Lisa Whelchel

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Lisa Whelchel
Lisa Whelchel interviewed on radio in February 2015
Lisa Diane Whelchel

(1963-05-29) May 29, 1963 (age 60)
Other namesLisa Cauble
Occupation(s)Actress, singer, songwriter, author, public speaker, housewife, life coach
Years active1977–present
OrganizationWomen of Faith
Notable workThe Facts of Life
The New Mickey Mouse Club
All Because of You
Survivor: Philippines
StyleContemporary Christian
Steven Cauble
(m. 1988; div. 2012)
Pete Harris
(m. 2019)

Lisa Diane Whelchel (born May 29, 1963) is an American actress, singer, songwriter, author, and life coach. She is known for her appearances as a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club and her nine-year role as the preppy and wealthy Blair Warner on The Facts of Life. In 1984, she was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance for her contemporary Christian album All Because of You. In 2012, Whelchel participated as a contestant on the CBS competitive reality series Survivor: Philippines and tied for second place.[1] She was also voted fan favorite and was awarded $100,000.[2]

Early life[edit]

Lisa Whelchel was born on May 29, 1963, in Littlefield, Texas. She is the daughter of Virginia "Genny" (née French), a real estate agent, and James "Jimmy" Whelchel Sr., an electrician.[3] Her parents divorced in 1981, and her mother married Roy Coleman in 1983. Lisa is the elder sister of James "Cody" Whelchel Jr., and the elder half-sister of Casey Justice Coleman. She also has a nephew, Chasin (Cody's son). Lisa and Cody were raised for most of their childhood in Fort Worth, Texas, and she was in the class of 1980.

Acting career[edit]

The New Mickey Mouse Club[edit]

At age 13, Whelchel was recruited in Texas by talent scouts who were looking for children interested in working with Disney Studios as a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club. She moved to California the next year and appeared on the show in syndication from 1977 to 1978.

The Facts of Life[edit]

Whelchel is probably best known for being a main cast member of The Facts of Life where she portrayed Blair Warner, an uptight prep student. She also played the character on Diff'rent Strokes, the show from which The Facts of Life spun off. Whelchel once refused a storyline that would have made her character the first among the four main young women on the show to lose her virginity. Having become a Christian when she was ten years old, Whelchel declined due to her religious beliefs, and the storyline was rewritten for the character of Natalie, portrayed by Mindy Cohn.[4] This was the only episode of the series in which Whelchel did not appear.

In 2001, Whelchel reprised her role as Blair Warner for the made-for-television movie, The Facts of Life Reunion.

On March 7, 2004, Whelchel was reunited with Charlotte Rae to perform The Facts of Life theme song at the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood. In spring 2006, she appeared with two of her Facts of Life co-stars on The Today Show to promote the show's DVD releases of the first and second seasons, admitting to being "really bummed out" that Kim Fields was unable to attend. On February 1, 2007, Whelchel was reunited with Fields on WFAA-TV's Good Morning Texas. Fields was in Dallas to promote her appearance in the production Issues: We've All Got 'Em', when Whelchel was introduced as a surprise guest. On April 10, 2011, Whelchel and the cast of The Facts of Life, including Charlotte Rae, Nancy McKeon, Mindy Cohn, Kim Fields, Geri Jewell, and Cloris Leachman were honored with the Pop Culture Award at the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center in New York City.

In 2021, Whelchel, Fields, and Cohn reunited again on the set of Live in Front of a Studio Audience's reenactment of the show's third season episode "Kids Can Be Cruel". Whelchel also sang the show's theme song that evening.[5]

Music career[edit]

In 1984, Whelchel released a Christian pop album entitled All Because of You. The album reached No. 17 on the Billboard Contemporary Christian music charts. She was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance and was recognized as the writer of the title song, "All Because of You".[6][7] Among the songs featured on the album were "All Because of You", "Just Obey", "Cover Me Lord", and "Good Girl". She did not record a second album. While she was appearing on The Facts of Life, she made a cameo appearance in the music video for contemporary Christian music singer-songwriter Steve Taylor's song "Meltdown (at Madame Tussaud's)". The song was the title track from the album Meltdown.


For years, Whelchel was a regular inspirational speaker at churches and conferences nationwide. In 2000, she founded Momtime Ministries, a religious network of mothers' groups who met weekly to "equip and refresh and encourage" each other.

In 2021, Whelchel appeared on friend and The Facts of Life co-star Mindy Cohn’s podcast, Mondays with Mindy, on which she talked about how her faith has changed and evolved over time. She explained that her speaking commitments have shifted over the years, as she no longer operates from a "fear-based, punishment-based" mentality. She explained, "Jesus came, ultimately, to bring grace. I can speak that message in any situation, but a lot of churches — when they find out that I believe that there are many ways to experience God, not just Jesus, then the invitations kind of dry up."[8][9]


Whelchel has written ten books on motherhood, child discipline, adult friendships, homeschooling, and finding Jesus through the development of holiday traditions. Additional topics from a spiritual point of view include prayer and wisdom. She is the bestselling author of So You're Thinking About Homeschooling and The Facts of Life (and Other Lessons My Father Taught Me).


On August 20, 2012, Whelchel was announced as a contestant in Survivor: Philippines as a member of the Tandang tribe. She joined retired Major League Baseball star Jeff Kent as one of the season's two "celebrity" contestants.[10] A former television star, she elected to keep her true identity a secret from the other contestants, many of whom were too young to have watched The Facts of Life during its original run and thus did not recognize her. Michael Skupin and Jonathan Penner, who were around Whelchel's age, as well as eventual winner Denise Stapley, were the only ones to recognize her as "Blair Warner".[11]

On November 14, 2012, Whelchel announced via her Twitter account that she was suffering from West Nile fever and had been advised by her doctor that recovery would take approximately one year. She did not specify whether she had contracted the arbovirus while in the Philippines shooting Survivor.[12]

On December 16, 2012, Whelchel made it to the Final Tribal Council, where fellow contestant and jury member Jonathan Penner revealed to the rest of the jury that she was a former child star. In the end, she received one jury vote from RC Saint-Amour and tied with returning contestant Michael Skupin for runner-up, both losing to eventual winner Denise Stapley. She was also voted the Sprint Player of the Season, winning $100,000 by a margin of about .7 percent against Malcolm Freberg.

Hosting duties[edit]

On January 14, 2013, Whelchel co-hosted several episodes of The Jeff Probst Show with Survivor host, Jeff Probst.[13]

In April 2019, Whelchel hosted a The Facts of Life marathon on the MeTV television network,[14] as a lead-in for a preview of her series Collector's Call that debuted later that year and is in Season 4 as of 2024[15][16]

Personal life[edit]

On July 9, 1988, Whelchel married Steven Cauble, who was an associate pastor at The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, which Whelchel attended at the time. The couple, who have three adult children, divorced in March 2012.[17] In 2019, Whelchel married Pete Harris, who is a psychologist based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Published works[edit]

  • Whelchel, Lisa. Creative Correction, Tyndale House Publishers, 320 pages, 2000. ISBN 978-1561799015
  • Whelchel, Lisa. The Facts of Life (and Other Lessons My Father Taught Me), Multnomah Books, 192 pages, 2001. ISBN 978-1590521489
  • Whelchel, Lisa. So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It (2nd edition), Multnomah Books, 224 pages, 2005. ISBN 978-1590525111
  • Whelchel, Lisa. How to Start Your Own Mom Time
  • The ADVENTure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditions
  • Taking Care of the Me in Mommy
  • The Busy Mom's Guide to Prayer
  • The Busy Mom's Guide to Wisdom
  • The Busy Grandma's Guide to Prayer
  • Speaking Mom-ese: Moments of Peace & Inspiration in the Mother Tongue from One Mom's Heart to Yours



Year Title Role Notes
1979 The Double McGuffin Jody
The Magician of Lublin Halina
1992 Where the Red Fern Grows: Part Two Sara Coleman Direct-to-video film
2013 A Madea Christmas Nancy Porter
2023 Roswell Delirium Mrs. Peltzer


Year Title Role Notes
1977–78 The New Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer/Herself Main cast (130 episodes)
1977 The Wonderful World of Disney Mouseketeer/Herself Episode: "The Mouseketeers at Walt Disney World"
1978 Family Cathy Connelly Episode: "All for Love"
1979 The Wonderful World of Disney Robin Lapp Episode: "Shadow of Fear" (Parts 1 & 2)
1979–81 Diff'rent Strokes Blair Warner 2 episodes
1979–88 The Facts of Life Blair Warner Main cast (200 episodes)
1980 Skyward Lisa Ward Television film
1981 Twirl Jill Moore Television film
1982 The Facts of Life Goes to Paris Blair Warner Television film
The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch Amy Cole Television film
1983–85 The Love Boat Caroline Shea / Kelly Barrett 4 episodes
1985 Back to Next Saturday Blair Warner Television film
1987 The Facts of Life Down Under Blair Warner Television film
2001 The Facts of Life Reunion Blair Warner Television film
2012 Survivor: Philippines Herself (Contestant) Co-runner-up
2013 The Jeff Probst Show Herself (Co-host) 16 episodes
2014 For Better or For Worse Wendy Television film
2016 Hearts of Spring Carly Ashby Television film
A Snow Capped Christmas Dale Benson Television film
2019–present Collector's Call Herself (Host) 81 episodes
2019 You Light Up My Christmas Aurora Television film features surviving original cast of The Facts of Life.[18]
2021 Live in Front of a Studio Audience Herself Episode: "The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes"
2022–23 Toon In with Me Herself 2 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Role
1984 "Meltdown (at Madame Tussaud's)" Steve Taylor News reporter


Year Title Credited As Notes
2013 Lisa Whelchel's Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman Executive producer Also director and host
2016 Hearts of Spring Co-executive producer Also actress


Year Title Label Distributor
1984 All Because of You Nissi Records Sparrow Records

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
1982 Young Artist Awards Best Young Comedienne - Motion Picture or Television The Facts of Life Nominated
1982 Best Young Actress in a Television Special Twirl Nominated
1983 Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series The Facts of Life Nominated
1984 Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
1984 Grammy Awards Best Inspirational Performance All Because of You Nominated
2011 TV Land Awards Pop Culture Award (shared with cast) The Facts of Life Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Survivor. "Survivor Cast: Lisa". Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  2. ^ Snyder, Leslie. "Flower Mound's Lisa Whelchel voted fan favorite in 'Survivor: Philippines'; gets $100K prize". Dallas News. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016.
  3. ^ "Lisa Whelchel Biography (1963–)". Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  4. ^ Bloom, Ken; Vlastnick, Frank (2007) Sitcoms: The 101 Greatest TV Comedies of All Time p. 98 Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
  5. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (December 7, 2021). "ABC's Facts of Life Live Begins With OG Cast Reunion — Grade Reenactment". TVLine. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  6. ^ Carolyn A. Burns. "Lisa Whelchel | Lisa Whelchel". Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  7. ^ "Lisa Whelchel Biography at Simon & Schuster". Archived from the original on December 20, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  8. ^ "Mondays with Mindy". Youtube. June 2021. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "Mondays with Mindy Podcast Platforms". Anchor by Spotify. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  10. ^ Strecker, Erin. "'Survivor: Philippines' cast includes Lisa Whelchel and Jeff Kent | Inside TV |". Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  11. ^ Chandler, Chip. "'Survivor' star struggles with faith, fame". Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  12. ^ "Lisa Whelchel has West Nile Virus, 'Survivor' star reveals". Fox News. Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  13. ^ Carrie "Spicy" Milburn (December 17, 2012). "Survivor's Lisa Whelchel to Join Jeff Probst on Talk Show". Reality Nation. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  14. ^ "Lisa's Call presents Lisa Whelchel's five favorite 'Facts of Life' episodes". Weigel Broadcasting. February 26, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
  15. ^ Freeze, Kellie (April 6, 2019). "Lisa Whelchel Shares Impressive Pop-Culture Collections on MeTV's 'Collector's Call'". NTVB Media. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
  16. ^ "About Collectors Call". Weigel Broadcasting. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
  17. ^ Steve Helling (September 20, 2012). "Lisa Whelchel Is Divorced". Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  18. ^ Jason Dietz, Metacritic Features Editor (August 12, 2019). "TV Premiere Dates (2019-20) - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved November 21, 2019. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sabrina Thompson
Runner-Up of Survivor
Survivor: Philippines
Succeeded by
Dawn Meehan,
Sherri Biethman