Joey Lawrence

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Joey Lawrence
Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence March of Dimes 414 (5673496652) (cropped).jpg
Lawrence in 2017
Joseph Lawrence Mignogna Jr.

(1976-04-20) April 20, 1976 (age 45)
Other namesJoe Lawrence, Joseph Lawrence
OccupationActor, musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, game show host
Years active1982–present
Michelle Vella
(m. 2002; div. 2005)

Chandie Yawn-Nelson
(m. 2005)

Joseph Lawrence Mignogna Jr. (born April 20, 1976) is an American actor, musician, singer-songwriter, record producer and game show host. He got his start as a child star in the early 1980s and is best known for his role as Joey Russo in Blossom and Joe Longo in Melissa & Joey. Lawrence also starred in the series Brotherly Love with his real-life brothers Matthew and Andrew.

Early life[edit]

Lawrence was born in Abington, Pennsylvania, and raised in Philadelphia, the son of Donna, a personnel manager and former elementary school teacher[1] and Joseph Lawrence Mignogna, an insurance broker.[2][3] He is of Italian, Scottish and English descent.[4] His family's surname was changed to "Lawrence" during his childhood. He has two younger brothers, Matt and Andy, who are also actors.[5]

He graduated from Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania in 1994, and later attended the University of Southern California.[6]



Lawrence's first acting role was in a Cracker Jack commercial. At the age of five, he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, where he performed the song "Give My Regards to Broadway".[7]

After appearing in guest spots on Different Strokes and Silver Spoons, Lawrence won the role of Joey Donovan on the hit NBC sitcom Gimme a Break! in 1983. He continued in that role until the series ended in 1987. 1985 marked Lawrence's theatrical debut with the release of Summer Rental. Lawrence provided the voice of Oliver, the protagonist in the 1988 Disney film Oliver & Company at the age of 12. From 1991 to 1995, at the age of 15, Lawrence co-starred in the hit TV series Blossom on NBC, playing Joey Russo.

Lawrence has also starred in the series Brotherly Love (which featured his real life brothers, Matthew and Andrew Lawrence) and Run of the House and has guest starred on such programs as American Dreams and CSI: NY.[8] One of Lawrence's film credits is Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000).

Lawrence with the cast of Melissa & Joey

In 2006, Lawrence appeared on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Paired with professional dancer Edyta Śliwińska, he placed third in the competition.

In May 2007, he starred in the Broadway hit Chicago as Billy Flynn.[9] He next hosted a dance competition show on The Learning Channel, Master of Dance, which premiered June 9, 2008.[10]

In 2009, Lawrence starred in the television movie My Fake Fiancé with Melissa Joan Hart, which premiered on ABC Family to 3.6 million viewers, becoming the most-watched television movie of the ratings season, sweeping top rank in its time-period in key demos. In August 2010, Lawrence returned to television in the ABC Family sitcom Melissa & Joey, again opposite Hart.[11] Hart plays a woman who hires Lawrence as a nanny to help care for her incarcerated sister's kids. Lawrence's character is a former figure in the financial industry whose company came under investigation for wrongdoing and caused his professional life to be put on hold. Lawrence's brothers have guest starred on the show. Matthew Lawrence played Tony Longo in season 1 episode 25 and Andrew Lawrence appeared in season 1 episode 26 as Ryder Scanlon's teacher, Evan McKay. The series was renewed for its fourth season and ended in 2015.[12]

In 2012, he was contracted to be a Chippendales dancer for a special engagement in June at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.[13] On March 19, 2013, Lawrence began appearing in the ABC reality show Splash, which he co-hosts alongside Charissa Thompson.

Music career[edit]

Lawrence has said that music was always his passion, and at the height of his success began a recording career. Lawrence was 16 when his debut album Joey Lawrence was released in February 1993. Produced by Steve Barri, Tony Peluso, Terry Lupton and Ian Prince. Lawrence co-wrote some material, including the international hit single "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" (#6 Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, No. 10 Billboard Top 40 Mainstream, No. 19 Billboard Hot 100, No. 13 United Kingdom, No. 68 Australia).[14] The song was used as the end-title theme from the movie Cop and a Half; its music video received heavy airplay on MTV and MuchMusic, and Lawrence was invited to perform live on MTV's Spring Break, The Arsenio Hall Show, and the UK's Top of the Pops in 1993.[citation needed]

In June 2011, he released a single, "Rolled", which was available as a free download for one week on ABC Family's website.[15] In July, Joey released a second single, "Give It To Ya (Acoustic)" via Pledge Music.[16] In 2017 Joey started a band with Matt and Andy called Still 3. They released their debut single "Lose Myself".[17]

Personal life[edit]

Lawrence married Michelle Vella in 2002; the couple divorced in 2005.[18] He met his second wife, Chandie Yawn-Nelson, earlier while on vacation in Disney World when the two were teenagers; they wed there in July 2005.[19] Lawrence filed for divorce in July 2020.[18] The couple has two children.[20][21][22]

Reports surfaced in March 2018 that Lawrence and Yawn-Nelson had filed for bankruptcy in July 2017.[23][24] On April 6, 2018, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was reportedly settled.[25][26]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 Summer Rental Bobby Chester
1988 Pulse David Rockland
Oliver & Company Oliver (voice)
1991 Chains of Gold Tommy
1994 Radioland murders Frankie Marshall
1995 A Goofy Movie Chad (voice)
1999 Tequila Body Shots Johnny Orpheus
2000 Urban Legends: Final Cut Graham Manning
Desperate But Not Serious Darby
2001 Do You Wanna Know a Secret? Hank Ford
A Christmas Adventure ...From a Book Called Wisely's Tales Wolfpack Leader (voice) Video
2002 Trois 2: Pandora's Box Det. Anderson
2006 Rest Stop Officer Michael Deacon Video
2008 Killer Pad Joey Lawrence
Together Again for the First Time Carey Krzyznyk Video
2010 Sinatra Club Louie 'Pipes' Pepitone
2011 Tumor & Gooch Gooch Short film
Hit List Lyle
2016 Saved By Grace Rick
Emma's Chance Kevin Chambers
Arlo: The Burping Pig David
Isle of the Dead Lt. Paul Gibson
2017 Girl Followed Jim
2018 Sk8 Dawg Mr. Hoffman
2020 Money Plane The Concierge
My Brother's Keeper Preach
Pardoned by Grace Scott Highberger
2021 Roe v. Wade Robert Byrn
TBA Turning Tables Reid


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Scamps Sparky TV film
Diff'rent Strokes Joey Episode: "Big Brother"
Silver Spoons Joey Thompson Episode: "The Best Christmas Ever"
1983 Little Shots Pete TV film
Wait till Your Mother Gets Home! Chris Peters
1983–1987 Gimme a Break! Joey Donovan Main role (77 episodes)
1984 Young People's Specials Billy Episode: "Umbrella Jack"
1985 ABC Afterschool Special Mattie Episode: "Don't Touch"
1989 Adventures in Babysitting Brad Anderson Pilot
1990–1995 Blossom Joey Russo Main
1993 Olsen Twins Mother's Day Special Singer TV special
Almost Home Jeff Thornton Episode: "Girls and Boy"
Empty Nest Wade Episode: "Aunt Verne Knows Best"
1995 The John Larroquette Show Carly's Brother Episode: "Whipping Post"
Something Wilder J.J. Travis Episode: "Bergman of Alcatraz"
Prince for a Day Ralph Bitondo / Ricky Prince TV film
1995–1997 Brotherly Love Joe Roman Main role (40 episodes)
1996 Brothers of the Frontier Ethan Frye TV film
1999 Touched by an Angel Jesse Episode: "Fool for Love"
Horse Sense Michael Woods TV film
Recess Franklin Dudikoff (voice) Episode: "The Dude"
2001 Jumping Ship Michael Woods TV film
2002 Romantic Comedy 101 Mark Gibson
The Zeta Project Dex Finley (voice) Episode: "Eye of the Storm"
2002–2003 American Dreams Michael Brooks 11 episodes
2003–2004 Run of the House Kurt Franklin Main role (19 episodes)
2004 Love Rules! Michael Warner TV film
2005 Bow Matt
Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber Ferguson
2005–2006 Half & Half Brett Mahoney 9 episodes
2006 Android Apocalypse DeeCee TV film
2007 CSI: NY Clay Dobson 3 episodes
2007–2008 The Emperor's New School Dirk Brock (voice) 2 episodes
2009 My Fake Fiancé Vince
2010–2015 Melissa & Joey Joe Longo Main role (104 episodes)
2011 The Dog Who Saved Halloween Zeus TV film
2012 Hitched for the Holidays Rob Marino
The Dog Who Saved The Hollidays Zeus
2013 Splash Himself Co-host
2015 Celebrity Family Feud Episode: "Lawrence vs Lopez"
2016 Cupcake Wars Runner-up
2017–2019 Hawaii Five-0 Aaron Wright 4 episodes
2019 Celebrity Big Brother Himself / Houseguest[27][28] 9th place
Dollface Himself Episode: "Mystery Brunette"
2021 Danger Force Himself Episode: "Vidja Games"

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

Week # Dance / Song Judges' scores Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha / "I Like the Way (You Move)" 7 7 7 Safe
2 Quickstep / "I Got Rhythm" 10 9 10 Safe
3 Jive / "Blue Suede Shoes" 8 6 8 Safe
4 Waltz / "Take It to the Limit" 9 9 9 Safe
5 Samba / "Freedom! '90" 8 8 9 Safe
6 Rumba / "Father Figure" 8 8 8 Bottom two
Group Disco / "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" No scores given
7 Foxtrot / "Singin' in the Rain" 10 9 10 Safe
Mambo / "Mambo No. 5" 9 9 10
Tango / "The Addams Family Theme" 10 9 9 Safe
Paso Doble / "Sympathy for the Devil" 9 8 9
Quickstep / "42nd Street" 9 10 10 Third place
Rumba / "Eternal Flame" 10 10 10


  • Chicago (2007) as Billy Flynn (replacement)


Joey Lawrence albums
Year Album Peak positions
Billboard 200

1993 Joey Lawrence 74[29] 39[30]
1997 Soulmates


  • 2017: Imagine


Joey Lawrence singles
Year Title Peak positions Album
US Hot 100

1993 "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" 19[29] 13[31] 68[32] Joey Lawrence
"I Can't Help Myself" 27[31]
"Stay Forever" 41[31]
1998 "Never Gonna Change My Mind" 49[31] Soulmates

Other non-charting singles

  • 2011: "Rolled"
  • 2011: "Give It to Ya" (acoustic)
  • 2013: "Our Time"
  • 2017: "Imagine"
  • 2017: "Christmas Time"


  1. ^ Gliatto, Tom (March 15, 1993). "A Method to His Doofus". People. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  2. ^ "Joey Lawrence Biography (1976–)". Archived from the original on July 31, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  3. ^ "Grown Up Joey Lawrence Kept the 'Y' – Here's Why". Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  4. ^ Gostin, Nicki (July 26, 2010). "Grown Up Joey Lawrence Kept the 'Y' — Here's Why". Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  5. ^ Radovsky, Vicki Jo (April 23, 1993). "Stonecoldfox". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  6. ^ Lipton, Michael A. (June 27, 1994). "Class of '94". People. 41 (24). ISSN 0093-7673.
  7. ^ "Joey Lawrence". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  8. ^ Snierson, Dan (October 16, 2002). "'Whoa' Be Gone". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew (May 4, 2007). "Joey Lawrence Joins Broadway's Chicago May 4". Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  10. ^ Master of Dance Archived May 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine,; accessed March 20, 2017.
  11. ^ Bockelman, Andy (April 1, 2010). "Melissa Joan Hart, Nikki Blonsky Among Stars To Appear In New ABC Family Shows". Retrieved June 12, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Hart & Lawrence Land New Sitcom". Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  13. ^ "Joey Lawrence – Whoa, I'm a Stripper!". TMZ. May 16, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  14. ^ "Joey Lawrence: Billboard chart history". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  15. ^ "ABC Family's Hit Comedy "Melissa & Joey" Returns With All-New Episodes, Premiering Wednesday, June 29 at 8:00 ET/PT". June 24, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  16. ^ "Give it to ya". PledgeMusic. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
  17. ^ Whoa! Hear Joey Lawrence's New Song with Brothers Matthew and Andy
  18. ^ a b Drysdale, Jennifer (July 18, 2020). "Joey Lawrence Files for Divorce From Wife Chandie After 15 Years of Marriage". Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  19. ^ Rizzo, Monica (November 13, 2006). "Whoa, It's Joey!". People. 66 (20). ISSN 0093-7673.
  20. ^ Lawrence's son Trevor Lawrence is a quarterback at Clemson and expected to be an early first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Michaud, Sarah (November 13, 2009). "Joey Lawrence, Wife Expecting Second Daughter". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  21. ^ Michaud, Sarah (March 4, 2010). "Joey Lawrence Welcomes Second Daughter". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  22. ^ Walsh, Shannon (January 21, 2019). "Joey Lawrence Kids & Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  23. ^ Dave Quinn (March 9, 2018). "Joey Lawrence files for bankruptcy after accumulating over $355K in liabilities". People. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  24. ^ Ryan Naumann (March 9, 2018). "Joey Lawrence Filed for Bankruptcy After Things Got So Bad, He Had to Sell His Clothes". Blast. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  25. ^ Ryan Naumann and Daniel Goldblatt (April 9, 2018). "Joey Lawrence's Bankruptcy Case Comes to a Close, Several Creditors Get the Shaft". Blast. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  26. ^ Sarah Hearon (April 9, 2018). "Joey Lawrence's Bankruptcy Case Settled, IRS Won't Receive Full Payment". Us Weekly. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  27. ^ Porreca, Brian (January 13, 2019). "'Celebrity Big Brother' Cast Includes Anthony Scaramucci, Dina Lohan and Ryan Lochte". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  28. ^ Ross, Dalton (January 13, 2019). "Anthony Scaramucci among 12 new Celebrity Big Brother houseguests". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  29. ^ a b "Joey Lawrence – Chart history". Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  30. ^ "joey-lawrence – full Official Chart History – Official Charts Company". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  31. ^ a b c d "Official Charts > Joey Lawrence". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  32. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending May 1, 1994". ARIA. Retrieved February 22, 2016.

External links[edit]