‘Facts of Life’ Star Lisa Whelchel Opens Up About Choosing Her Faith Over Hollywood
Lisa Whelchel became a household name when she starred as the wealthy character of Blair on “The Facts Of Life” from 1979 to 1988. However, what many people don’t know about her is that she is a proud Christian woman who refused to sacrifice her religious morals for a career in Hollywood.
Lisa recently revealed that the writers on “The Facts of Life” once had a storyline where Blair lost her virginity, but because of her Christian morals, Lisa didn’t feel comfortable with the direction her character was going. Thus, she decided to speak up and share both her beliefs and concerns with the show’s writers.
“So, when I heard that was going to be one of the storylines for that year, I did come to the producers and say, ‘I don’t think I can be a part of that,'” she said. “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 with a couple of commercials.”
Though another actress on the show stepped up to take the storyline, Lisa still was not comfortable with it, so she asked the writers to write her out of the episode in a decision that ultimately cost her $50,000. Lisa had no regrets about this, as her Christian faith was more important than any amount of money. For the rest of her career, she refused to sacrifice her Christian morals for her work, and she actually felt like a lot of Hollywood respected this.
“I’m sure there were some parts that I wasn’t offered, but that’s OK,” she said. “I don’t feel like I had any backlash because of it.”
One of the most famous roles that Lisa turned down was one on the sitcom “Friends.” She still remembers reading the pilot and telling her husband, “This is the funniest script I have ever read and this is going to be a huge hit.” In the end, however, Lisa turned the part down because it involved sex. Jennifer Aniston would go on to take the part Lisa was up for on the show, which would earn more than 60 Emmy nominations.
“I don’t regret not taking that opportunity,” she said. “My kids, on the other hand… I remember my daughter once said, ‘Are you telling me that [Jennifer Aniston’s ex] Brad Pitt could have been my father?”
Find out more about Lisa’s faith in the video below.