Tootie, Natalie, Blair & Jo! Where Are The Girls of ‘Facts of Life’ Cast Today?

THE FACTS OF LIFE, Nancy McKeon, Kim Fields, Lisa Whelchel, Mindy Cohn, Charlotte Rae, (Season 5, 1984), 1979-88.
Embassy Pictures/Courtesy: Everett Collection

From that catchy opening theme song onward, this spinoff of Diff’rent Strokes was a welcome stop on any 1980s weekly TV viewing calendar. Nearly canceled after Season 1, the series hit its stride a year later with a more streamlined cast that would define the show, headed by Mrs. Garrett, housemother at the all-girls Eastland boarding school. The show’s refreshingly honest look at issues affecting teen girls remains an important aspect of its influence, but its warmth is its biggest calling card. After a few of the girls reunited on Drew Barrymore’s show and will be celebrating its 45th anniversary in August 2024 we thought it a good time to see what they are all up to.

Charlotte Rae

Charlotte Rae

Everett Collection; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

One of producer Norman Lear’s favorite actresses, Rae played Mrs. Edna Garrett through Diff’rent Strokes’ first season, and it was Rae herself who proposed the spinoff, starring in the first seven seasons of Facts. In 2015, Rae released her autobiography The Facts of My Life and co-starred in Ricki and the Flash. She passed away from bone cancer in 2018 at age 92.

Lisa Whelchel (60)

Lisa Whelchel

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After her start as a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club, Lisa Whelchel played preppy Blair Warner through all nine seasons of Facts. During the show’s run, she released a Christian pop album and was nominated for a Grammy. She went on to become a Christian author and speaker, as well as a contestant on Survivor: Philippines and appeared on the Life in Front of a Studio Audience version of her most well-known series. Currently, she hosts the hit series Collectors Call series on MeTV that will be returning for season 4 in April and also offers life coaching services.

Kim Fields (54)

Kim Fields

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“We are in trou-ble!” was Kim Fields’ catchphrase as the precocious, gossipy Tootie. Fields went on to star in the popular ’90s sitcom Living Single, then directed episodes of shows such as Kenan and Kel and Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns. She was featured on the 2015-16 season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, was a fan favorite on Dancing With The Stars, and recently starred on Netflix’s The Upshaws. Need a pick me up? Fields also runs a has a line of coffee.

Mindy Cohn (57)

Mindy Cohn

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After Facts producers toured Cohn’s school as research for the show, Charlotte Rae insisted the part of Natalie be written for Cohn, who reminded her of her childhood best friend. Cohn was the voice of Scooby-Doo’s Velma Dinkley from 2002 to 2015. After privately battling breast cancer in 2012, she is now cancer-free and will be starring alongside Hollywood icons Carol Burnett and Laura Dern in the new Apple+ Mini-series Palm Royale premiering in March.

Nancy McKeon (57)

Nancy McKeon

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Nancy McKeon’s “tomboy” Jo joined the cast at the start of Facts’ second season, cementing the show’s core group. McKeon later starred in over a dozen TV movies, in her own 1995-96 series Can’t Hurry Love and alongside Jean Smart in 1998’s Style & Substance. In 2018 she also danced with the stars, and in 2021 she was featured in Prime Video’s series Panic.

Before They Were Famous

George Clooney (62)

George Clooney now and then

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The two-time Oscar winner is definitely the biggest breakout star from the series. The relatively unknown Clooney came along in season 7 as handyman George. His big break came when he starred in the medical drama ER and the rest is history! Currently, the always-confirmed bachelor is settled down down with his wife Amal and their twins, living in the south of France.

Molly Ringwald (56)

Molly Ringwald

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Starring in the first season as Molly Parker, she was written out of the show after the first season and became a teen sensation in the John Hughes films of the ’80s like Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink. Later in her career, Ringwald went on to star in The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Riverdale along with a slew of other projects. Ringwald is currently starring in Fued: Swan vs. Capote as Johnny Carson’s socialite ex-wife.

Mackenzie Astin (50)

Mackenzie Astin now and then

This nepo baby is the half-brother of Sean Astin with parents Patty Duke and John Astin. Astin appeared starting at endof season 7 as foster child Andy who worked at Mrs. G’s boutique. Not only that, he was a hot teen idol cover fave of top ’80s teen mags like BOP and Tiger Beat. After Facts, he went on to star in a variety of roles starring alongside Kevin Spacey in Iron Will and Wyatt Earp with Kevin Costner and currently he has reoccurring roles in The Magicians and Blacklist.

’80s Where Are They Now
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’80s Where Are They Now

March 2023

Who can forget all the great TV shows, movies and music of the ‘80s? See what your favs are up to now!

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