The Facts of Life
First gaining attention on “The New Mickey Mouse Club” (1977-1978), Lisa Whelchel became famous for playing rich, preppy Blair Warner on the television sitcom “The Facts of Life” (1979-1988), from which she picked up three Young Artist nominations. One of VH1's “100 Greatest Kid Stars,” she has recreated the role in three TV films. However, since the demise of the show in 1988, the skilled ventriloquist has put her acting career on the backburner and traded it in for life as a minister's wife and that of a full time mother. A devoted Christian, Whelchel has written many books, including “Creative Correction” (2000), “The Facts Of Life And Other Lessons My Father Taught Me” (2001), “So You're Thinking About Homeschooling” (2003) and “Taking Care of the Me in Mommy” (2006).
Whelchel has been married to Steven Cauble since 1988. The couple and their three children live in California and Lisa homeschools their children.
“I think the greatest benefit to having a big family, especially a family with five or more children, is that it's harder to be selfish. In today's prosperous world, it's hard to teach our children sacrifice.” Lisa Whelchel
Whelchel is a licensed pilot.
Childhood and Family:
The daughter of Jimmy and Jenny Whelchel, Lisa Diane Whelchel was born on May 29, 1963, in Fort Worth, Texas. A timid girl, she was brought to an acting course by her mother at age 7 to help her overcome her shyness. Lisa has a younger brother named Cody and a half-brother named Casey.
On July 9, 1988, Lisa married Steven Cauble, who is an associate pastor. They welcomed their first child, son Tucker Stephenson, on January 17, 1990. Their second child and first daughter, Haven Katherine Hill, was born on September 26, 1991. Their next daughter, Clancy Elizabeth, was born on November 12, 1992.
All Because Of You
Shy as a child, Lisa Whelchel attended acting classes as a way to come out of her shell. At age 13, she appeared on the small screen in the syndicated series “The New Mickey Mouse Club.” She then portrayed Cathy Connelly in a 1978 episode of “Family” and Robin Lapp in two episodes of “Disneyland” (1979). By age 16, she had added film acting to her endeavors by playing the supporting roles of Jody on the Joe Camp family movie “The Double McGuffin” and Halina on an independent drama starring Alan Arkin called “The Magician of Lublin” (both 1979). It was also in 1979 that Whelchel enjoyed her huge breakthrough when she won a starring role on the comedy series “The Facts of Life,” opposite Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn and Charlotte Rae, among others. As the preppy Blair Warner, she received Young Artist nominations for Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series in 1983 and 1984 and another nomination in 1982 for Best Young Comedienne - Motion Picture or Television.
While working on the long running sitcom, Whelchel still found time to pursue other projects. In 1980, she made her TV movie debut in Ron Howard's “Skyward,” which starred Bette Davis. She then costarred as Jill Moore in the television drama “Twirl” (1981), with Erin Moran. The latter film brought Whelchel a Young Artist nomination for Best Young Actress in a Television Special. In the 1982 western “The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch,” she was cast in the supporting role of Amy Cole. From 1983 to 1985, she had a recurring role on the sitcom “The Love Boat,” where she portrayed Caroline.
Whelchel reprised her popular TV role of Blair Warner in two episodes of the Gary Coleman sitcom “Diff'rent Strokes” (1979 and 1981) and in the TV films “The Facts of Life Goes to Paris” (1982) and “The Facts of Life Down Under” (1987). However, her acting career basically began to decline with the cancellation of “The Facts of Life” in 1988.
During the height of her television success, Whelchel released a Christian pop album called “All Because Of You” (1984). A moderate hit, it peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Contemporary Christian charts and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Inspirational Album. Some songs featured on the album include “Cover Me Lord,” “Good Girl” and “Just Obey.”
Whelchel returned to acting in 1992 to portray Sara Coleman in the sequel “Where the Red Fern Grows: Part 2,” which went straight to video release. In 2001, she rejoined her “Facts of Life” costars Nancy McKeon and Charlotte Rae for the reunion TV film “The Facts of Life Reunion.”
Whelchel, who became a born-again Christian when she was 10 years old, had dedicated her life to the teachings of the Christian religion. In 2000, she established Momtime Ministries, a spiritual network of groups who gather weekly to “provide and refresh and encourage” one another.
Whelchel's religious activities, many of which she has done with her pastor husband, continue. She has released several books and her first book, “Creative Correction,” was released in October 2000. It was followed by “The Facts Of Life And Other Lessons My Father Taught Me” in 2001 and “So You're Thinking About Homeschooling” in April 2003. Other books include “How to Start Your Own Mom Time,” “Taking Care of the Me in Mommy” (2006), “The Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer,” “The Busy Grandma's Guide to Prayer” and “Speaking Mom-ese: Moments of Peace & Inspiration in the Mother Tongue from One Mom's Heart to Yours.” Also an advocate of homeschooling, Whelchel teaches her children at home.