The facts of life : Synopsis, Pictures, Photos, Trivia, Filming Locations

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The facts of life

The facts of life Dates : 1979 - 1988
209 episodes of 30 min
First broadcasting : 26 Juillet 1987
Creator(s) : Jenna McMahon et Dick Clair
Producer(s) : Ils sont plusieurs
Music : Al Burton, Ray Colcord, Gloria Loring et Alan Thicke
Web surfers's rate : 9.3/10 for 4 rates - Rate

French Traduire


A group of girls attending a boarding school experience the joys and the trials of adolescence under the guiding hand of housemother Edna Garrett. Later in the series, Mrs. Garrett is promoted to school dietician, and four of the girls move into new quarters above the cafeteria. Eventually she leaves the school and opens her own business, with help from her girls.

The Actors

Charlotte Rae - Madame Edna Garrett

Charlotte Rae

(Madame Edna Garrett)

George Clooney - George Burnett

George Clooney

(George Burnett)

Mackenzie Astin - Andy Moffet Stickle

Mackenzie Astin

(Andy Moffet Stickle)

Molly Ringwald - Molly Parker

Molly Ringwald

(Molly Parker)

Cloris Leachman - Beverly Ann Stickle

Cloris Leachman

(Beverly Ann Stickle)


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Longest running show to feature an all female lead cast (although there were several recurring male characters, and John Lawlor was a regular during the first season).

The role of Tootie was not specifically written for a black actress. Kim Fields was simply the only African-American to audition.

For the second season, the entire concept and plot of the show was changed from a large boarding house of several young girls, to a tighter knit group of older adolescent women. This was done since the producers felt that a plot change from comic relief to serious adult issues would help boost ratings. The cast of girls was reduced to only four, including the new character of "Jo".

The opening theme song was performed by Charlotte Rae during the first season.

Originally, the premise of the series was that Edna Garrett, the housekeeper on "Diff'rent Strokes" (1978), became the headmistress at the school that Kimberly Drummond (Dana Plato) attended. But after the pilot episode, the producers decided to keep Plato on "Diff'rent Strokes" (1978) and there was never any mention of Kimberly being a student at Eastland again.

In the first season, there were seven students in the main cast. After the first season, the producers decided to drop four characters from the main cast: Molly Parker (Molly Ringwald), Cindy Webster (Julie Anne Haddock), Sue Ann Weaver (Julie Piekarski) and Nancy Olson (Felice Schachter). But Haddock, Piekarski, and Schacter continued to appear occasionally until the third season.

Mindy Cohn wasn't an auditionee for the show. When the producers visited a girls' school to see how the girls interacted, she was a social magnet just being herself, and they created Natalie based on Cohn. She was then tested in the role.

Nancy McKeon joined the cast in the second season by proving that she could not only act tough enough to play Jo - but also cry on cue.

Kim Fields was only nine years old when she started playing Tootie, who was supposed to be twelve. In an effort to make her appear taller (and older) her character was always in roller skates for the first year of the show.

There was an episode written where Blair was suppose to lose her virginity, but Lisa Whelchel refused to do it because of her strong religious beliefs. The episode was rewritten with Natalie (Mindy Cohen) losing her virginity instead. It also was the only episode in the series history that Whelchel did not appear in.

During the last season, David Spade was in an episode that was supposed to be turned into a spin-off series called "Big Apple Blues" about college roommates living in New York City, but it never materialized.

Even though Kim Drummond never ended up at Eastland like the original plot of the series had planned, the show still was connected to the "Different Strokes" universe with Mr. Drummond and Arnold making a few guest appearances.


Filming locations:

Metromedia Square, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA (1979-1982) (studio)

Authors of the card

  • Creation date: 2003/07/01 by abdest

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