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‘Facts of Life’ star Lisa Whelchel talks about forgetting she kissed George Clooney, leaning on her faith in Hollywood


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Lisa Whelchel once kissed “the sexiest man alive,” and she forgot all about it.

The actress, who starred in ‘The Facts of Life,’ worked alongside George Clooney, who played handyman George Burnett on the show from 1985 to 1987. While Whelchel admitted she didn’t remembered their kiss for the sitcom only years later, she certainly doesn’t mind going back in time.

The former Mouseketeer recently returned for Season 3 of “Collector’s Call” on MeTV. For the show, she travels across the country to discover rare collections and treasures and meet the everyday Americans who own them.

Whelchel spoke to Fox News Digital about how she managed to forget she once locked lips with the Oscar-winning actress, how faith helped her navigate Hollywood and her thoughts on going viral after going viral. shared the stage with Jennifer Aniston.

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Lisa Whelchel stars in ‘Collector’s Call’ season 3.
(Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

FoxNews: What can “Collector’s Call” fans expect this time around?
Lisa Whelchel: Other wonderful collections that are breathtaking, as well as other great collector stories. This season has a few extra things. For starters, we had to film some shows during the pandemic, so it was done virtually.

On the one hand, it was a little disappointing because I love being in the middle of these collections. But on the other hand, it allowed us to go to the world level. We were able to attend a beautiful Harry Potter collection in England. We met a family in Australia who had an incredible Snoopy collection. We were able to go further and further. So that makes this season even more special.

We’ve also upped the ante with surprises for collectors. Sometimes we get a special little message recorded by someone the collector admired and is associated with the collections. It’s personally special to me because it’s a way to connect with someone who has dedicated so much of their life to something they truly love. We have many wonderful collections focusing on “Charlie’s Angels”, “Wonder Woman”, “Star Trek”, “Andy Griffith” and more.

Lisa Whelchel enjoys meeting collectors from across the country.

Lisa Whelchel enjoys meeting collectors from across the country.
(MeTV)

FoxNews: Why do you think these classic shows continue to be so successful in 2022?
Whelchel: You know, it always has something to do with childhood. It’s that childhood feeling. We try to hold on to those sweet moments and memories that are buried under the stress of adulthood. I know, for me, it brings the same comfort whenever my favorite shows are on TV. It brings us back to get a little taste of what sometimes feels lost.

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FoxNews: Last year, Jennifer Aniston took on your role as Blair. What was it like working with her on the ABC special “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes?”
Whelchel: It was just amazing. My kids weren’t there when I was on the show. So every time I tell them, “Hey, I was a big deal back then,” they just say, “OK, yeah mom.” *laughs* But when they cast Jennifer Aniston to play Blair, they were so impressed. So anything that impresses my kids makes me feel good.

FoxNews: You went viral because fans kept saying how amazing you were. What is your secret?
Whelchel: I have no practical secret… First of all, it’s just genes. My mom is beautiful and amazing. My grandmother too. I just inherited good genes. But I must admit that I have another secret. I will be 59 next month. I’m about 15 pounds heavier than when I did “Facts of Life.” But the good news about that extra weight is that it puffs up wrinkles. You can either be very skinny, but have wrinkles, or a little fluffy and be a little smoother. I choose the fluffy and smooth look because that also includes ice cream and cookies.

Jennifer Aniston (left) with Lisa Whelchel.

Jennifer Aniston (left) with Lisa Whelchel.
(Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images)

FoxNews: Speaking of your “Facts of Life” days, is it true that at some point you forgot you kissed your co-star George Clooney? How did you manage to forget that?
Whelchel: It’s a good question. I don’t think that’s a comment on whether he’s a good or bad kisser. I think it has more to do with the fact that I had three babies in three years. It is said that memory dies with the placenta. I don’t know how I forgot that, but I did. And we also filmed 200 shows, so maybe that was part of that too.

FoxNews: What was it like working with George Clooney before he became a big Hollywood star?
Whelchel: It was great. We had a lot of estrogen on set for many, many years. So a small dose of testosterone was a welcome addition. He was just lovely. Very playful. He was always making jokes. So it was a welcoming and fun addition.

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FoxNews: What do you think of “Facts of Life” today?
Whelchel: It’s a wonderful trip down memory lane… We talked about reinventing “Facts of Life” and bringing it back again. Nothing is set yet, but it’s been really fun talking about it. What I brought to the table for these conversations is that I would like to see a little more acceptance of what reality is like for a middle-aged woman. As I mentioned, I’m about 15 pounds heavier than in “Facts of Life”.…If we were to do a reimagining of the show, I would really like my character to address the realities we face when we arrive at a certain age.

Lisa Whelchel with George Clooney on the set of "The facts of life."

Lisa Whelchel with George Clooney on the set of “The Facts of Life”.
(Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

You just get fluffier and it’s really hard to lose weight no matter what you do. Unless you want to dedicate your life to exercising four hours a day and eating celery sticks, you’ll look like a middle-aged woman. And I don’t want to hide it. I don’t want to feel less than. Actors and actresses in television and film have personal trainers and personal chefs. They dedicate their lives to looking a certain way. I would like to look a little more realistic. And I’m proud of my journey.

FoxNews: We recently spoke to Donny Osmond. During our conversation, he thanked his family for giving him as normal an upbringing as possible despite being in the spotlight. How did you navigate to stardom as a teenager?
Whelchel: Well, I came to Hollywood when I was 12 to join the “Mickey Mouse Club”. But, at that time, I was already a Christian. I had a very personal relationship with God from the age of 10.

So when I moved to California, God was almost kind of like a parent to me. He was my heavenly father. I trusted the things he said were good for me and knew to be careful about the things I knew weren’t for me. I believe my faith and my church community really laid the groundwork. It protected me from taking paths that would probably have been very tempting to take had I not trusted God.

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Lisa Welchel as Blair Warner.

Lisa Welchel as Blair Warner.
(NBCU/NBCUniversal Photo Bank via Getty Images via Getty Images)

FoxNews: How is life for you today?
Whelchel: I think it’s really like anyone’s life. But there are really sweet and wonderful things happening in my life. At the top of the pyramid are my two grandchildren. It was truly a wonderful trip.

“Collector’s Call” airs Sundays at 6:30 p.m. on MeTV.


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