Andrea Barber is more popularly known as Kimmy Gibbler from the 1980s and ’90s sitcom Full House. There’s a good reason for that.
Not only did the character command many of the laughs while growing up before adoring audiences, but she was also the most prolific character that Barber ever played.
When the series wrapped up in 1995, she knew exactly how to crack the child star curse. Disappear into “normal” life.
In a recent interview with People Magazine, Andrea Barber revealed that while she liked acting, she hated the business.
“I had a great experience as a child. I love the craft, I just don’t really like the business,” Barber said. “The marketing of yourself, going out on auditions and the unpredictability of the profession is really hard on my family life. It’s just a really tough business.”
The 39-year-old set the blueprint for how to survive being a child star. After the final episode, she went to college, worked in higher education, and became a mom of the stay-at-home variety to two children of her own.
And even though her marriage was unable to stay together, she has remained scandal-free, unlike her co-star Jodie Sweetin, who struggled for years with addiction and multiple bad marriages.
In the case of Andrea Barber, she has been the textbook homebody, and the only reason audiences are about to be reintroduced to her is because of the reunion series Fuller House for Netflix, which premieres on Feb. 26.
“I came back to this business simply for Fuller House,” Barber confessed. “It was a dream come true. I didn’t have to audition for the show and I get to work with people I already know and love! I feel very fortunate.”
Andrea Barber saw the writing on the wall after the original’s eight-year run. Her career as a child actor up until the 1987 debut was littered with one-off television appearances.
Landing Full House gave her job security for the entire run, and also opened opportunities to do The Skateboard Kid II, the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen television movie To Grandmother’s House We Go, and a guest spot on another popular ’90s sitcom, Growing Pains.
Whether the offers were non-existent or she just didn’t pursue them, Andrea Barber was too happy to walk away after signing off.
She was not seen again by viewers until the comedy short It’s F***in’ Late with Dave Coulier dropped on the Internet in 2012.
Incidentally, her role was reprising the Kimmy Gibbler character, a somewhat-raunchy preview of the family sitcom renewal to come.
Now that Fuller House is a month away from dropping at Netflix, Barber says that the show will have a modern twist but once again be something the entire family can enjoy.
“I loved the direction they took Kimmy Gibbler in,” she beamed. “I think people really want to get back to that good, fun, clean comedy with a little modern twist. Something you can watch with your kids but definitely will appeal to the adults.”
Perhaps most of the kudos, however, comes with the direction that Andrea Barber took for her life post-celebrity.
She created a second identity for herself — one free of the limiting pressures that Hollywood often places on young women — and didn’t come back to it until it was on her terms.
Barber realized that work like Full House doesn’t come along very often for struggling actors and actresses, and she created something she could fall back on.
That said, she’s ready to get back to reading fan responses and hearing their thoughts on her character and the new show, she said.
“I don’t think [fans] are going to be disappointed,” Barber said, adding that “it’s a fresh show but it has that nostalgia factor.”
“We can see and appreciate how those characters grew up. I hope people Tweet me their reactions because I want to read them all. I can’t wait.”
Are you looking forward to Fuller House, and do you think more child stars could learn a thing or two from Andrea Barber? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image of Andrea Barber, Jodie Sweetin, and Candace Cameron Bure via Netflix, Fuller House screen grab]