Kim Fields reunited with three of her TV “sisters” for a Lifetime holiday movie, and it brought fans straight back to the ’80s. The Facts of Life star was an executive producer of You Light Up My Christmas, and she called in old pals Lisa Whelchel, Mindy Cohn, and Nancy McKeon for a cameo.
In an interview with Too Fab, Fields revealed that it was her idea to invite her co-stars from the 1980s NBC sitcom to join her in the TV movie in which they play co-owners of an ice skating rink.
“I put the invitation out after speaking with Lifetime to have my ‘Facts of Life’ sisters join me for some special appearances from them,” Fields said. “They really turned out great, we’re so excited. They’re always supportive.”
Fields also noted that there would be some “little inside jokes” during her longtime pals’ screen time. Viewers of the movie may have noted that the ice skating rink in the film was named Charlotte’s in honor of the trio’s late co-star Charlotte Rae, who starred as Mrs. Edna Garrett on the long-running NBC sitcom. Sadly, Rae passed away last year.
There was also a reference to “roller skates,” which was Fields’ character Tootie’s go-to mode of transportation on The Facts of Life.
In the reunion scene, which can be seen below, Whelchel’s character also brought back Edna’s Edibles to the skating rink. The gourmet shop Edna’s Edibles was owned by Mrs. Garrett on later seasons of The Facts of Life, and Fields, Whelchel, Cohn and McKeon’s characters helped her run it.
While she wasn’t on the set with her co-stars, the TV movie scene also included a Facetime cameo by Nancy McKeon, who played Jo Polniaczek on The Facts Of Life.
Fields told Extra that McKeon had to change plans due to “a difficult, unexpected family emergency” that came up just as the group headed to Vancouver to film the holiday flick.
“She still stayed committed,” Fields said of McKeon. “She said, ‘I will still do the part. I can’t come to Vancouver and film with you guys, but I will do my part and you can put it in there.’ We’re still on screen together.”
Whelchel, who played Blair Warner on The Facts of Life from 1979 to 1988, posted a photo to Instagram in which she teased her cameo with Fields and Cohn in You Light Up My Christmas.
“Thanks for being my sister and for saying yes! You were so much fun and beautiful in it!!!!” Fields replied.
“I love how you ladies still support each other,” a fan wrote.
“Tears,” another fan added. “Awesome that you threw in Edna’s Edibles and called the ice rink Charlottes.”
“I loved all the references especially the ‘roller skates’ one,” another chimed in.
Many fans noted how great the trio still looks more than 30 years after wrapping the Diff’rent Strokes spinoff. Other fans expressed hopes for a Facts of Life reunion movie with all four stars from the original sitcom.
Fans know that after The Facts of Life wrapped in 1988, Fields, Whelchel, and Cohn reunited for a TV movie, The Facts of Life Reunion, in 2001. The Thanksgiving-themed special also included Rae as Mrs. Garrett, but McKeon did not join her former co-stars for the two-hour reunion film.