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 Title Role Notes
1991 Where the Day Takes You Vikki
1994 Teresa's Tattoo Sara AKA, Natural Selection
1995 Wrong Woman, TheThe Wrong Woman Melanie
1997 Just Write Bride


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Starsky & Hutch Vikki Mayer "The Crying Child"
1978 Fantasy Island Ann "Return to Fantasy Island"
1978 Question of Love, AA Question of Love Susan Moreland TV film
1979 Love Boat, TheThe Love Boat Penny Barrett "The Brotherhood of the Sea"
1979-1982 ABC Weekend Special Various (voice) Recurring role
1980 Stone Jill Stone Regular role
1980 ABC Afterschool Special Lucy Twining "Schoolboy Father"
1980-1981 Thundarr the Barbarian Tye / Tai (voice) "Harvest of Doom", "Last Train to Doomsday"
1980-1988 Facts of Life, TheThe Facts of Life Joanna 'Jo' Polniaczek Main role
1981 Please Don't Hit Me, Mom Nancy Parks TV film
1981 Alice Kimberly "Alice's Halloween Surprise"
1982 Facts of Life Goes to Paris, TheThe Facts of Life Goes to Paris Jo Polniaczek TV film
1983 Dusty Slugger TV film
1983 High School U.S.A. Beth Franklin TV film
1985 Poison Ivy Rhonda Malone TV film
1985 This Child Is Mine Kimberly Downs TV film
1986 Firefighter Cindy Fralick TV film
1987 Facts of Life Down Under, TheThe Facts of Life Down Under Jo Polniaczek TV film
1987 Strange Voices Nicole Glover TV film
1989 Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story, AA Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story Tracey Thurman TV film
1990 Hitchhiker, TheThe Hitchhiker Dawn Wilder "New Dawn"
1991 Lightning Field Martha TV film
1992 Baby Snatcher Karen Williams TV film
1993 Love, Honor & Obey: The Last Mafia Marriage Rosalie Profaci Bonanno TV film
1995 Mother's Gift, AA Mother's Gift Margaret Deal TV film
1995-1996 Can't Hurry Love Annie O'Donnell Main role
1998 In My Sister's Shadow Joan Connor TV film
1998 Style & Substance Jane Sokol Main role
1999 Touched by an Angel Rachel Waters "The Last Day of the Rest of Your Life"
2001-2004 Division, TheThe Division Inspector Jinny Exstead Main role
2003 Comfort and Joy Jane Berry TV film
2004 Category 6: Day of Destruction Amy Harkin TV film
2006 Wild Hearts Emmy TV film
2007 Without a Trace Gail Sweeney "Absalom"
2009-2010 Sonny with a Chance Connie Munroe Recurring role
2011 Love Begins Millie TV film

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]