The Facts of Life cast: Where are they now?
There's a place you gotta go for learning all you oughta know. Catch up with the cast of The Facts of Life.
You take the good, you take the bad
The Facts of Life, a spin-off of the popular series Diff'rent Strokes, about an all-girls boarding school in upstate New York, premiered on Aug. 24, 1979.
With actress Charlotte Rae playing housemother Edna Garrett, audiences were introduced to a cast of blossoming young talent including Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn, Lisa Whelchel, and Nancy McKeon.
Future stars like George Clooney, Molly Ringwald, Mackenzie Astin, and Cloris Leachman also joined the show throughout its run.
Find out where all your favorites are today.
Charlotte Rae (Edna Garrett)
Charlotte Rae, who played housekeeper Edna Garrett in the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, suggested the spin-off, as Mrs. Garrett left her duties with the Drummond family to take charge of the young ladies at Eastland Academy. Rae was on The Facts of Life for the first seven seasons and a special two-part season 8 episode. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy award for her role.
Rae died on Aug. 5, 2018, at the age of 92.
Kim Fields (Tootie Ramsey)
Kim Fields played the lovable Tootie on The Facts of Life, the youngest student at Eastland Academy. Fields already had other acting credits to her name by the time she booked the sitcom, including playing Janet Jackson's best friend Kim on Good Times and having already played Tootie (Arnold Jackson's girlfriend) on Diff'rent Strokes.
Her mom, Chip Fields, played her onscreen mother on The Facts of Life.
Continuing in show business after the series ended, Fields is an actress and producer who starred on many popular shows of the time, including Mork & Mindy, 227, Martin, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She's best known for starring on another hit show featuring an all-female cast: Living Single. Fields played Regine Hunter on the long running series costarring Queen Latifah.
Fields also dabbled in reality television, joining the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta for the show's eighth season in 2015, and Dancing With the Stars in 2016.
She teamed up with her former Facts of Life costars for a Lifetime holiday movie, Light Up My Christmas (2019), and an ABC special Live in Front of a Studio Audience in 2021; had guest appearances on Cobra Kai and Insecure; and snagged a main role on the Netflix sitcom The Upshaws, costarring Wanda Sykes.
Lisa Whelchel (Blair Warner)
Lisa Whelchel got her start in the entertainment industry as part of The New Mickey Mouse Club, appearing on the show from 1977 to 1978. The following year, she landed the role of spoiled Blair Warner on The Facts of Life, a role she returned to in a TV movie, The Facts of Life Reunion, in 2001.
She has mostly left acting since then, becoming a best selling (but controversial) author. She also appeared on Survivor: Philippines in 2012.
Whelchel reunited with former Facts of Life costars in Light Up My Christmas in 2019, as well as in the ABC special, and is the host of Collector's Call, a show in which she travels the country and peruses the collections of the country's most prolific collectors.
Nancy McKeon (Jo Polniaczek)
Nancy McKeon started out working on soap operas, including Another World and The Secret Storm. She joined the cast of The Facts of Life during the show's sophomore season as transfer student Jo Polniaczek.
After the series ended, McKeon continued acting, even auditioning to play Monica Geller on Friends. She worked on shows, including The Division, Sonny With a Chance, and Dancing With the Stars.
McKeon reunited with her former Facts of Life costars in Lifetime's Light Up My Christmas (2019), and also starred on the Amazon Prime horror series Panic in 2021.
Mindy Cohn (Natalie Green)
Mindy Cohn was discovered by Charlotte Rae when she visited her Bel-Air high school while researching The Facts of Life. Cohn played Natalie Green for the show's entire run.
Cohn continued acting when the show ended in 1988. She starred on a variety of shows including Charles in Charge, 21 Jump Street, Hot in Cleveland, and The Middle.
She also worked as a voice actor in several Scooby-Doo! videos, bringing Velma Dinkley to life from 2002 to 2015.
Cohn appeared in Light Up My Christmas in 2019 for Lifetime, and has continued to find roles in a variety of TV and film projects.
Molly Ringwald (Molly Parker)
Before Molly Ringwald became the queen of big-screen teen dramas, she played Molly on the first season of The Facts of Life. Her role was written off, putting her on the path to superstardom.
It wasn't long before Ringwald became a teen icon and a member of the infamous Brat Pack. She starred in hit films, including Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986).
Ringwald played a recurring role on the hit CW series Riverdale; had a supporting role in The Kissing Booth films (2018–2021); and earned credits for Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and season 2 of Feud: Bette and Joan.
Cloris Leachman (Beverly Ann Stickle)
Cloris Leachman was already a recognized name in Hollywood when she started working on The Facts of Life. She had worked on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off, Phyllis. She starred on the sitcom from 1986 to 1988 as Beverly Ann Stickle.
Leachman continued to have a prolific career in the years after The Facts of Life, starring on Raising Hope from 2010 to 2014, and taking on a supporting role on American Gods. Leachman died in 2021 at the age of 94.
Mackenzie Astin (Andy Moffett Stickle)
As the son of Patty Duke and John Astin, Mackenzie Astin was always destined for Hollywood. He joined the cast of The Facts of Life in 1985 as Cloris Leachman's adopted son, Andy Moffett Stickle.
Astin, whose brother is actor Sean Astin, worked on a series of films and television shows since The Facts of Life concluded. He has had roles on Scandal, The Magicians, Homeland, You, and Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.
George Clooney (George Burnett)
Before George Clooney became a superstar, he played handyman George Burnett on two seasons of The Facts of Life.
After his stint on the show, Clooney appeared on The Golden Girls and had a supporting role on Roseanne. He hit the big time when he landed the role of Dr. Doug Ross on the medical procedural ER from 1994 to 1999.
He went on to become a Hollywood leading man starring in hit films like One Fine Day (1996), Out of Sight (1998), the Ocean's trilogy (2001–2007), and Ticket to Paradise (2022). He won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor in 2005 for Syriana and Best Picture in 2012 for producing Argo.