Nancy McKeon

Nancy McKeon Biography(Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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. 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 of Tommy Hyatt 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.

She was cast as tomboy Jo Polniaczek in the fall of 1980 during the show's second season when four of the first season's cast, including Molly Ringwald, left the show. 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." 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.

In 2018, McKeon was announced as one of the celebrities to compete on season 27 of Dancing with the Stars. She is partnered with professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy.

Personal life

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

McKeon lives in Austin, Texas. She and husband Marc Andrus have a daughter, Aurora, and were expecting another in 2006.

Her older brother is actor Philip McKeon.



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Where the Day Takes You Vikki
1994 Teresa's Tattoo Sara Alternative title: Natural Selection
1995 ' Melanie Brooke
1997 Just Write Bride


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Starsky & Hutch Vikki Mayer "The Crying Child"
1978 Return to Fantasy Island Ann TV film
1978 ' Susan Moreland TV film
1979 ' Penny Barrett "Daddy's Pride"
1979 The Puppy's Great Adventure Dolly (voice) TV film
1980 Stone Jill Stone TV series (9 episodes)
1980 The Puppy's Amazing Rescue Dolly (voice) TV film
1980 ' Amelia Daley (voice) TV film
1980 Scruffy Scruffy (voice) TV film
1980 ABC Afterschool Special Lucy Twining "Schoolboy Father"
1980-81 Thundarr the Barbarian Tye / Tai (voice) "Harvest of Doom", "Last Train to Doomsday"
1980-88 ' Jo Polniaczek TV series (189 episodes)
1981 ABC Afterschool Special Nancy Parks "Please Don't Hit Me, Mom"
1981 Alice Kimberly "Alice's Halloween Surprise"
1981 The Puppy Saves the Circus Dolly (voice) TV film
1982 Miss Switch to the Rescue Amelia Daley (voice) TV film
1982-83 ' Dolly (voice) TV series (13 episodes)
1982 ' Jo Polniaczek TV film
1983 Dusty Slugger TV film
1983-84 ' Dolly (voice) TV series (8 episodes)
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 ' Jo Polniaczek TV film
1987 Strange Voices Nicole 'Nikki' Glover TV film
1989 ' Tracey Thurman TV film
1990 ' Dawn Wilder "New Dawn"
1991 Lightning Field Martha Townsend TV film
1992 Baby Snatcher Karen Williams TV film
1993 Love, Honor & Obey: The Last Mafia Marriage Rosalie Profaci Bonanno TV film
1995 ' Margaret Deal TV film
1995-96 Can't Hurry Love Annie O'Donnell TV series (19 episodes)
1998 Style & Substance Jane Sokol TV series (13 episodes)
1999 In My Sister's Shadow Joan Connor TV film
1999 Touched by an Angel Rachel Waters "The Last Day of the Rest of Your Life"
2001-04 ' Inspector Jinny Exstead TV series (88 episodes)
2003 Comfort and Joy Jane Berry TV film
2004 Category 6: Day of Destruction Amy Harkin TV miniseries
2006 Wild Hearts Emily TV film
2007 Without a Trace Gail Sweeney "Absalom"
2009-10 Sonny with a Chance Connie Munroe TV series (5 episodes)
2011 Love Begins Millie TV film
2018 Dancing with the Stars Season 27 Contestant

Awards and nominations

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

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