Cast of ‘Step By Step’ Reunites & Shares Memories (They Lit Cody on Fire?!) at Hollywood Show

STEP BY STEP, clockwise from lower left: Christopher Catile, Staci Keanan, Angela Watson, Suzanne Somers, Patrick Duffy, Brandon Call, Christine Lakin, Josh Byrne, 1991-98.
© Warner Bros. Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

The cast of Step By Step gathered at the Hollywood Show last night in Burbank, California, and shared their favorite memories, as well as, reflected fondly on their former cast member and friend, the late Suzanne Somers. Taking the stage were one Foster and three Lamberts — Patrick Duffy (who played Frank Lambert), Staci Keanan (Dana Foster), Christine Lakin (Alicia ‘Al’ Lambert) and Sasha Mitchell (Cody Lambert).

The sitcom was a modern Brady Bunch as it followed Frank (Patrick Duffy) and Carol (Suzanne Somers), two single parents with three kids each, who wed and formed their blended family. Step By Step  ran for seven seasons from 1991-1998.

Carol’s kids (or the Foster family) were Dana, Karen (Angela Watson) and Mark (Christopher Castile).

Frank’s kids (or the Lambert family) were J.T. (Brandon Call), Al and Cody.

STEP BY STEP, from left: Josh Byrne, Christohper Castile, Angela Watson; back from left: Staci KEanan, Sasha Mitchell, Christine Lakin, Patrick Duffy, Suzanne Somers, Brandon Call, 1991-98.

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Talking about their favorite episode …

Patrick Duffy: [When we went] to Disneyland, everyone was packing bathing suits. I packed a suitcase filled with Whiskey. I had an entire bar. A few pairs of jeans and a T-shirt. People came to my room after we got there. I figured you couldn’t get a good drink in Mouseland.

Staci Keanan: I was having a moment at that time. I thought I was too cool for Disneyland. So I stayed in my room, cranked up the air conditioning to 50 and just read Helter Skelter. I was just too cool. It was so stupid. What was I thinking?  Why didn’t I ride every ride?

Patrick Duffy: Staci, did you forget we snuck you into Treasure Island so you could drink and dance?

Christine Lakin: That was me!

Patrick Duffy: That was you! That’s even worse!

Staci Keanan: I did some of that, too. When you’re at Disneyland, they assign you someone. They’re supposed to be with you. I wasn’t sure if they were to help us or rat us out if we were doing something bad. We tried to lose them.

STEP BY STEP, Sasha Mitchell, Patrick Duffy, 'Great Expectations,' (Season 3, Episode 22, aired May 6, 1994), 1991-98.

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Having no shame and those things they did to Sasha Mitchell (who played Cody) …

Patrick Duffy: I don’t think you can do funny comedy unless you have no shame. Suzanne [Somers] was that person. She was absolutely fearless. We did things to Sasha [back then] that we’d be arrested for today. Once, we basically lit him on fire. He had this suit on. In the script, something blew up in our back yard. He came in with smoke all around him.

DALLAS, from left, Sasha Mitchell, Larry Hagman, 1978-91 (1990 photo).

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On if Patrick recommended Sasha for Step By Step because of Dallas (pictured above) …

Sasha also played the illegitimate first-born son of J.R. Ewing and his long-ago girlfriend Vanessa Beaumont on Dallas. The drama was on for almost a decade before Sasha was added to the cast of Dallas.

Patrick: Nope. Sasha got everything he got all by himself. I’m the last to know. I don’t involve myself in production at all. I never made a suggestion at Dallas. Not even in the reboot.

Sasha: (Wryly) They didn’t ask if I show up on time?

STEP BY STEP, Sasha Mitchell, Angela Watson, Staci Keanan, 1991-98

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Sasha and Staci on their characters’ relationship (pictured left to right Sasha Michell, Angela Watson, Staci Keanan) …

Sasha: I love working with Staci. She’s really funny, caustic but funny. She killed me. Christine, too.  

Staci: I think it was a challenge for [our directors]. Cody is over a foot taller than me – especially when I wore flats. To get us into the same frame must have been a challenge – especially when Sasha threw his arms out? He’s got a – foot wingspan!

Christine: Step by Step was the first series I’d ever done. I was the target audience for the show. I was so young I was suddenly sitting next to the girl from My Two Dads. We were on the Warner Bros. lot. I’d see George Clooney [ER] playing basketball and seeing the cast of Friends.

STEP BY STEP, Patrick Duffy, Suzanne Somers, 1991-98.

© Warner Bros. Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

On working with Suzanne Somers and what they learned from her given the ups and downs of her career …

Christine Lakin: There were many things along the way that I learned from her. Suzanne was a real pioneer in branding herself. That’s something that’s talked a lot about today. Actors have businesses outside of what they do. She was doing it before then. She talked about her life, her books; she had the Thigh Master, she had a jewelry line and did things in the health and beauty industry.  For me it was very inspiring to watch another woman go out as a businesswoman to use her platform and voice to do other things. I think Staci and I saw her as a role model, someone very smart. We got to see that from the inside. You can do anything. You can be anything you want to be. I really admire her for that.

Staci Keanan: I still cook from her cookbooks. I grew up with pasta sauce from a jar. I learned how to make real tomato sauce from Suzanne.

STEP BY STEP, Angela Watson, Staci Keanan, Suzanne Somers, Patrick Duffy, 1991-98.

© Warner Bros. Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

In the last episode, the house was up for sale; there was supposed to be a real final episode.

Staci: It was supposed to be Dana and Rich getting married. Dana and Rich were a couple. Frank was going to walk Dana down the aisle. As the bride, I got to work with the costumer and the colors. We had multiple dresses. I as so disappointed! I was so looking forward to it. It was so devastating. We were cut off three episodes short.

Christine (pictured below): We only knew two weeks before. We thought it was going to be more like five.

STEP BY STEP, Christine Lakin, 1991-98. photo:

Credit: Mario Casilli/TV Guide/courtesy Everett Collection

On a reunion special or reboot of the series …

Christine: I’ve got a great pitch for a reunion. I think two or three of the kids have to get back together because it hasn’t worked out with their partners and they have all these kids to raise. Patrick can recur or be on as often as he wants. He can live in a van …Step by Step started when people weren’t talking about divorce or blended families. Now we see all kinds of families. Friends who are families.

STEP BY STEP, clockwise from lower left: Christopher Castile, Suzanne Somers, Angela Watson, Brandon Call, Patrick Duffy, Staci Keanan, Christine Lakin, Josh Byrne, 1991-98.

© Warner Bros. Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection