Lisa Whelchel

Actress | Author | Speaker | Life Coach

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Facts of Life ever going to do a reunion show? We filmed “The Facts of Life” reunion movie for “The Wonderful World of Disney” on ABC in September of 2001 and it aired the following November. We had a fabulous time working together but we missed Nancy McKeon, “Jo,” who was unable to join us due to a scheduling conflict with her weekly cable series, “The Division.” (“Blair” was only half the fun without “Jo.”)

Do you stay in touch with the other girls? Other than seeing each other at an occasional function, our paths rarely cross. It’s kind of like high school. We were best of friends, but then our lives all went in different directions. We have fond memories and feelings but I’m rarely at the studios and they are rarely at the Little League fields. Nancy and I make an effort to stay in touch but with our busy lives that consists mostly of exchanging answering machine messages and promises to get together real soon.

What are the other girls doing? Charlotte Rae (Mrs. Garrett) is living half the time in New York City, which she absolutely loves. She is busy performing her one-woman show and the occasional Broadway play. Nancy McKeon (Jo) is dividing her time between working in Hollywood and living on a ranch in Texas.. She was married in 2002 and has two beautiful daughters. Kim Fields (Tootie) is busy with a new career as a director as well as producing project for her own production company. She is married with an adorable son. Mindy Cohn (Natale) is living a rich, full life while traveling abroad, doing voiceovers for cartoons, volunteering for fundraising and charity work, as well as continuing to work as an actress.

How was it working with George Clooney? Working with George was very fun. He was like a big brother to all of us and it was nice to have a guy around for a change. Between you and me, if I had known that he was going to turn out so well I might have worn makeup more often to rehearsals.

Do you have any advice for parents of children with ADD? Ever since I wrote about my son, Tucker’s, diagnosis of ADHD I have received numerous emails for advice from other parents. I wish I could be of more help but all I can offer is understanding and a few ideas that have worked for our family. My book, Creative Correction, was written from my own experiences as a mother desiring to train my son to be a happy, healthy young man who obeys God and his parents. Perhaps you will find a few tips that will prove effective for your family as well.

Would you let your children get into show business? Much to Clancy’s chagrin, the answer is, “No.” In my opinion, it is a lose-lose situation. Either the child is very successful at a young age and lacks the maturity to handle the fame, stress, freedom and money, not to mention, where do you go from being a millionaire at twelve? Or, they are not successful and are rejected day after day with the explanation, “You are too short, too fat, too skinny, or just plain, not good enough.” When Clancy was a child, I found outlets for her to exercise her gifts as an actress through homeschool plays, acting classes and church musicals. But it’s too risky to introduce business into the equation. Now that she’s an adult, she plans to pursue her dream in show business.

Where can I get a copy of the album you recorded, “All Because of You”? Other than on Ebay occasionally, I don’t know. I have a few copies myself but I’m collecting them to pass down to my grandchildren. I guess I better start collecting a few turntables while I’m at it! You can download the mp3 through the link in the Showbiz section of this website.

Do you plan to do any more acting in the future? I left show business after I had three children within three years to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. I loved acting and I’m grateful for all the opportunities I had but nothing came close to the joy of being a mother. Although, I’ve learned to never say never. I didn’t plan on writing books, either. Now that my children are grown, I’ve decided to throw my acting hat back in the ring and go another round in Hollywood. It’ll be fun to see what happens.

Was it fun fulfilling your longtime desire to be a contestant on “Survivor?” I don’t think “fun” is the word I would use to describe my experience. Those days on the island were the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It pushed me to my extreme limits physically, mentally, spiritually, and especially, emotionally. I’m so very grateful for the opportunity and I’m so glad I did it but I think it’s like childbirth…I may need to put a few years behind me and some perspective in front of me before I would ever consider doing it again.