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The Facts Of Life

We remember Rockwell for warm-hearted depictions of everyday life, but in Facts of Life, his July 14, 1951, cover, he captured a painful moment that his audience could certainly relate to: an earnest and obviously uncomfortable dad attempting to explain the birds and bees to a son who has, judging from his expression, already heard more than enough.

The Facts of Life

THE FACTS OF LIFE is a classic situation comedy about a group of girls coming of age at boarding school. The series, which ran from 1978-1988, features Charlotte Rae as Edna Garrett, a former housekeeper who takes on the job of housemother (and later school dietitian) at the prestigious Eastland School, a fictitious school for girls in Peekskill, New York. Among her young charges is wealthy Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel), the outspoken Molly Parker (Molly Ringwald), and the always cheerful Natalie Green (Mindy Cohn). Also part of the group (at least initially) is tomboy Cindy Webster (Julie Anne Haddock), Nancy Olsen (Felice Schacter), Sue Ann Weaver (Julie Piekarskie), and Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey (Kim Fields). Growing up at school is definitely fun, but thanks to Mrs. Garrett's mentorship, they also learn a lot of important life lessons along the way.

You take the good, you take the bad You take 'em both and there you have The facts of life... the facts of life...- The (familiar) first verse of the theme song, written by Alan Thicke and sung by Gloria Loring

Womack is one of the most prolific and influential acts in R&B and rock. With songs like "I Can Understand It," "Harry Hippie," and "Woman Got to Have It," Womack often displayed a depth, candor, and an expert turn of phrase that helped him outpace his contemporaries. Facts of Life is the follow-up to the 1972 classic Communication. This album is even better. Womack is known for his often uncomfortably real takes on love, life, and relationships, and Facts of Life expertly deals with a myriad of subjects. The only released single is his revamped take of the standard "Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out." The song has been done ad infinitum, but Womack put a nasty edge on it that made it sound like a song he wrote himself. "I'm Through Trying to Prove My Love to You" is punctuated by his great guitar riffing and plaintive vocal and lyrical gems like, "See when you take my heart/ I can't let you take my soul." "He'll Be There When the Sun Goes Down" benefits from more witticisms and a strong string arrangement from Womack and Rene Hall. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Facts of Life is that Womack is so adept at taking others' material and making it his own. "Natural Man," a cover of "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman," is the biggest shock here. Where Aretha Franklin's version had her skillfully shouting from the rooftops, Womack brings tenderness to the lyric and is believable. Produced by Womack and recorded in Muscle Shoals with its renowned players, Facts of Life is an album of undeniable craft.

To get you in the mood for the sometimes goofy, sometimes "very special episode"-y teen angst antics of Blair, Jo, Natalie, Tootie, cousin Jeri, and their surrogate mama Mrs. Garrett, Yahoo TV talked to Facts stars Lisa Whelchel and Geri Jewell and gathered up a slew of Facts facts that are sure to relaunch your love of all things Eastland.

6. Mindy Cohn was not an actress when she was cast in The Facts of Life. Rae and the series producers visited the prestigious private Westlake School for Girls, which has since merged with a private boys school to become Harvard-Westlake, to do research for the show. Rae chatted with Westlake student Cohn and fell in love with her spunky personality, and the role of Natalie was created just for Cohn. The character was named after one of Rae's real-life best friends from her high school days.

12. Throughout Facts of Life's run, four other spinoff series were considered, including one that would have revolved around an all-male military school near Eastland (and would have starred Soap alum and Scott Baio cousin Jimmy Baio), one focusing on Blair and Jo and their college life at Langley, one focusing on Jo's family in the Bronx, and one focusing on Tootie's cousin's interracial marriage, in which MacGyver star Richard Dean Anderson played the husband.

21. Whelchel had already turned down what she considered a risque storyline on her show, when Facts of Life's writers wanted her Blair to be the first of Mrs. Garrett's girls to lose her virginity. "Parental guidance is so loose these days. A lot of young girls get their lessons on life and discipline from TV," she told People in 1984. "I don't believe in premarital sex, and I don't want to condone it to any young person who's watching." The storyline eventually played out on the series, though, in Season 9's "The First Time," when Natalie lost her virginity to boyfriend Snake (Fast Times at Ridgemont High star Robert Romanus). Whelchel declined to appear in the episode.

If you grew up in the '80s, you grew up learning the facts of life from, well, The Facts of Life. A spinoff of the popular show Diff'rent Strokes, it became one of the longest-running sitcoms of the decade during its nine-year, 200-episode arc. An entire generation came of age with Tootie Ramsey, Natalie Green, Jo Polniaczek, and of course, Blair Warner. But like so many friends from our teen years, chances are you've lost touch with your old pals from the Eastland School for Young Women. In other words, time for an update!

Her own life was marked by tragedy, Rae told the AP in a 2015 interview. She said the "most devastating thing" she faced was her son Andy Strauss' diagnosis of autism at a time when there was far less understanding of or attention to the disorder. Andy died in his mid-40s of a heart attack in 1999.

Being illustrated throughout gave it a whole new dimension. Not only was I taking in the words but the images expressed exactly how Paula remembered the scene. The stages of her story did not need to be imagined but came to life in front of my eyes. Her story was not fiction, it was fact, and the images expressed and reinforced the script.

The simple answer is yes, and being illustrated throughout gave it a whole new dimension. Not only was I taking in the words but the images expressed exactly how Paula remembered the scene. The stages of her story did not need to be imagined but came to life in front of my eyes. Her story was not fiction, it was fact, and the images expressed and reinforced the script.

A resonant song that Polly associates with her tribulations, for example, weaving through panels and immersing her in its grip, poignant character fadeouts on the receipt of bad news, or sudden real world photographic artefacts emerging on the page and taking us from a representation of reality one step removed into the actuality of the situation itself. The Facts of Life is a gentle masterclass in all the storytelling tricks of which comics, and comics alone, are capable.

It is, perhaps, one of the facts of life that you are inevitably not going to get everything you want. But somehow, to not be able to conceive or carry a child to term for whatever reason, when you fervently desire for one, seems one of the cruellest tricks that life can play. Yes, there are those who are adamant they do not want children of their own, women and men, but the majority of people do wish to procreate and bring their own progeny into this world and seem to do so without any problems whatsoever, by and large.

To be denied that chance is to undoubtedly experience a sense of loss akin to losing someone who has been born and lived a life, however long or brief. Though it is also a very different loss, perhaps absence might be a more appropriate term, because you will never quite be sure what it is, who it is, that is missing from your life. You can imagine, you can dream, you can wonder, but you can never truly know.

Andy, played by Mackenzie Astin, was wise beyond his years as he was often helping the girls with their personal problems. With his upbeat attitude despite his troubling life, he quickly won the hearts of everyone in the four seasons he appeared on the series.

I've had to sit on this movie for a little bit. It's not a comedy, it's not fun, it's nothing like you'd expect. I can't in good conscience recommend it. The acting and the script are mediocre at best, but its core is common, yet profound. The movie surmises that being stuck with a wonderful but simply passable person, once you know that there is someone out there who is a better fit for you, is terrifying and tragic. To love two people and to have to wrong one in order to feel right and happy... it's perhaps the worst feeling in the world. The real fact of life is that there are no winners, no matter how you dress it up. Burdened by unhappiness and guilt forever. This movie just hurts.

"You take the good. You take the bad. You take them both, and there you have the facts of life." For nine seasons, TV audiences sang along to the theme song from NBC's "The Facts of Life." A spin-off of "Diff'rent Strokes," "The Facts of Life" focused on a handful of students attending the fictional all-girls boarding school, Eastland School. Viewers could not get enough of spoiled Blair, rough-around-the-edges Jo, roller-skating Tootie, and naive Natalie, as well as matriarchs Mrs. Garret and Beverly Ann Stickle, who made sure the girls in their charge never strayed too far from the moral and ethical path.

If you squint, you can see a hint of this in Diff'rent Strokes. One of the things that made Lear's shows such landmarks is how each handled issues of race. Diff'rent Strokes was a show about a wealthy white man who adopts a pair of Black kids after their mother dies. It wasn't as good a show as the ones Lear created, and in hindsight it didn't grapple with racial issues nearly enough to justify its uncomfortable premise, but it was part of a continuum of sitcoms that continued to at least touch on race as we moved through the 1980s. It notably launched Gary Coleman as a hugely popular TV star, it managed to pull in high-profile guests like First Lady Nancy Reagan and boxer Muhammad Ali, and helped to popularize the very '80s concept of the very special episode. It's also, sadly, a show streaked with tragedy, emblematic of the cliche of child stars gone wrong, with stars Todd Bridges and Dana Plato both struggling with drug addiction and serving jail sentences later in life. (Plato died of a drug overdose at age 34.) Diff'rent Strokes also spun off its housekeeper, Mrs. Garrett (played by Charlotte Rea) into a sitcom of her own, The Facts of Life. 041b061a72


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