The former co-stars came together to celebrate the NBC sitcom's 35th anniversary. Rae, Cohn, Whelchel, McKeon and Jewell portrayed Mrs. Edna Garrett and students Natalie Green, Blair Warner, Jo Polniazcek and Geri Tyler, respectively, and discussed the show's legacy after the season two episode "Cousin Geri" was screened.
"These were challenging things," McKeon said of the program's inclusion of controversial topics like sex teen suicide. "But as young actors they were fantastic ... The hardest thing we had to do was find the funniest way to tell a story. What a privilege."
"I don't think any of us realized how much impact at the time it had on people," Rae reflected. "But we're getting the message now."
The Facts of Life premiered in 1979, and ran for nine seasons on NBC. The sitcom followed housemother Mrs. Garrett as she cared for Green, Warner, Polniazcek and other students at the all-girls Eastland School in New York.