Sometimes, I find myself wondering what happened to the stars of some of the sitcoms and dramas I used to watch in the 1980's and early 1990's. In particular, I've wondered what happened to the case members of Family Ties and Life Goes On.
One of my favorite sitcoms in the 1980's was Family Ties. Over the years, we know what happened to Michael J. Fox, but how about the rest of the Keaton family? Meredith Baxter-Birney played Elyse Keaton (the mother of the family), went on to direct and star in TV movies, and she also temporarily co-hosted the Today Show with Matt Lauer in 2006. In 2007, she made guest appearances on What About Brian and Cold Case. Michael Gross played Steven Keaton (the father), and after Family Ties ended, he has appeared in several television shows (Boston Legal, How I Met Your Mother, ER, Law & Order). Michael also serves as a spokesperson for Operation Lifesaver (which promotes safety at railroad grade crossings).
Justine Bateman played older daughter Mallory. In 1996-97, she appeared for a short time on Men Behaving Badly, made a cameo appearance on her brother's sitcom (Arrested Development), and has also appeared in several made-for-TV movies. Tina Yothers portrayed younger daughter Jennifer; since her Family Ties days, she appeared in Lovelace The Musical in 2004, and also appeared on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club in 2006. Brian Bonsall played Andy Keaton, who was born later in the series. Brian went on to have some small television roles, and is also in a punk band. Unfortunately, Brian has also had some run-ins with the law.
Another show I enjoyed was Life Goes On. Chris Burke, who has Down syndrome, portrayed Corky Thatcher in the series. Since the series ended, Chris made several guest appearances on Touched by an Angel, and he also serves as the goodwill ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society. Kellie Martin played his Corky's younger sister, Becca. After Life Goes On, Kellie became best known for her role on Christy. She has also appeared on ER, and has had roles in made-for-TV movies and cameos on television series. Patti Lupone was already famous from her roles in theater before being cast as Libby Thatcher (the mother) on Life Goes On. Patti has continued to make cameo appearances on television, still appears in theater productions, and she also recorded some albums. Bill Smitrovich portrayed Libby Thatcher's husband. He has made cameo appearances on television series and appeared in made-for-TV movies, and has also has some roles in films (Independence Day, Air Force One, Thirteen Days, Fail Safe, and Gridiron Gang).