Nancy Justine McKeon (born April 4, 1966) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Jo Polniaczek on the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life.


McKeon and her older brother Philip appeared in numerous commercials. McKeon also appeared on the soap operas The Secret Storm and Another World. The McKeons moved to Los Angeles in 1975, when Philip won the role and began appearing on the television series Alice with Linda Lavin.

In 1979, McKeon was discovered by a casting director for The Facts of Life on the basis of her performance in a Hallmark greeting cards advertisement, in which she was able to cry on cue.

She was cast as tomboy Jo Polniaczek in the fall of 1980 during the show's second season when she replaced most of the first season's cast, including Molly Ringwald. This is her most famous role and she portrayed the character throughout the series until the show was canceled in 1988. McKeon also provided the voice for many ABC Weekend Special cartoon characters, including the voice for Scruffy.

Following The Facts of Life, McKeon was courted by NBC executives for the title role in the TV sitcom adaptation of the 1988 film Working Girl; the role, played by Melanie Griffith in the movie, instead went to then-unknown Sandra Bullock for the TV series. In 1994, both McKeon and Courteney Cox auditioned for the role of Monica Geller on Friends. The role went to the latter. When asked in interviews about the auditions, McKeon said, "I have no hard feelings. The role went to the right person. Courteney was brilliant. Now, I can't see anybody playing the role, not even myself." In 1995, she starred in her own series, Can't Hurry Love, which lasted one season. In 1998, she starred in a sitcom with Jean Smart titled Style & Substance. McKeon portrayed Inspector Jinny Exstead on the Lifetime police drama The Division from 2001 to 2004, with her pregnancy incorporated into the storyline of the last year of the series. From 2009 to 2010, McKeon appeared in a recurring role in the Disney Channel Original Series Sonny with a Chance, as Connie Munroe, the mother of Demi Lovato's title character.

McKeon also starred in numerous made-for-TV movies throughout the 1980s and 1990s, including A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman Story, in which she portrayed the title role of Tracey Thurman, and The Wrong Woman, portraying a woman framed for killing her boss. In 2003, McKeon starred in the film Comfort and Joy.

Personal life

While McKeon was on The Facts of Life, she and her parents, all devout Catholics, were granted a private audience with Pope John Paul II.

McKeon lives in Austin, Texas. She married Marc Andrus on June 8, 2003, and they have two daughters, Aurora and Harlow.

Her older brother is actor Phillip Mckeon.


Film and Television
1977Starsky & HutchVikki MayerEpisode: "The Crying Child"
1978Fantasy IslandAnnEpisode: "Return to Fantasy Island"
AliceGirl OrphanEpisode: "Who Ordered the Hot Turkey?"
A Question of LoveSusan MorelandTV film
1979The Puppy's Great AdventureDolly (voice)ABC Weekend Special episode
The Love BoatPenny BarrettEpisode: "The Brotherhood of the Sea"
1980StoneJill StoneRegular role (9 episodes)
The Puppy's Amazing RescueDolly (voice)ABC Weekend Special episode
The Trouble with Miss SwitchAmelia Daley (voice)ABC Weekend Special episode
ScruffyScruffy (voice)ABC Weekend Special episode
Thundarr the BarbarianTye (voice)Episode: "Harvest of Doom"
Schoolboy FatherLucy TwiningABC Afterschool Special episode
1980–88The Facts of LifeJo PolniaczekMain role (189 episodes)
1981The Puppy Saves the CircusDolly (voice)ABC Weekend Special episode
Please Don't Hit Me, MomNancy ParksABC Afterschool Special episode
Thundarr the BarbarianTai (voice)Episode: "Last Train to Doomsday"
AliceKimberlyEpisode: "Alice's Halloween Surprise"
1982Miss Switch to the RescueAmelia Daley (voice)ABC Weekend Special episode
The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo/Puppy HourDolly (voice)The Puppy's New Adventures segment (13 episodes)
The Facts of Life Goes to ParisJo PolniaczekTV film
1983DustySluggerTV pilot episode
The Puppy's Further AdventuresDolly (voice)Regular role (8 episodes)
High School U.S.A.Beth FranklinTV film
1985Poison IvyRhonda MaloneTV film
This Child Is MineKimberly DownsTV film
1986FirefighterCindy FralickTV film
1987The Facts of Life Down UnderJo PolniaczekTV film
Strange VoicesNicole GloverTV film
1989A Cry for Help: The Tracey Thurman StoryTracey ThurmanTV film
1990The HitchhikerDawn WilderEpisode: "New Dawn"
1991Lightning FieldMarthaTV film
1992Baby SnatcherKaren WilliamsTV film
Where the Day Takes YouVikkiFeature film
1993Love, Honor & Obey: The Last Mafia MarriageRosalie Profaci BonannoTV film
1994Teresa's TattooSaraFeature film
1995A Mother's GiftMargaret DealTV film
The Wrong WomanMelanieFeature film
1995–96Can't Hurry LoveAnnie O'DonnellMain role (19 episodes)
1997Just WriteBrideFeature film
1998In My Sister's ShadowJoan ConnorTV film
Style & SubstanceJane SokolMain role (13 episodes)
1999Touched by an AngelRachel WatersEpisode: "The Last Day of the Rest of Your Life"
2001–04The DivisionInspector Jinny ExsteadMain role (88 episodes)
2003Comfort and JoyJane BerryTV film
2004Category 6: Day of DestructionAmy HarkinTV miniseries
2006Wild HeartsEmilyTV film
2007Without a TraceGail SweeneyEpisode: "Absalom"
2009–10Sonny with a ChanceConnie MunroeRecurring role (5 episodes)
2011Love BeginsMillieTV film

Awards and nominations

Marco Island Film Festival

  • 2000: Won, "Audience Award for Best Short Drama" - A Wakening
  • 2000: Won, "Crystal Palm Award for Best Short Film" - A Wakening

Prism Awards

  • 2003: Nominated, "Best Performance in a Drama Series Episode" - The Division
  • 2003: Nominated, "Best Performance in a Drama Series" - The Division
  • 2004: Nominated, "Best Performance in a Drama Series Multi Episode Storyline" - The Division

TV Land Awards

  • 2007: Nominated, "The 'When Bad Teens Go Good' Award" - The Facts of Life

Young Artist Awards

  • 1982: Nominated, "Best Young Comedienne in Motion Picture or Television" - The Facts of Life
  • 1983: Won, "Best Young Actress in a Television Special" - Please Don't Hit Me, Mom
  • 1983: Won, "Best Young Actress in a Movie Made for Television" - The Facts of Life Goes to Paris
  • 1983: Won, "Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series" - The Facts of Life
  • 1984: Nominated, "Best Young Actress in a Comedy Series" - The Facts of Life