For eight seasons, between the years 1984 and 1992, TV audiences were enthralled by the story told by Who’s The Boss?: A retired baseball player and widower (Tony Danza) decides to leave Brooklyn with his young daughter (Alyssa Milano) and become the live-in housekeeper for a high-powered executive and divorced single mom, Angela (Judith Light), who lives with her young son (Danny Pintauro) and fiesty mother (Katherine Helmond) in tony Connecticut.
At a time when the television landscape was dominated by sudsy shows like Dallas and Dynasty, or action-y hits like The A-Team or Magnum P.I., Who’s the Boss? gave audiences something entirely new, flipping gender stereotypes and reflecting a new vision of what a modern family could look like.
When Entertainment Weekly brought the gang back together, it became clear that this is more than just a tight-knit group of co-workers — this is a family of their very own. Read on for just one example.
For the full reunion, watch EW Reunites: The Cast Of Who’s the Boss? here on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
DANZA: They [Milano and Pinaturo] were just kids when they started — you got to take care of them.
LIGHT: Tony really took responsibility. On Wednesday mornings we’d come in, and he’d have read all the newspapers and do current events with the kids. The mensches they are today have a lot to do with that. We were their home away from home. They had their own parents, and their parenting was great. But Tony felt very strongly that when you came to work, this is the way it’s going to be done.
MILANO: I say all the time that these guys were as responsible for raising me as my own parents. We were together from the time I was 11 till I was 19 years old! That’s your entire formative years!
PINTAURO: I was required to bring in all my report cards. It was like my parents! It was important that I do good in school so that when I brought it in—
DANZA: Do well.
PINTAURO: Do well.
MILANO: [Laughs] And there it is!
PINTAURO: From the moment the show started, it literally felt like family. I had this other family to hang out with and make family memories with. [To Light and Helmond] I used to give you both mom and grandmom gifts to you for Christmas every year. They were family. They still are.
DANZA: One of the things I’m most proud of is these two [Milano and Pintauro]. It’s tough! Kids and TV shows — who knows what happens? And we had two of the best.