ABC Press Kit:
SERIES: "THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY"
FEATURE: "The Facts of Life Reunion" -- Thirteen years later, Mrs. Garrett's "girls" have all grown into successful, independent women. After a stint in the Peace Corps with her husband, a widowed Mrs. Garrett is heading back to America, ready for a new life and new romance and also looking forward to seeing the girls again. Blair is wealthier than ever, after building a hotel empire with her husband, Tad. But she suspects he is having an affair. "Tootie," now preferring to be called by her real name, Dorothy, has forsaken her acting hopes to host her own talk show. Natalie is a dedicated TV news producer juggling an active love life with a frenetic work schedule that takes her all over the world. Jo, ever the free spirit, is a devoted cop, wife and mother.
It's been years since Natalie has had a Thanksgiving back in America, so she's talked all the girls and Mrs. Garrett into spending the holiday together back in Peekskill, NY. When Jo is unable to attend the reunion, her teenage daughter, Jamie, and husband, Rick, come instead. They're all in for a surprise when Natalie's not one but two boyfriends unexpectedly show up at the reunion. Trouble soon starts, as both men compete for Natalie's attention and exclusivity, so it's up to the girls to help solve Natalie's predicament. Over the course of the holiday the girls reveal to one another the personal troubles they face in their adult years and discover that, despite the time that has passed, they need each other's friendship more than ever.
AIRING: Sunday, November 18 (7:00-9:00p.m., ET)
STARRING: Mindy Cohn as Natalie Green, Kim Fields as Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey, Lisa Whelchel as Blair Warner and Charlotte Rae as Edna Garrett.
FEATURING: Mark Lutz as Harper, Barclay Hope as Robert, Joel Brooks as Raymond, Carl Marotte as Rick, Alexandra Johnson as Tisha, Mallory Margel as Jamie, Kevin Jubinville as Tad Warner, Joe Dinicol as Sam, Francois Klanfer as Chef, Sam Moses as the cab driver, Adam Reid as Donald, Ken Smith as the patron, John Bayliss as Davis, Jennifer Foster as Maggie Rhodes, Barry Stilwell as Officer Kendall, Karen Glave as the reviewer and Evan Caravela as Benjy.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Ilene Amy Berg
PRODUCER: Greg Copeland
TELEPLAY BY: Max Enscoe & Annie deYoung
STORY BY: Max Enscoe & Annie deYoung and Deborah Dean Davis
DIRECTED BY: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
MUSIC BY: Steve Dorff
EDITED BY: Ben Weissman
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Anthony Greco
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Lawrence Sher
COSTUME DESIGNER: Trysha Bakker
CASTING BY: Robin Cook, RDC Casting
MAKEUP BY: Katherine Southern
HAIR STYLIST: Cathy Shibley
SOUND MIXER: Greg Chapman
ORIGINATION: Toronto, Canada
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Berger Queen Productions in association with Laurence Mark Productions, Columbia/Tristar and Touchstone Television.
TV PARENTAL GUIDELINE: This program carries a TV-PG,D parental guideline.
ABC MEDIA RELATIONS: Mozell Miley, New York (212) 456-6444
Natalie Green in "The Facts of Life Reunion"
Mindy Cohn made her acting debut as the witty, outspoken Eastland Academy student, Natalie Green, in the hit comedy series "The Facts of Life." She was discovered while attending Westlake School for Girls in Bel Air, California, when actress Charlotte Rae and producer Norman Lear came to the school to authenticate scripts for their new show. Ms. Rae was so taken with the vivacious eighth grader, she convinced producers to create a role for her. Ms. Cohn remained on the show for nine years, then traveled to Paris and Australia with her co-stars to produce two successful television movies based on the series.
Concurrently with her role in "Facts," Ms. Cohn played Rose Jenko in Fox's "21 Jump Street." Other notable television appearances include "Diff'rent Strokes," "Double Trouble," "Charles in Charge," "Dream On" and "Suddenly Susan."
In 1983 Ms. Cohn appeared in her first professional stage performance in "Table Settings," written and directed by James Lapine and filmed for HBO Television. The illustrious cast included Eileen Heckart, Stockard Channing, Robert Klein, Peter Riegert and Dinah Manoff. She went on to make her feature film debut in "The Boy Who Could Fly," which co-starred Colleen Dewhurst, Fred Gwynne and Fred Savage.
Ms. Cohn took a hiatus from her career to attend Loyola Marymount University, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Cultural Anthropology. During this time she studied improvisation and scene work with Gary Austin, Harry Mastergeorge and Larry Moss.
In 1993 Ms. Cohn received a Dramalogue Award for her performance in a production of "Catholic School Girls" at the Globe Playhouse in Los Angeles. The following year she returned to television as Mo Tucker in the NBC series "The Second Half," starring John Mendoza, Wayne Knight and Jessica Lundy. In 1995 Ms. Cohn and Alan Thicke co-hosted the radio show "Talkzone," which gave teens a venue to discuss pertinent issues with their parents.
Most recently Ms. Cohn starred in the pilot "Virtually Casey" for the Disney Channel. She also starred in the feature films "Dead Simple," "Employee of the Month" and "Alone with a Stranger." In addition to numerous voice-overs and television guest-starring roles, Ms. Cohn remains busy with her production company, Storm Productions.
Ms. Cohn currently resides in her birthplace of Los Angeles. When not working, she actively fundraises for WeSpark, a non-profit cancer support center.
Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey in "The Facts of Life Reunion"
Kim Fields is an accomplished actress, director and producer who has enjoyed a 25- year career in commercials, theater, television and movies.
A former child star, Ms. Fields first became an immediate sensation in television and commercials as the little girl in the famous "Mrs. Butterworth" syrup commercial, and in a co-starring role on the sitcom "Baby I'm Back." At the age of nine she roller-skated into the hearts of America as Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey, the charming and sweet Eastland Academy student who, along with friends Natalie, Jo and Blair, had a talent for trouble in the popular series "The Facts of Life."
After a successful nine-year run on "The Facts of Life," Ms. Fields graduated from Pepperdine University where she co-created, produced and hosted the awarded-winning "Campus Spotlight: Live with Kim Fields," attracting Whoopi Goldberg, Blair Underwood, Betty White, Sugar Ray Leonard and Gladys Knight as guests.
Shortly after graduation she starred in a five-year run on the ensemble hit comedy series "Living Single," where she also directed a few episodes. Subsequent directing credits included music videos, numerous episodes of Nickelodeon's hit "Kenan & Kel," "The Jersey," for the Disney channel, and "100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd," for Nickelodeon. When she made her stage directorial debut with the hit comedy "Vanities," she received the 1994 NAACP Theater Award for Best Director. Ms. Fields also directed a critically acclaimed short film titled "Silent Bomb," which she co-wrote and executive-produced. This dramatic piece about a woman living with HIV received an endorsement from the Magic Johnson Foundation and received the Black American Cinema Society's Director of the Year award for 1995.
On stage Ms. Fields received critical acclaim for her work in the hit comedy stage production "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show," and her stage performance in "Fight the Good Fight" which won her the 1985 NAACP Image Award for Best Actress. This past summer she appeared in the play "Vagina Monologues."
These days Ms. Fields is busy directing her second season of Nickelodeon's "Taina." She can also be seen in the suspense thriller "Hidden Blessings," an original telefilm for BET, and the independent romantic comedy feature, "Me & Mrs. Jones."
Blair Warner in "The Facts of Life Reunion"
A native of Littlefield, Texas, Lisa Whelchel gained her first professional acting experience at age 13, when she was cast from a pool of more than 6,000 as a Mouseketeer for "The New Mickey Mouse Club." Ms. Whelchel is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Blair Warner on the popular series "The Facts of Life," where she holds the unique distinction of being the only cast member to have appeared in every episode during the nine-season run.
Ms. Whelchel also has several films to her credit, including the features "Where the Red Fern Grows, Part Two," and "The Double McGufffin," as well as numerous telefilms such as "Skyward," "The Magician of Lublin," "Twirl," "The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch," "The Facts of Life Down Under" and "Where the Red Fern Grows."
In 1984 Ms. Whelchel added recording artist to her resume. Her vocal and composing talents are displayed on her critically acclaimed debut solo album "All Because of You," for which she received a Grammy nomination for Best Inspirational Album. Her acting and vocal abilities have also been utlized on the stage, including at Kansas City's Starlight Theater where Ms. Whelchel performed the title role in "Peter Pan."
Ms. Whelchel has been married since 1988 to Steve Cauble, an associate pastor in Van Nuys, California. A committed Christian, Ms. Whelchel's days are devoted to caring for her family and home-schooling their three children. She is the author of "Creative Correction," published by Tyndale House and released in October, 2000. The book is in its 5th printing and received a Gold Medallion Nomination in the Family and Parenting Category. Her second book, "The Facts of Life and Other Lessons My Father Taught Me," published by Multnomah Publishers, was released in September, 2001. Ms. Whelchel is currently writing her third book, "Finding God in America," while she and her family embark on a year-long trip across America in a RV through July, 2002.
Edna Garrett in "The Facts of Life Reunion"
Stage and screen veteran Charlotte Rae is perhaps best known for her Emmy-nominated portrayal of Edna Garrett in the popular, long-running series "The Facts of Life."
Over the last six decades, Ms. Rae has appeared in numerous television series such as "Car 54, Where Are You," "The Partridge Family," "All in the Family," "Good Times," "Barney Miller," "Sesame Street," "The Love Boat," "Diff'rent Strokes," "St. Elsewhere," "Murder, She Wrote," "Sisters" and "Diagnosis Murder." She also received an Emmy Award nomination for her performance in Jerome Kass' "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom." Other notable television credits include the telefilms "Our Town," "The Facts of Life Goes to Paris," "Words by Heart," "Nowhere," "Crime in Connecticut: The Story of Alex Kelly" and "Another Woman's Husband," as well as voice-over work in "Tom and Jerry: The Movie" and "101 Dalmatians: The Series."
Ms. Rae, a graduate of Northwestern University, created the role of Mrs. Peachum in the original famed production of "Three Penny Opera," and recorded the original cast album in 1954. She made her Broadway debut in "Three Wishes for Jamie" and originated the role of Mammy Yokum in "Li'l Abner." She also co-starred with Charles Durning and Madeline Kahn in "The Boom Boom Room" at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Other Broadway credits include "The Chinese and Dr. Fish," "The Beauty Part" and "The Golden Apple" by Jerome Moross and John Latouche.
Her exceptional body of work has been repeatedly recognized by critics, as she received Tony Award Nominations for her performances in the musical "Pickwick," co-starring Sir Harry Secombe, and "Morning, Noon and Night," by Israel Horovitz, Leonard Melfi and Terrence McNally. She received a Drama Critics Circle nomination for her work in Samuel Beckett's "Happy Days," and an Obie nomination for her turn in the off-Broadway production of Terrence McNally's "Whiskey".
Off-Broadway Ms. Rae has displayed her versatility in a wide range of roles. Her extensive theatrical credits include Shakespeare in the Park's production of "Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2," co-starring with Stacey Keach and Sam Waterston; appearing with Martin Sheen in "Romeo and Juliet"; playing Jack's Mother in Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods"; and starring opposite Joel Grey in "The Littlest Revue." Other stage credits include "The New Tenant," "Victims of Duty," "Minnie's Boys," "The Solid Gold Cadillac," "Love Letters," "Annie," "Prettybelle," with Angela Lansbury, and the title role in "Driving Miss Daisy." Most recently she starred as the grandmother in "Pippin" at the celebrated Papermill Playhouse during the summer of 2000, and in "70, Girls, 70" at the York Theater in January.
Ms. Rae currently resides in Los Angeles and New York and, when not acting, enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.