'80s Child Actor Recounts Stand on Principle
Because of her Christian convictions, Lisa Whelchel rejected a sitcom story line about losing her virginity.
Lisa Whelchel got her start in acting in 1977 on The New Mickey Mouse Club and then became a star as Blair Warner on NBC's The Facts of Life. That sitcom ran from 1979-1988 and focused on several girls attending a boarding school.
Whelchel, who was 16 years old when the show began, had become a Christian at the age of 10. She tells Closer Weekly in an interview the show's producers respected her faith, but there were a couple times where she had to refuse their wishes, particularly over the issue of one of the character's losing her virginity.
The first instance happened in season two. Whelchel, who is now 55, says the executives decided Blair was the most logical choice, so she approached them.
"I did come to the producers and say, 'You know, I don’t think I can be a part of that.' Because for one thing, I really felt a big responsibility of knowing that there were young girls watching this show, and that you can’t deal with that topic in 20 minutes."
Her request was honored and that was that. But the issue came up many years later in the ninth and final season, this time with another character confronting it. Whelchel again went to the show's producers.
"I just asked if it would be okay if I was just written out of that show completely, because I also understood that there’s just no way to deal with that really complicated topic in a sitcom."
The producers were supportive and she says she never faced any backlash in Hollywood. These days most of her time is devoted to being a life coach, a wife and mother. Whelchel does act periodically and said recently in a cryptic social media post that, "I have some exciting news to share...stay tuned!" Christian Film Blog will do just that.