The Facts of Life is a television sitcom in America that is created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon. It was a spin-off of “Different Strokes,” and it originally aired on NBC from 1979 to 1988, making it one of the longest sitcoms in the 1980s. The television series revolves around the life of Edna Garrett, played by Charlotte Rae, who becomes a housemother and as well as a dietitian from the second season onward at the fictional Eastland School.
This television show has become a staple in many American homes back in the ‘80s. It has become a habit of teens every week to sit down at the television and watch as Mrs. Garret teach the girls at Eastland School. Most of the cast of The Facts of Life continue to work today, while others found other careers. If you’ve watched this television show back in the ‘80s, where do you think are the cast of it is now? If you’re curious, read on as we’re giving you details on what happened to the cast of The Facts of Life.
1. Charlotte Rae – Mrs. Garrett
In the TV series, Mrs. Garrett was like the godmother that everyone wished they had growing up. Charlotte Rae personified Mrs. Edna Garrett with her caring eyes and words of wisdom. But unlike the character, Charlotte Rae is more than a housemother in New York. She was a comedian, a Broadway actor, and a singer with a career spanning six decades.
When Charlotte Rae left The Facts of Life, she became a voice actor in the Tom and Jerry: The Movie. In addition to that, she also starred in Off-Broadway productions and appeared in some of The Facts of Life reunions. She passed away in 2018 at the age of 92 after fighting bone cancer.
2. Lisa Whelchel – Blair Warner
Lisa Whelchel played the character of the smart Blair Warner for the whole nine seasons of The Facts of Life. She was regarded as the ultimate ‘80s teen queen with her success in school, popularity, spoiled attitude, and vanity. When the TV show ended, she dropped the teen queen title and focused more on her faith. She released a Christian pop album in 1984. Lisa has been an inspirational speaker at churches and conferences since 2004, and she has written ten books. In 2012, she was chosen the fan-favorite on Survivor, a reality competition show.
3. Kim Fields – Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey
Kim Fields played the character of Tootie in the TV show. She was one of the original characters from season 1 who starred in all nine seasons. In the show, she looked innocent, but her gossiping is what usually put the group, the core four, Tootie, Natalie, Blair, and Jo, in trouble. After the TV show, Kim Fields continued on with her career. She starred in the famous sitcom “Living Single” in the ‘90s, and also achieved her degree in directing and had directed several sitcoms of Tyler Perry.
4. Mindy Cohn – Natalie Green
Mindy Cohn played the character of Natalie Green in the TV show. If Blair was the vain one in the core four, Natalie, on the other hand, was the confident one. Her unwavering confidence with her plus-size figure made a lot of viewers admire her for that. After playing a sitcom character, Mindy Cohn became a voice-over actor. She voiced the cartoon character Velma in the popular show Scooby-Do for 13 years, which was from 2002 to 2015. She also appeared in some series, including The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Hot in Cleveland, and The Middle.
5. Nancy McKeon – Joanne “Jo” Polniaczek
In the ‘80s up to the 2000s, tomboys were a popular character in TV shows and movies. They were the girls who always hang with the guys. Every group had one of them, and this also includes the group in The Facts of Life. Nancy McKeon played the role of Jo from the second season up to its final season. After The Facts of Life, Nancy starred in several television films in the ‘80s and ‘90s. In addition to that, she also portrayed characters in short-lived series, such as The Division and Sonny with a Chance.
6. George Clooney – George Burnett
George Clooney’s time on the series was short-lived, but portraying the role of George Burnett made a huge impact on fans. The character was a handsome handyman that was hired to repair the bakery of Mrs. Garnett called Edna’s Edibles after it burned down. After the eighth season, George Clooney left The Facts of Life, but most people know that his career did not stop there. All throughout the ‘90s, he became more famous. He starred in many hit films and even portrayed Doug Ross in the medical drama titled ER.
7. Mackenzie Astin – Andy Moffett
Mackenzie Astin played the role of Andy in The Facts of Life. Andy was wise beyond his years as he often helped the girls with their problems. He has an upbeat attitude even with his troubling life. His character has won the hearts of everyone in the four seasons that he appeared in the TV series. After The Facts of Life had ended, Mackenzie Astin has played many reoccurring characters in famous shows like Scandal and Homeland. Aside from that, he also appeared on LOST, Grey’s Anatomy, and House.
8. Cloris Leachman – Beverly Ann Stickle
When Mrs. Garrett departed in season 8 of the TV show, she chose Cloris Leachman to replace her as housemother and Edna’s sister, Beverly Ann. Cloris Leachman has had one of the longest-running careers in Hollywood. She was awarded an Emmy in 2002 for her role as Grandma Ida in Malcolm in the Middle, which was her fourth decade of winning an Emmy Award. In addition to that, she also starred in several movies, including Sky High and Longest Yard.
9. Felice Schachter – Nancy Olsen
When the TV series first aired, there were some main characters that attended Eastland but were gradually written out of the series when it started to focus on the four main students. Nancy Olsen, who was played by Felice Schachter, was one of them. After she left The Facts of Life, her acting career never took off. She has worked on different productions, including The Gnomes’ Great Adventure and Magic Island.
10. Julie Piekarski – Sue Ann Weaver
Sue Ann Weaver is another Eastland student who was written off the series by the third season. This character was played by Julie Piekarski. She was typically in competition with Blair for boys. After her role in The Facts of Life, Julie’s career unfortunately never led her to fame. She took a break from acting to focus on raising her kids.
These are some of the updates on the cast of The Facts of Life. Have you watched this TV series back in the ‘80s? Who was your favorite character?