Former The Facts of Life star and Dancing with the Stars contestant Nancy McKeon has not yet spoken publicly about the heartbreaking death of her brother Philip McKeon. However, an insider has shared that she is devastated and struggling to accept this loss, which is the second the McKeon family has endured in the past couple of months.
Philip died on Tuesday at the age of 55 after a lengthy, undisclosed illness. Just a month ago, Nancy had shared a photo on Instagram showing her with her brother. As part of the post, she wrote a sweet note to wish him a happy birthday.
In that caption, Nancy did mention that they had been through a tough time lately. In retrospect, it seems that probably referenced both his illness and the recent death of their father, Donald.
According to People, Nancy and Philip had been incredibly close and she is understandably devastated by his passing. Even though he had apparently been ill for some time, Nancy is said to be having a difficult time facing the fact that her brother is gone.
“The whole family is going to cling together and find comfort in each other during this time. My heart goes out to them,” the source said.
Based on a short obituary notice on Everhere, Donald passed away on October 26. The family held services for him in New York on November 4.
According to Biography, the McKeon family moved to Los Angeles from New York for Phil’s blossoming career in the entertainment industry. Nancy had started snagging commercial roles at the age of 2, seemingly after tagging along for one of her brother’s auditions. The two did dozens of commercials and soon started landing numerous television gigs.
Right after her father’s death in late October, Nancy posted a vintage shot of her father and shared a loving tribute to him. She noted that this particular photo was taken while he was playing catch with her brother.
Now, not even seven weeks later — and just ahead of the holidays — Nancy and her mother Barbara are saying goodbye to Phil, as well.
Nancy posted tributes to her brother on social media every so often, and it was always clear they grew up close and remained that way throughout their adult years. In one Instagram post from last year, Nancy joked about how cool brothers were.
“I’m so grateful to have an awesome brother… what a gift to be related to a friend who has always done his best to have my back…we share a life history that is uniquely ours… we’ve fought, laughed, cried and joked our way through a lifetime…we have a crazy shorthand communication and he is responsible for teaching me some important life lessons…thank you dear universe for the gift of my brother…love you Dude:)!” Nancy wrote at the time.
Fans and fellow entertainment industry personalities are sharing their love for both Nancy and Phil across social media in the wake of his death. Many remember Phil from his time on the sitcom Alice. The McKeon siblings clearly have made a lasting impact on legions of television viewers.