Best Known For
Actress Nancy McKeon played Jo on the long-running 1980s sitcom The Facts of Life.
Nancy McKeon - Full Biography (45:14)
She became a star when she was just 14 on The Facts of Life, but she quickly learned that life can be tough. This profile of Nancy McKeon follows the popular performer's career through all its triumphs and disappointments.
Actress Lisa Whelchel, best known for playing the role of Blair Warner, describes a storyline that was rejected on "The Facts of Life."
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McKeon made her feature film debut in 1992 with a role in a drama about teenage runaways called Where the Day Takes You with Will Smith, Sean Astin and Ricki Lake, among others. In 1995, McKeon returned to series television with Can't Hurry Love. The show focused on a group of friends living in New York City and was considered by some to be a copy of the popular sitcom Friends.
McKeon objected to this comparison, saying that "Just because we have young people on the show who are friends with each other doesn't make us a Friends copycat. If anything, we're more like a younger Murphy Brown, because we have the office setting." The cast also included Mariska Hargitay and Louis Mandylor. The sitcom was canceled after its first season.
A few years later, McKeon had better luck with The Division. This drama, which aired on the Lifetime cable network, featured a group of female police officers. McKeon starred as Inspector Jinny Exstead and Bonnie Bedelia played her boss. Other cast members included Lisa Vidal, Tracey Needham and Jon Hamm. The show also provided McKeon with an opportunity to work behind the camera, serving as a director in several episodes. During the run of the show, McKeon turned down an opportunity to reunite with her The Facts of Life co-stars for a 2001 television movie.
After The Division was canceled in 2004, McKeon made guest appearances on such shows as Without a Trace. Most recently, she has a recurring role on the tween sitcom Sonny with a Chance starring Demi Lovato.
McKeon has been married to Marc Andrus since 2003. The couple has two children together.
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Join Biography.com in a nostalgic look back at the popular 1980s sitcom set in an all-girls boarding school, The Facts of Life. Learn more about the cast of the series, including Lisa Whelchel, the face of Blair Warner; Kim Fields, who played Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey; Mindy Cohn (Natalie Green); Charlotte Rae (Edna Garrett); Nancy McKeon (Jo Polniaczek); and George Clooney (George Burnett). Explore this collection for full biographies, photos, videos and more.
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