Lisa Whelchel of Facts of Life

by Ruchel Freibrun

Special thanks to Concordia University Irvine and Grace Saldana

Lisa Whelchel of Facts of LifeIt was a wonderful experience to interview Lisa Whelchel, “Blair” of the hit teen sitcom of the ’80s Facts of Life. When I heard she was a guest speaker for Concordia University Irvine’s Women’s Faith and Friendship Connection, I seized the opportunity to listen to her speech and interview her. It was also a memorable moment because it was a great bonding time with my mom. The event was festive with Christmas centerpieces on every table. It was held at The Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa.

Growing up in the ’80s I was an avid fan of Facts of Life. The reason why I was glued to the show every week was Blair Warner. I was about 10 years old when I started to watch the show and was already into fashion at that age. I would always admire her clothes and also thought she had the most beautiful hair. I even sent her a fan letter and was ecstatic when I received a photo from her. Whelchel started her acting career as a Mouseketeer on Walt Disney’s The New Mickey Mouse Club and starred as Blair Warner on Facts of Life for nine years. Fast forward more than 25 years later, she was back on the tube with her latest adventure as a participant in Season 25 of Survivor: Philippines. She tied for second place and won “Player of the Season” awarded by fans of the show. Lisa Whelchel has written a number of books including, “The Facts of Life and Other Lessons My Father Taught Me”, “Taking Care of the Me in Mommy”, “The Busy Mom’s Guide To Prayer,” to name a few, and the latest one “Friendship For Grown-Ups: What I Missed and Learned Along the Way” which was the theme of the Concordia University’s event this year.

Upon my interview, I noticed that Lisa still looked as beautiful as ever. She had that infectious smile and was dressed a denim jacket over a blue and white striped cotton dress and a western boots.

PopBuff: What do you like about giving a talk about friendships?

LW: I usually just talk about my life, what I’m going through, what I’m learning. So the best few years have been a journey of experiencing friendships as an adult and how that really has made a difference on my own connection with myself, connection with God and connection with others.

PopBuff: What is your advice for busy moms or new moms who are struggling to develop friendships?

Well, I started a middle moms group in my home so making it intentional and regular made such a difference. Otherwise, if you think you’re going to make time, it just does not happen. For me, every Friday at 12 noon I had a handful of friends come over, took turns making lunch and made it a priority to have friendships.

PopBuff: Now you moved to Los Angeles, how do you like it so far?

LW: I like it. You can’t say anything bad about the weather and the opportunity. It’s good to be back.

PopBuff: What was the highlight of your Survivor: Philippines experience?

LW: I would say when my brother came to visit. It feels so good to have somebody who loves you and who wasn’t trying to snap your torch. To share that with him is a lifetime experience that I will always have.

PopBuff: Will you ever have another Facts of Life reunion?

LW: We had one in 2001. I doubt to have another one.

PopBuff: Any words for your fans?

LW: I’m so grateful that they stuck around all these years. It’s wonderful to have friends that you feel like you had since childhood and special place in your heart for those kind of friends. That’s how I feel and I hope that’s how I feel as well.

Follow Lisa on Twitter and Facebook


Women's faith and friendship connection program

One of the beautiful centerpieces at Women's Faith & Friendship Connection

Lisa sent me her photo when I wrote her a fan letter about 28 years ago

Lisa Whelchel book signing Nov. 9

Lisa Whelchel as a guest speaker for Concordia University Irvine on Women's Faith & Friendship Connection

Lisa Whelchel giving a talk on Friendship for Grown-Ups

Lisa Whelchel "Blair Warner" from Facts of Life

Lisa Whelchel "Blair" as beautiful as ever

Lisa Whelchel with the fans

Lisa Whelchel signing books for her fans

Lisa Whelchel signing book for the fans

Lisa Whelchel of "Facts of Life" and interviewer Ruchel Freibrun

Lisa Whelchel and popbuff blogger Ruchel Freibrun

Lisa Whelchel of "Facts of Life" and interviewer Ruchel Freibrun

mymom Lisa and I having fun

Lisa Whelchel "Blair Warner" with popbuff blogger Ruchel Freibrun

Lisa Whelchel and with pop culture blogger Ruchel Freibrun


  1. What a wonderful interview! I have always admired Lisa Whelchel.

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