1995, and they divorced in 2001. In 2007, she married Christopher Morgan, and they have two children.
LISA WHELCHEL AS BLAIR WARNER
Lisa Welchel had just joined the entertainment industry one year before she played the role of Blair Warner on "The Facts of Life." Her first role was when she was 12, and she played the Mouseketeer in "The New Mickey Mouse Club."
After "The Facts of Life," she not only continued her acting career but also became a best-selling, controversial book author. Whelchel was married twice and had three children.
NANCY MCKEON AS JO POLNIACZEK
Nancy McKeon worked mainly in soap operas before she entered the show as a transfer student. She also starred in several television movies after the show ended.
In recent times, she has starred in "Sonny With a Chance," "Love Begins," "Dancing with the Stars," "You Light Up My Christmas," "Animaniacs," and Panic.
In 2003, the actress married actor Marc Andrus, and between 2004 and 2006, they welcomed their two daughters.
Nancy McKeon on the set of "Dancing with the Stars" on October 2, 2018 | Source: Getty Images
MINDY COHN AS NATALIE GREEN
Mindy Cohn was no actress when she joined the show. She made her acting debut on "The Facts of Life" after Rae discovered her at her high school during research for the show.
Cohn was never allowed to audition for other roles while on the show. After the show, she starred in "Charles in Charge," "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" "The Middle," "The Boy Who Could Fly," "Hot in Cleveland," and "21 Jump Street."
There is very little information about the actress's personal life. She was born on May 20, 1966, and has reportedly never been married and is the only one out of the four girls on the series who has never married nor had any children.
MOLLY RINGWALD AS MOLLY PARKER
Molly Ringwald started acting when she was five and had already released an album when she was six. Born on February 18, 1968, her role on "The Facts of Life" was written off after one season.
This paved the way for her to stardom as she was free to audition for other roles. She became a teen star and was part of the original infamous 'Brat Pack' that consisted of Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, and Andrew McCarthy.
She has starred in "Pretty in Pink," "The Breakfast Club," "Sixteen Candles," "The Kissing Booth," "Not Another Teen Movie," and more. Ringwald has three children with her second husband, to whom she is currently married.
CLORIS LEACHMAN AS BEVERLY ANN STICKLE
Cloris Leachman became one of the most known names in Hollywood and was already famous when she joined the show. She has starred in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and earned five Emmy nominations for her role.
Leachman also starred in "Phyllis," "A Brand New Life," "American Gods," "Malcolm in the Middle," "Raising Hope," and more. She was married to the producer and director George Englund for 26 years.
They had five children before their divorce. The actress and Miss Chicago in 1946 died at 94 on January 27, 2021. Her death was caused by complications from a stroke with COVID-19 as a contributing factor.
Cloris Leachman on the set of "The Facts of Life" | Source: Getty Images
MACKENZIE ASTIN AS ANDY MOFFETT STICKLE
Born on May 12, 1973, Mackenzie Astin was born to be an actor as he came from a family of actors. His mother, Patty Duke, was the youngest person to ever win an Oscar in 1962 when she was 16.
His father, John Astin, is known for his role as Gomez Addams in "The Addams Family." After "The Facts of Life," he starred in "The Magicians," recurring roles on "Scandal," "You," "NCIS," "Homeland," and more. He has been married since April 2011.
Mackenzie Astin at the premiere of "The Loudest Voice" on June 24, 2019 | Source: Getty Images
GEORGE CLOONEY AS GEORGE BURNETT
When George Clooney joined the cast of "The Facts of Life," he was a handyman for two seasons. Before the show, he was already acting in some films and series.
After the show, he made his big break when he starred as Dr. Doug Ross in "ER." He soon went on to become an A-list celebrity in Hollywood.
The actor, who was born on May 6, 1961, has starred in "From Dusk Till Dawn," "One Fine Day," "Batman & Robin," "Out of Sight," "The Thin Red Line," "Ocean's Eleven," "Ocean's Twelve," "Ocean's Thirteen," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Up in the Air," and more.
In 2002, the award-winning actor directed his first movie, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and became a producer in 2007 with "Michael Clayton."
From 1989 to 1993, the actor married actress and director Talia Balsam, and they had no children at the time of their divorce.
In 2014, Clooney married British attorney and activist Amal Ramzi Alamuddin. On June 6, 2017, they welcomed their twins, a son Alexander who came two minutes before their daughter Ella.
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