McKeon had auditioned for the role of Monica Geller on the hit sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S. She was in the running for the role alongside Courtney Cox, who eventually got the part and shot to overnight fame. McKeon later went on to say she had “no hard feelings.” “The role went to the right person. Courtney was brilliant. Now, I can’t see anybody else playing the role, not even myself,” she said in an interview.
McKeon has been in showbiz since an early age, working in advertisements and commercials since the age of two.As a child artist, she made guest appearances on soap operas likeAnother World.
Her family relocated to California when her brother, fellow actor Philip McKeon, landed the lead role in a sitcom calledAlice. Meanwhile, McKeon landed guest spots on shows likeLoveboatandStarsky and Hutch.
Her big break came in 1980, when she was cast in the second season of the hit show Facts of Life.The show ran for eight seasons after McKeon joined it.
She made her film debut in 1992, with Will Smith, Sean Astin, and others.in a film calledWhere the Day Takes You.
She was later cast in a television drama calledThe Division,for which she also turned director for a few episodes.
Since the show was cancelled in 2004, McKeon has had guest and recurring roles on several television shows.Most notably, she had a recurring role onSonny With a Chance, where she played Demi Lovato’s mother.
Early Life and Caree
Born in Westbury, New York, McKeon has been on the screen since an early age, either in advertisements and television commercials or as a child artist in television shows and soap operas.
One of her earlier roles was a guest appearance in the American soap opera Another World. Interestingly, like McKeon, there have been several actors who appeared in the show at some point or another and went on to become successful actors or stars subsequently.
Some of these big names include actress Anne Heche (ofSix Days, Seven Nightsfame), Justin Chambers (ofGrey’s Anatomyfame), Sarah Hyland (ofModern Familyfame) and not to mention, Brad Pitt!
At a young age, McKeon and her family relocated to California as her brother, Philip McKeon, had landed a lead role in sitcomAlice,where he played Tommy Hyatt, the son of the titular character Alice, portrayed by Linda Lavin.
Through her childhood in California, McKeon got guest spots in a variety of popular sitcoms and TV shows, likeLoveboatandStarsky and Hutch.Through the 70s, McKeon was a known face on television, but her big break came only in 1980.
A Big Break with “Facts of Life”
The year 1980 began for McKeon with a supporting role in the police dramaStone.But the show was short-lived.In the fall of the same year, she got the chance to join the second season of the popular sitcomThe Facts of Life,which would go on to become one of the longest-running sitcoms on television and also the biggest leap for McKeon’s career.
The show was about the lives of a group of girls studying at a posh boarding school.McKeon portrayed the role of Jo Polnaiczek, a tomboy who was a bit rough around the edges.The cast of the show also briefly included George Clooney and Cloris Leachman.
The show had a very long and successful run.After McKeon joined the show, it went on for eight more seasons, finally wrapping up production in 1988.Apart from playing one of the leads in this hit sitcom, McKeon also ventured into other roles and appeared in several television movies.
One of the more notable works she has done in a TV movie isPoison Ivy(1985), opposite Michael J Fox.Incidentally, Fox and McKeon were said to have developed an off-set romance as well, which went on for about three years.She also starred in a 1987 TV movie calledStrange Voices,for which she turned producer.She played the challenging role of a woman living with schizophrenia.
McKeon garnered favorable reviews for 1989’sA Cry for Help: The Tracy Thurman Story,in which she plays a woman who is attempting to pick up the pieces of her life after she is left paralyzed from the domestic abuse she faced at the hands of her husband. McKeon is one of the few child actors or stars who has been able to seamlessly transition into more mature roles.
Foray into Films
In 1992, after establishing herself as a successful television actor, McKeon forayed into film. Her debut film wasWhere the Day Takes You,where she played Vikki, the girlfriend of a drug dealer, played by Kyle MacLachlan.The film was also Will Smith’s debut film.She also returned to television with a show calledCan’t Hurry Love,which was about the lives of a young group of friends in New York City.
Several comparisons were made withF.R.I.E.N.D.S, much to the annoyance of McKeon and other members of the unit.The sitcom, however, failed to make a mark and was cancelled after only one season.
Some of the other feature films she was a part of includeTeresa’s Tattoo(1994),The Wrong Woman(1995), andJust Write(1997).
McKeon found television success again with a show calledThe Division.It was a drama that aired on the Lifetime Cable Network and followed the adventures of a group of female police officers.McKeon played the role of Jinny Exstead.With this show, McKeon also turned director and took charge behind the camera for a couple of episodes.
Other members of the cast included the likes of Lisa Vidal, Jon Hamm, and Bonnie Bedelia.It was during the run of this show that McKeon was offered the opportunity to reunite with herThe Facts of Lifeco-stars for a television movie.
The Divisionwas canceled in 2004.Since then, McKeon has made guest appearances on shows likeWithout a Trace, and most notably, she had a recurring role in the sitcomSonny with a Chance, which propelled singer-actor Demi Lovato to overnight fame.McKeon played Sonny’s (Lovato’s) mother in the show.
The American actress Nancy McKeon has a career that has earned her a net worth of $2 million.
Where Is She Now
McKeon married her husband Marc Andrus in 2003, and the couple has two children together.Since her role in Sonny with a Chance, McKeon has not been as visible on screen, choosing instead to focus on her family.
In 2018, she participated in the 27th season of the reality dance show, “Dancing with the Stars.” McKeon was paired with choreographer and professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy.The pair made it until the eighth round of the season before they were eliminated.Though not much is known of her life currently, McKeon is sometimes photographed out and about with her family, with whom she lives in Austin, Texas.
Exercise, Diet, and Fitness
The actress Jean Smart claimed that Nancy McKeon introduced her to Tae-Bo, an aerobics class that combines karate and boxing. Nancy has been maintaining her health in this manner.