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See the Live in Front of a Studio Audience cast next to the original sitcom stars


Jennifer Aniston; Lisa Whelchel

See the cast of Live in Front of a Studio Audience next to the actors who starred in the original Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes.

Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Whelchel as Blair

Whelchel played spoiled rich girl Blair Warner for all nine seasons of The Facts of Life, while Aniston played spoiled rich girl Rachel Green for all 10 seasons of Friends. Aniston may in fact (of life) be overqualified for this role. 

Gabrielle Union and Kim Fields as Tootie

Brrr! It’s cold in here! There must be some Tootie in the atmosphere! Fields skated to stardom as the youngest of Mrs. Garrett’s girls, Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey, in 1979, while Union cheered her way to icon status in 2000’s Bring It On.

Kathryn Hahn and Nancy McKeon as Jo

McKeon joined Facts of Life in season 2 as gruff tomboy Jo Polniaczek. Hahn stole the show — and an Emmy nom — as gruff witch Agatha Harkness in this year’s WandaVisison

Allison Tolman and Mindy Cohn as Natalie

Cohn is best known for playing Facts‘ aspiring writer Natalie Green. Tolman is best known for trying to solve a murder as Molly Solverson in Fargo before committing one as Alma Filcott in Why Women Kill.

Kevin Hart and Gary Coleman as Arnold

Diff’rent Strokes star Coleman, who died in 2010, was once among the highest paid child actors on television. Hart was the highest earning stand-up comedian in 2019. 

John Lithgow and Conrad Bain as Mr. Drummond

When the Park Avenue businessman takes in the two sons of his late housekeeper, his world never again moves to the beat of just one Drummond. Bain played the kind-hearted Drummond for all eight seasons of Diff’rent Strokes. Meanwhile, Lithgow has been in, well, it feels like pretty much everything. 

Damon Wayans and Todd Bridges as Willis

What? You talkin’ ’bout Willis? Bridges has the rather sad distinction of being the last surviving regular cast member of Diff’rent Strokes. He played Arnold’s older brother Willis, who dated Janet Jackson’s Charlene for four seasons before she took Control. Damon Wayans is the fourth-oldest member of the multitalented Wayans family and is (surprise!) Damon Wayans Jr.’s dad. 

Ann Dowd and Charlotte Rae as Mrs. Garrett

Rae originated the role of Edna Garrett on Diff’rent Strokes in 1978 as the Drummond housekeeper before moving on to The Facts of Life a year later when Mrs. Garrett took the job as house mother for the Eastland School for Girls Girls Girls! Dowd played Aunt Lydia, another kind of house mother — this one a bit more sinister — in The Handmaid’s Tale to great acclaim and an Emmy in 2017.

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