Most anyone who grew up in the 1980s remembers Kim Fields as Tootie Ramsay on The Facts of Life. The show aired for nine seasons, following a group of boarding school students through graduation and adulthood. Fields later went on to star in Living Single opposite Queen Latifah and The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Now, as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars, the former child star is set to revisit her sitcom roots during Monday’s “Most Memorable Year” episode.
Fields spilled the beans in an interview with E! Online, when she revealed some key details about her dance with Sasha Farber. Not only will the pair move to the show’s catchy theme song, but there will be a throwback to the time when Fields was a pigtailed kid running around on wheels — not to mention a pint-sized pitch person for a sweet breakfast accessory.
“A little roller skating, a little nod to the Mrs. Buttersworth’s syrup vibe, a little fox trotting. Quite the week.”
E! Online reported that Fields appeared in a television ad for Mrs. Butterworth’s in 1978 at the age of 9. The clip of the young Fields, missing her front teeth and conversing with a syrup bottle, is available on YouTube. Fields adorably tells the talking syrup container that she “loves” her. Any Dancing With the Stars routine that combines all those elements from Field’s active childhood is bound to be entertaining.
— George Pennacchio (@abc7george) April 1, 2016
This won’t be the first time Kim Fields has shown up in the media to discuss growing up on television. Just this past February, she appeared with her Facts of Life co-stars Charlotte Rae and Lisa Whelchel on a Hallmark channel Home and Family reunion. In the episode, George Clooney, who played a handyman in later seasons of The Facts of Life, gave his regards through a taped message. Todd Bridges was a surprise guest. He co-starred with Kim Fields on Diff’rent Strokes, of which The Facts of Life was a spinoff.
— Essence Magazine (@essencemag) March 30, 2016
Last week, Farber had a surprise in store for Fields while they were rehearsing for Latin Night. While practicing the routine set to Miami Sound Machine’s “Conga,” Fields was having a tough time — until Gloria Estefan called to chat. During the E! Online interview, Fields expressed appreciation to her partner for pulling out the encouragement she needed to get the dance down.
“She’s been a hero of mine for decades, and so to be able to make that connection, thank you again.”
Entertainment Weekly reported that Estefan’s presence seemed to give Kim Fields the boost she needed, as she ended up with a decent score of 19/30. Despite some footwork problems, “none of the judges can deny that Kim is a natural performer.”
A natural performer she should be. People revealed that Fields’ mother, Chip, and sister, Alexis, are also actors. Chip played Kim’s mother in several episodes of The Facts of Life and was on Days of Our Lives and Good Times. Alexis was on Sister, Sister and Moesha.
She told People that dancing helps her to connect with who she is.
“[I’m] learning something new that I can also take with me for the rest of my life, tapping into some of the history in my life and my culture, from Harlem to my maternal grandmother, who was a dancer. So I’m excited about those things. I think more importantly, just working with Sasha.”
After the judges’ tally last week, Wanya Morris and Paige VanZant were the celebrities tied for first place, both with 24/30. Geraldo Rivera was the season’s first elimination.
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC, Monday nights at 8 p.m.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]