'The Facts of Life': Where Are They Now?
Nancy McKeon as Joanna 'Jo' Marie Polniaczek Bonner
Nancy McKeon (Jo Polniaczek)
When Joanne "Jo" Polniaczek arrived at Eastland Academy, she brought an edge that none of the elite school's girls had before.
"Facts" wasn't McKeon's first foray on TV. She and her older brother Philip, who played Tommy on "Alice," had been doing commercials and TV movies before landing the coveted role. Still, when the show came to an end in 1988, McKeon couldn't seem to find a suitable new home. She did almost have another major TV hit. When producers were casting the part of Monica Geller on "Friends," it came down to McKeon and Courteney Cox. Everyone knows how that worked out.
Her own follow-up shows were far less successful -- the short-lived sitcoms "Can't Hurry Love," which she also produced, and "Style & Substance." Ultimately, McKeon turned to drama for her next small-screen achievement, playing Inspector Jinny Exstead on "The Division" and directing a couple of episodes. After the action show ended, she took a turn as Connie Munroe on "Sonny With a Chance." The part felt like a full-circle moment with the former teen star playing a mom to the new generation's it-girl Demi Lovato.