Nancy McKeon

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Nancy McKeon
Born Nancy Justine McKeon
(1966-04-04) April 4, 1966 (age 49)
Westbury, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress/Director/Producer
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Marc Andrus (2003-present)
Children 2

Nancy Justine McKeon (born April 4, 1966) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Jo Polniaczek on the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life.


McKeon and her older brother Philip appeared in numerous commercials.[1] McKeon also appeared on the soap operas The Secret Storm and Another World. The McKeons moved to Los Angeles in 1975, when Philip won the role and began appearing on the television series Alice with Linda Lavin.

In 1979, McKeon was discovered by a casting director for The Facts of Life on the basis of her performance in a Hallmark greeting cards advertisement, in which she was able to cry on cue.[2]

She was cast as tomboy Jo Polniaczek in the fall of 1980 during the show's second season, when she replaced most of the first season's cast, including Molly Ringwald.[3] This is her most famous role and she portrayed the character throughout the series until the show was canceled in 1988. McKeon also provided the voice for many ABC Weekend Special cartoon characters, including the voice for Scruffy.

Following The Facts of Life, McKeon was courted by NBC executives for the title role in the TV sitcom adaptation of the 1988 film Working Girl; the role, played by Melanie Griffith in the movie, instead went to then-unknown Sandra Bullock for the TV series. In 1994, both McKeon and Courteney Cox auditioned for the role of Monica Geller on Friends. The role went to the latter. When asked in interviews about the auditions McKeon said, "I have no hard feelings. The role went to the right person, Courteney was brilliant. Now, I can't see anybody playing the role, not even myself."[citation needed] In 1995 she starred in her own series, Can't Hurry Love, which lasted one season. In 1998, she starred in a sitcom with Jean Smart titled Style & Substance.

McKeon portrayed Inspector Jinny Exstead on the Lifetime police drama The Division from 2001 to 2004, with her pregnancy incorporated into the storyline of the last year of the series. From 2009 to 2010, McKeon appeared in a recurring role in the Disney Channel Original Series Sonny With a Chance, as Connie Munroe, the mother of Demi Lovato's title character.

McKeon also starred in numerous made-for-TV movies throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story, in which she portrayed the title role of Tracey Thurman, and The Wrong Woman, portraying a woman framed for killing her boss. In 2003, McKeon starred in the film Comfort and Joy. According to her A&E Biography, she initially turned down the role of Tracey Thurman because she feared that she couldn't work with the material, she then met Thurman herself, and chose to take it on, she again had second thoughts during the second day of shooting, wanting to be replaced because she felt she would not be able to do Thurman any justice if she were to remain in the role, she was once again talked into remaining with the cast and finished the shooting.

Personal life[edit]

While McKeon was on The Facts of Life, she and her parents, all devout Catholics, were granted a private audience with Pope John Paul II.[4]

McKeon lives in Austin, Texas.[2] She married Marc Andrus on June 8, 2003, and they have two daughters, Aurora and Harlow.[5][6]


Year Film Role Other notes
1992 Where the Day Takes You Vikki
1994 Teresa's Tattoo Sara
1995 The Wrong Woman Melanie
1997 Just Write Bride
Year Title Role Notes
1977 Starsky & Hutch Vikki Mayer Episode: The Crying Child
1978 Return to Fantasy Island]] Ann TV-Pilot/TV-Movie
A Question of Love Susan Moreland ABC TV-Movie
1978, 1981 Alice Girl Orphan
Episode: Who Ordered the Hot Turkey?
Episode: Alice's Halloween Surprise
1979 Stone" Jill Stone ABC TV-Movie
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Additional Voices Voice role
The Love Boat Penny Barrett Episode: The Brotherhood of the Sea...
1979–1983 ABC Weekend Special Dolly
Amelia Matilda Daley
Voice role
7 episodes
1980–1988 The Facts of Life Joanna 'Jo' Polniaczek 186 episodes
1980 Stone Jill Stone 9 episodes
ABC Afterschool Special Lucy Twining Episode: Schoolboy Father
1980, 1981 Thundarr the Barbarian Tai Voice Role
Episode: Harvest of Doom
Episode: Last Train to Doomsday
1981 Please Don't Hit Me, Mom Nancy Parks ABC Afterschool Special
1982 The Puppy's New Adventures Dolly Voice Role (13 episodes)
The Facts of Life Goes to Paris Joanna 'Jo' Polniaczek NBC TV-Movie
1983 The Puppy's Further Adventures Dolly Voice Role (8 episodes)
Dusty Slugger TV-Pilot
High School U.S.A. Beth Franklin NBC TV-Movie
1985 Poison Ivy Rhonda Malone NBC TV-Movie
This Child Is Mine" Kimberly Downs NBC TV-Movie
1986 Firefighter Cindy Fralick CBS TV-Movie
1987 The Facts of Life Down Under" Joanna 'Jo' Polniaczek NBC TV-Movie
Strange Voices Nicole Glover NBC TV-Movie
1989 A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story Tracey Thurman NBC TV-Movie
1990 The Hitchhiker Episode: New Dawn
1991 Lightning Field Martha USA Network TV-Movie
1992 Baby Snatcher Karen Williams CBS TV-Movie
1993 "Love, Honor & Obey: The Last Mafia Marriage Rosalie Profaci Bonanno CBS TV-Movie
1995 "A Mother's Gift" Abigail 'Abby' Deal CBS TV-Movie
Can't Hurry Love Annie O'Donnell 19 episodes
1997 "In My Sister's Shadow" Joan Connor CBS TV-Movie
1998 Style & Substance Jane Sokol 13 episodes
1999 Touched by an Angel Rachel Episode: The Last Day of the Rest of Your Life
2001–2004 The Division Insp. Jinny Exstead 88 episodes
2003 Comfort and Joy Jane TV-Movie
2004 Category 6: Day of Destruction Amy Harkin CBS Miniseries
2006 Wild Hearts Emily TV-Movie
2007 Without a Trace Gail Sweeney Episode: Absalom
2009–2010 Sonny With a Chance Connie Munroe 7 Episodes
Recurring role
2011 "Love Begins" Millie

Awards and nominations[edit]

Marco Island Film Festival

  • 2000: Won, "Audience Award for Best Short Drama" - A Wakening
  • 2000: Won, "Crystal Palm Award for Best Short Film" - A Wakening

Prism Awards

  • 2003: Nominated, "Best Performance in a Drama Series Episode" - The Division
  • 2003: Nominated, "Best Performance in a Drama Series" - The Division
  • 2004: Nominated, "Best Performance in a Drama Series Multi Episode Storyline" - The Division

TV Land Awards

  • 2007: Nominated, "The 'When Bad Teens Go Good' Award" - The Facts of Life

Young Artist Awards

  • 1982: Nominated, "Best Young Comedienne in Motion Picture or Television" - The Facts of Life
  • 1983: Won, "Best Young Actress in a Television Special" - Please Don't Hit Me, Mom
  • 1983: Won, "Best Young Actress in a Movie Made for Television" - The Facts of Life Goes to Paris
  • 1983: Won, "Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series" - The Facts of Life
  • 1984: Nominated, "Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series" - The Facts of Life


  1. ^ "Nancy McKeon Net Worth". Celebrity Net Worth. Retrieved 2014-09-16. 
  2. ^ a b "The Facts of Life". Biography. Season 18. Episode 28. July 25, 2005. The Biography Channel. 
  3. ^,3
  4. ^ "Intimate Portrait: Nancy McKeon". 2001. Lifetime.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  5. ^ "Actress Nancy McKeon expecting second child". Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Biography". Retrieved November 6, 2014. 

External links[edit]