Remember Jo Polniaczek from 'The Facts of Life'? The 52-year-old actress looks incredibly young
She was once quoted saying “Normally, I don’t watch myself because I’m not very objective.” The star, now 52 looks incredible despite trading in the spotlight for a more calm life as AmoMama finds out. From Stanton Daily’s report, we take you back two decades.
Even after appearing on The Secret Storm and Another World, Hollywood did not warm up to Nancy McKeon until 1980 when she stared on the second season of The Facts of Life as Jo Polniaczek. This role made her an overnight success and would propel her to acting glory for years.
Nancy’s character, a motorcycle-driving, bossy and short-tempered Jo became her signature and she quickly found her niche with a young audience. She would enjoy that space of the next eight years on the series and would have had any role she wanted thereafter. Instead, Nancy hung her boots and decided to play the role of a mother and wife in what most saw to be the peak of her career.
McKeon was born on April 4, 1966, in Westbury, New York to a travel agent father, Don, and a stay-at-home mother, Barbara, who dedicated her time raising both the actress and her brother Phillip. Philip’s piercing blue eyes and blond hair led the travel agency to push Don to have his son audition for acting.
The parents gave in to pressure and took Philip for auditions in a local theater with little Nancy tagging along. As Don told a TV guide, Nancy ended up getting the spot and thus her acting career kicked off.
“The strange thing is that the agent went down the line at this cattle call and picked Nancy but not Philip. Later Phillip got into it, too; but honestly, if they’d both been turned down that first day, we’d never have pursued it beyond that.”
The family of four packed and moved to Los Angeles after the children started appearing on TV commercials. Philip’s career flourished in LA but it took Nancy a while to find her footing. At the tender age of nine, she experienced her first career crisis when she thought that she would never take off in the new city. “I got very discouraged for a while; it was like starting over. People out here didn’t know me. I’d go on calls day after day after day for commercials, TV shows and movies, and nothing was coming for it.”
The actress finally caught a break when roles started opening up for her and her success almost rivaled her brother’s. In 2001, she decided to get off the screen and become a full-time mother to her two children. Although she made appearances on TV years later, the actress never made a real comeback.
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