For nine seasons, The Facts of Life was a staple of NBC’s primetime schedule. It began as a spin-off from the very popular Diff’rent Strokes sitcom and transplanted the Drummunds’ housekeeper Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae) to the fictional all-girls Eastland School.
She watched over a diverse bunch of schoolgirls like snotty Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel), tomboy Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeon), fun-loving Natalie Green (Mindy Cohn), and nosey Tootie Ramsey (Kim Fields). Late in the show’s run, studly handyman George Burnett (George Clooney) was added to provide some male eye-candy to the show.
Rae left the series in 1986 when Mrs. Garrett got married and she rejoined the Peace Corps with her new husband. Her sister Beverly Ann Stickle (Cloris Leachman) stepped in, adopted young Andy Moffet (Mackenzie Astin) and Aussie Pippa McKenna (Sherrie Krenn), and helped to guide the former schoolmates into early adulthood. The series would last for two more seasons before being cancelled.