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

The actress, who starred in “The Facts of Life,” worked alongside George Clooney, who played handyman George Burnett in the show from 1985 to 1987. While Whelchel admitted she didn’t remember their smooch for the sitcom until years later, she certainly doesn’t mind going down memory lane.

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 to 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 winner, how faith helped her navigate Hollywood and her thoughts on going viral after sharing the stage with Jennifer Aniston.


Lisa Whelchel is starring on Season 3 of ‘Collector’s Call'.

Lisa Whelchel is starring on Season 3 of ‘Collector’s Call’. (Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Fox News: What can fans expect from “Collector’s Call” this time around?
Lisa Whelchel: More wonderful collections that are mind-boggling, along with more great stories from collectors. This season has a few extra things. For starters, we had to film some shows during the pandemic, so it was done virtually.

On one hand, it was a bit disappointing because I love being amid these collections. But on the other hand, it allowed us to go globally. We were able to witness a beautiful Harry Potter collection in England. We met with a family in Australia who had an incredible Snoopy collection. We were able to go further and further than ever before. So that makes this season extra special.

We’ve also upped the ante with surprises for the collectors. Sometimes we’ll get a little special message recorded from someone the collector has admired that’s associated with the collections. It’s personally special to me because it’s a way to connect with someone who has devoted a big part of their lives to something they truly love. We’ve got lots of wonderful collections focused 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)

Fox News: Why do you believe these classic shows continue to have such a huge following in 2022?
Whelchel: You know, it always has something to do with childhood. It’s that feeling of childhood. We try to hang on to those sweet moments and memories that do get buried underneath the stress of adulting. I know, for me, it brings that same comfort whenever my favorite shows are on TV. It brings us back to get a little taste of what feels lost sometimes.


Fox News: Last year, Jennifer Aniston took on your role of Blair. What was it like working with her for the ABC special “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes?”
Whelchel: It was just incredible. My kids weren’t around when I was on the show. So whenever I tell them, “Hey, I was kind of a big deal back in the day,” they’re just like, “OK, yeah mom.” *laughs* But when they chose Jennifer Aniston to portray Blair, they were so impressed. So anything that impresses my kids makes me feel good.

Fox News: You went viral because fans couldn’t stop talking about how amazing you look. What’s your secret?
Whelchel: I don’t have a practical secret … First of all, it’s just genes. My mom looks beautiful and amazing. My grandmother did too. I just inherited some good genes. But I must admit, I do have another secret. I’m going to be 59 next month. I’m about 15 pounds more than I was when I did “Facts of Life.” But the good news about that extra weight is that it kind of fluffs out the wrinkles. You can either be really skinny, but have wrinkles, or a little fluffy and be a little smoother. I’m choosing the fluffy, 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)

Fox News: Speaking of your “Facts of Life” days, is it true that at one point, you forgot that you kissed your co-star George Clooney? How did you manage to forget that?
Whelchel: That’s a good question. I don’t think it’s any commentary 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. They say the memory goes out 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 it too.

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

Fox News: How do you feel about “Facts of Life” today?
Whelchel: It’s a wonderful trip down memory lane … We’ve been talking about a reimagining of “Facts of Life” and bringing it back again. Nothing is set yet, but it’s been really fun to talk about it. What I have brought to the table for those conversations is I would love to see a little bit more acceptance of what reality looks like for a midlife woman. As I mentioned, I’m about 15 pounds heavier than I was on “Facts of Life.”… If we were to do a re-imagining of the show, I would really like my character to address the realities that we face when we get to 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 devote your life to working out four hours a day and eating celery sticks, you’re going to look like a middle-aged woman. And I don’t want to hide from that. I don’t want to feel less than. Actors and actresses on television and movies have personal trainers and personal chefs. They devote their lives to looking a certain way. I’d like to look a bit more realistic. And I’m proud of my journey.

Fox News: We recently spoke to Donny Osmond. During our chat, he credited his family for giving him as normal of an upbringing as possible despite being in the spotlight. How did you navigate fame as an adolescent?
Whelchel: Well, I came to Hollywood when I was 12 to be on the “Mickey Mouse Club.” But, by then, I was already a Christian. I had a very personal relationship with God from the time I was 10.

So when I moved to California, God was practically kind of a parent to me. He was my heavenly father. I trusted in the things that He said were good for me and I knew to look out for the things that I knew weren’t it for me. I do believe my faith and the community of my church really set the foundation. It protected me from going down some paths that would have probably been very tempting to go down had I not trusted in God.


Lisa Welchel as Blair Warner.

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

Fox News: What’s life like for you today?
Whelchel: I think it’s like anybody’s life really. But there are some really sweet and wonderful things happening in my life. On the top of the pyramid are my two little grandbabies. It’s truly been a wonderful journey.

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