She was TV’s consummate rich bitch, but today Lisa Whelchel — best known as the fluffy-haired, cashmere-hoarding Blair Warner from The Facts of Life — is happily living a life that would have her sitcom counterpart reaching for the Valium: She’s a pastor’s wife who’s homeschooled their three children in Santa Clarita, Calif. Whelchel just authored a new parenting guide, Creative Correction (sample advice: ”Why not ‘spank’ your [lying] child’s tongue with a drop of Tabasco sauce?”), and she’ll star in a Facts of Life reunion movie next year on ABC. With Facts currently enjoying a renascent on Nick at Nite, EW decided to check in with the former three-time Harvest Queen from the Eastland School for Girls.
What would Blair be doing today?
She’s probably been married quite a few times, with some children that are little playthings that she has somebody else raising. But she probably still has the same hairdo.
Why did Blair’s boyfriends all have that same Ken-doll look?
Maybe the common denominator is they all look like her — because she was in love with herself.
How come none of the cast ended up with George Clooney [who played carpenter George Burnett in season 7]?
I think I messed up there. I didn’t realize he was going to grow up and be so handsome. I think I would have worn makeup on the set more often.
What’s the premise of the reunion movie?
They’ve actually talked to [Nancy McKeon] about doing a cameo in a coffin, because the show would revolve around Jo’s funeral. Which, if Nancy wants to put the Jo character to death, I guess that’s the way to do it.
Have your own kids seen the show?
They have. They say, ”Mo-om! You wouldn’t let me get away with acting like that!” I don’t tell them how fun it was to act that way.
What are the advantages of homeschooling over a boarding school like Eastland?
Being able to shape and mold their character. Next year, they’ll be motor-home-schooled because we’re gonna get an RV and spend a year going across America.
What would Blair think of this plan?
Oh, I don’t think any RV would be big and gaudy enough for her.