Glimpse Into Iconic 'Life Goes On' Cast Life Decades After the Show Ended

‘Life Goes On’ is an American Television show that was aired from September 12, 1989, to May 23, 1993. Also, reruns of the show took place in 1992 on The Family Channel till 93. This show was centered on the Thatchers, a suburban family comprised of Drew, Elizabeth, The parents and Paige, Rebecca, and Charles, the children. The show ran for four seasons and had 83 episodes in total. At the end of every episode, a first credit of the family dog's picture is displayed on the screen for viewers.

Kellie Martin, Chris Burke, and Patti LuPone in a "Life Goes On" reunion interview in 2015. I Image: YouTube/ Hallmark Channel.

Kellie Martin, Chris Burke, and Patti LuPone in a "Life Goes On" reunion interview in 2015. I Image: YouTube/ Hallmark Channel.


Initially, when the show began, the focus of the story was placed on Charles, otherwise known as Corky, who had Down syndrome. However, as things progressed, the focus changed from Corky to Becca and a new character known as Jesse. The cast of this sitcom have dazzled through the movie industry and they did well. We have Patti LuPone who became one of the most successful personalities on television. Find out how and more on the life of the other cast of the show.

BILL SMITROVICH

The 72-year-old actor played Andrew “Drew” Thatcher, the head of the family and a Special Olympics coach and restaurateur. He has daughter Paige from a previous marriage, and Corky and Becca with his second wife.

Bill Smitrovich. I Image: Getty Images.

Bill Smitrovich. I Image: Getty Images.


Smitrovich has stayed busy as an actor since starring in the show, mostly in supporting and guest roles. On TV, he was in “Millenium” from 1996 to 1997, and in “A Nero Wolfe Mystery” from 2001 to 2002.

On the big screen, he has been on “Independence Day,” “Air Force One,” “Iron Man,” and “Ted,” to name only a few.  His last role to date has been in the TV series “The Son,” playing a judge.

PATTI LUPONE

The 70-year-old actress played Elizabeth “Libby” Thatcher, an advertising executive and the second wife of Drew, with whom she shares Corky and Becca. She is also Paige’s stepmother.

Patti LuPone. I Image: Getty Images.

Patti LuPone. I Image: Getty Images.


LuPone who was already a very successful stage actress when she had her breakthrough TV role in “Life Goes On,” has remained the best-known member of the cast thanks to regularly appearing in prominent films and TV series.

She went on to appear on “Frasier,” “Law and Order,” and “Oz,” on TV, and recently she has been seen in films like “The Comedian” in 2012 and “Cliffs of Freedom” in 2019.

CHRIS BURKE

The 54-year-old Charles “Corky” Thatcher, Drew and Libby’s elder child and only son. Despite having Down Syndrome, Corky attends regular school like any other teenager, which is known as “mainstreaming.” While starring in the series made him the first leading actor with Down Syndrome on primetime television, it wasn’t his first role. In fact, the pioneering actor, who had previously starred in the TV movie “Desperate”, inspired the series.

Chris Burke. I Image: Getty Images.

Chris Burke. I Image: Getty Images.


After “Life Goes On” was wrapped, Burke went on to make a few other appearances in TV and film, guest-starring in “Touched by an Angel” (1997), “The Division” (2002), and “E.R.” (2002). His last role to date was in 2003’s “Mona Lisa Smile.” Burke remains committed to change the discourse about people with Down Syndrome and served as a goodwill ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society from 1994 until his retirement in 2015. In addition to his acting career and advocacy, Burke has explored his musical side by performing and touring with his own folk band.

KELLIE MARTIN

The 44-year-old played Rebecca “Becca” Thatcher, a nerdy but attractive highschooler and Corky’s younger sister. After the series ended, Martin kept working steadily on TV, landing her own series “Christy” in 1994. From 1998 to 2000, she recurred on “E.R.” as Lucy Knight. Her next recurring role was in “Army Wives” in 2012. Apart from continuing her acting career after her breakthrough role in “Life Goes On,” Martin graduated from Yale and became the mother of two children. 

Kellie Martin. I Image: Getty Images.

Kellie Martin. I Image: Getty Images.


TRACEY NEEDHAM

The 52-year-old actress played Paige Thatcher, Drew’s oldest daughter from a previous marriage. Paige has a beautiful relationship with her younger half-brother Corky, but doesn’t always get along with half-sister Becca. Following her role in the series, Needham continued working as an actress regularly, mostly on TV. She starred in the legal drama series “JAG” on its first season as Lieutenant Meg Austin. Her next recurring role was in the crime drama “The Division” from 2001 to 2003, playing Inspector Candace DeLorenzo, after which she guest-starred in shows like “C.S.I.,” “C.S.I. Miami,” and “Criminal Minds.”

Tracey Needham. I Image: YouTube/ Celebrity News Center.

Tracey Needham. I Image: YouTube/ Celebrity News Center.


CHARLES LOWE

Charles Davis Lowe was born on January 15, 1968, in Dayton, Ohio, United States of America. He was born into the family of Barbara Lynn Wilson and Charles Davis Lowe, a trial lawyer. When he was young, his parents decided to go their separate ways, and this led him to stay with his mother. He was a student at Oakwood Junior High School, situated in Dayton, and after this, he moved to Malibu with his brother. Here, he enrolled in Santa Monica High School. In the early 80s, Lowe kicked off his acting career with several television gigs, and slowly, this earned him a spot in the industry.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


In 1984, Lowe appeared on set with Charlie Sheen in a C.B.E. Television drama titled "Silence of the Heart." Four years later, he appeared in a T.V. film titled "April Morning," with co-stars, Robert Urich and Tommy Lee Jones. In 1991, he was fortunate to land a role in "Life Goes On," which earned him the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Award ceremony. In April 2010, Lowe came in as a replacement for Alexis Denisof on "Pretty Little Liars." 

ELIZABETH BERKELEY

Elizabeth Berkeley is a known American Actress and television reality star, who was born on July 28, 1972, to Jere and Fred Berkeley, in Farmington Hills, U.S.A. As a child, she had a condition known as heterochromia, which made her have different colors of Irises. The actress also has a mole on her forehead, which she claims was a problem for her as you g kid as other kids have her different nicknames. In 1990, she graduated from North Farmington High School. As a young girl, Berkely had always loved to dance, and usually, she would practice her steps in a secluded room her parents arranged for her. Her first audition was for a role in a movie know.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


As "Annie," but she was not given the job. This did not stop her from achieving her dancing dream, and she went to New York to train with professional dancers. In 1983, the actress landed amazing roles in musicals, and this kicked off her career on television. Her debut film role happened in a film titled "Frog," and this was followed by a series of guest appearances on several shows. The actress or only invested in her acting career and got many jobs over the years; she also won several accolades for her roles in television shows and series. 

JACK BLACK

Thomas Jacob Black is not only an American actor, but he is also a comedian, musician, and songwriter, who was born on August 26, 1969, to satellite engineer parents, Thomas William Black, and Judith Love Cohen. The actor and musician are best known for his exemplary roles in movies like "Shallow Hal," "School of Rock," "Goosebumps," "King Kong," the "Kungfu Panda franchise," "Life Goes On," and so many more. In early 2018, this amazing actor became an inductee into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and this shows how much he has worked hard in the industry.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


When he was a young boy, Black's parents' marriage hit the rocks, and he had to move to Culver City with his father, who stopped being a Judaist. His first High School enrollment was in Poseidon School, but he later attended the Crossroad School, where he became a drama pro. He was once a student if UCLA, but due to unforeseen circus circumstances, the actor dropped out to pursue his entertainment career. One would describe Black as a jack of all trades as he is talented in several areas. The musician is married to Tanya Jaden and has two beautiful children. 

JOSH LUCAS

Josh Lucas Easy Dent Maurer was born on June 20, 1971, in Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.A. Over the years, he has featured in great films like "American Psycho," "Glory Road," "The Lincoln Lawyer," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Red Dog," "Hulk," and many more. Lucas lived with his parents, who were nuclear activists in the South. His family moved a lot, and at age 13, Lucas had lived in 30 different places in the country. After a while, his family finally settled in Gig Harbor, Washington, where he enrolled in Kopachuck Middle School. In 1989, he got a diploma from Gig Harbor High School, where he perfected his acting skills.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


After high school, the actor decided to put his focus on acting, and he carried these thoughts to college. His movie career kicked off roughly around age 19 when he appeared on several television sitcoms as a guest star. These sitcoms include; "True Colors" and "Life Goes On." After this, he engaged in other profound projects that earned him a place in the industry. He not only managed to captivate the hearts of many viewers and fans all over the world, but he also found exposure and experience with his acting career. 

TOMMY PUETT

Ralph Thomas Puett III was born on January 12, 1971, and is known as an American singer, actor, dancer, and businessman. It is safe to say that Puett ventured into every profession that could help him have a fat bank account. His best role is described in "Life Goes On," where he played the role of Tyler Blanchfield. Although he later left the show, he did that with an impression on viewers.

Image Credits: YouTube/Kids Incorporated Fans by Charlie

Image Credits: YouTube/Kids Incorporated Fans by Charlie


His acting music kicked off in high school when he was signed to Scotti Brothers Records, where he released an album titled "Life Goes On." After this fantastic album hit the streets, Puett was allowed to feature in a film titled "Switchback" in 1997, and this was the last time he acted as he decided to retire and face other things. He found another calling in business and became a vendor for Ultra Sports products. 

SHANNEN DOHERTY

This amazing actress was born on April 12, 1971, and is n own to the world as an American Actress, television director, and producer. Some of her exemplary roles took place in sitcoms and films like "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," "Heathers," "Little House on the Prairie," and many more. The actress was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Rosa and Tom Doherty. Her mother was a parlor owner, while her father was a mortgage consultant.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


Doherty's mother decided to raise her in the Southern Baptist way, and this stuck with the actress till she came of age. When Doherty appeared on the screens, a lot of people did not know what to expect, but as time went on, she proved that she was made for the screens. Aside from acting, she took up a career in directing and producing, and this showed off her remarkable talents. Throughout her career, she has received many accolades for her work on and off-screen, and her parents could not be more proud of her achievements. 

MONIQUE LANIER

This awesome actress is best known for her role in "Life Goes On," which could be termed her breakout role in the movie industry. The American Actress was born on June 21, 1969. After starring in the sitcom mentioned above, she went on to explore other television shows and films like "Sarah Sarah Cain," "Family Matters," "Jupiter Landing," "Baywatch Nights," "Life With Roger," "It Was Him or Us," "Under A Killing Moon," "The Goodbye Bird" and so on. Although "Life Goes On," was the first time the actress came on screen, she left the show to have her first child and got replaced by Tracey Needham.

Image Credits: Getty Images | The cast of the TV series "Life Goes On," (back row l-r) Monique Lanier, Bill Smitrovich, Kellie Martin (front row l-r), Patti LuPone, and Chris Burke

Image Credits: Getty Images | The cast of the TV series "Life Goes On," (back row l-r) Monique Lanier, Bill Smitrovich, Kellie Martin (front row l-r), Patti LuPone, and Chris Burke


In an era where sitcoms may not be regarded as the in-thing, "Life Goes On," has managed to stay relevant in the industry and helped people see that sitcoms can also be one of the best. It has been thirty years now, and this television show not only left an impression, but it was also the beginning of a new dawn for many of the cast members. Tell us what you think about the show in the comment section below.

Source: Ranker, CloserWeekly

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