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TV Diary: The facts on 'Facts of Life'

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 12:01 am

I'm not much into “reality” shows, but one has piqued my interest: “Survivor: Philippines,” which airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.

The reason I am so interested? Lisa Whelchel, of course.

I remember well her snobbish Blair Warner role on “The Facts of Life” TV series. It balanced so well against the street-wise Jo Polniaczek (played by Nancy McKeon).

Whelchel, it turns out, is a big fan of “Survivor,” and campaigned to be selected. We'll see how long she lasts…

In the meantime, take this short quiz about “The Facts of Life.”

1. Name the housemother. Can you name the actress who played her?

2. This housemother left another popular TV series to star on “The Facts of Life.” Can you name the TV series?

3. This famous Academy Award-winning actor starred as George Burnett toward the end of the series.

4. Who played Jo Polniaczek's father?

5. Besides Blair and Jo, there were two more main characters. Do you remember them?

6. One actress starred on the first season only, and went on to hit it big in the movies.

Answers: 1. Edna Garrett (played by Charlotte Rae). 2. “Diff'rent Strokes.” 3. George Clooney. 4. Alex Rocco. 5. Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey (played by Kim Fields) and Natalie “Nat” Green (played by Mindy Cohn. 6. Molly Ringwald.