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On the hit sitcom, Growing Pains, actress Joanna Kerns played Maggie Seaver, one of the most popular television mothers of the late 1980s.
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and Hill Street Blues. In 1985 she struck gold with the role of Maggie Seaver on Growing Pains. The show ran for seven years.
Actress, director. Born on February 12, 1953, in San Francisco, California. On the hit sitcom, Growing Pains, Joanna Kerns played one of the most popular television mothers of the late 1980s. She grew up in an athletic family and seriously pursued gymnastics for a time. Her older sister Donna de Varona won two gold medals at the 1964 Olympics in swimming.
After a knee injury in 1970 ended her gymnastics career, Joanne Kerns decided to try dancing and then moved on to acting. The first parts she landed were commercials and in 1974 she met her future husband, producer Richard Kerns, on a car commercial shoot. Two years later, the couple married. After that, her acting career began to pick up with guest appearances on Starsky and Hutch, Charlie??s Angels, Laverne & Shirley, Three??s Company, and Hill Street Blues. She even landed a lead role on the 1984 series The Four Seasons, which was based on the 1981 film of the same name.
While her first series didn??t last long, Joanna Kerns struck gold with her next project. On Growing Pains, which debuted in 1985, she delighted viewers with her portrayal of warm and sometimes frazzled working mom Maggie Seaver opposite Alan Thicke as her psychologist husband with Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, and Jeremy Miller as their three children. Ashley Johnson joined the series later on as their fourth child. Ironically as the series was beginning, Kerns?? marriage was ending. The couple divorced that same year.
The show ran for seven years as audiences tuned in to watch the Seaver family grow up and overcome life??s many challenges. After it ended in 1992, Joanna Kerns continued to act, appearing in several television movies and reprising her role as Maggie Seaver for The Growing Pains Movie (2000) and Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers (2004).
In recent years, Joanna Kerns has spent more of her time working behind the camera. She has directed episodes of many popular television programs, including Ally McBeal, The Division, Scrubs, Ghost Whisperer, and ER.
Joanna Kerns has a daughter, Ashley, from her first marriage. She is currently married to Marc Appleton.
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In the 1980s, TV moms began juggling family life with professional careers. Phylicia Rashad played lawyer and mom to a big family on The Cosby Show, and Candace Bergen portrayed a TV news anchor who has an unplanned pregnancy out of wedlock. Judith Light played a busy, single advertising executive on Who's the Boss, and even hired a male housekeeper—who happened to be a single dad. Joanna Kerns played the much-loved mom on Growing Pains, whose husband worked from home so she could go back to working as a reporter. This bending of gender roles reflected more modern family structures, and the new choices that women faced.
TV Moms: 1980s 11 people in this group
Browse our collection of Growing Pains cast members and learn more about Alan Thicke, known to 1980s television audiences as Dr. Jason Seaver; Joanna Kerns, the face of Maggie Seaver; Tracey Gold, who played the Seavers' daughter, Carol; and Kirk Cameron, who played Mike, the elder brother of the Seaver clan.
Cast of Growing Pains 4 people in this group
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