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TV Character Bios

(The Facts of Life)
c/o Eastland School for Girls
Peekskill, NY

Edna is a housekeeper, cook & dietician. Born and raised on a farm in Appleton, Wisconsin, Edna is divorced, has two adult sons (Alexander & Raymond), and an ex-husband, Robert Garrett, a vaudevillian and compulsive gambler. Personality wise, Edna is gregarious, even-tempered and perpetually pleasant (unless you really, really get her mad).

Initially, Edna worked as the housekeeper for the wealthy Drummond Family in a posh 30th floor penthouse apartment at 697 Park Avenue in New York City. Philip Drummond was a widow with three children. Two of the kids were the Jackson brothers (Willis, 12 and Arnold, 8 "What chu' talkin' bout" Jackson), the adopted black children of Philip's deceased housekeeper. The third child was Kimberly, Phillip's own daughter.

While Philip was off running his multi-million dollar Trans Allied Inc., Mrs. Garrett did her best to keep the family together, feed the troops and intervene when little misunderstandings wrought tension in the household.

Mrs. Garrett with the Drummonds
Mrs. Garrett with the Drummonds

When Kimberly attended Eastland, a private school for girls in Peekskill, New York, Mrs. Garrett traveled to the school to see that Kimberly was doing well.

During one of her visits while Kimberly was preparing for a class play, the school's housemother quit on short notice. In need of help, the Headmaster, Mr. Harold J. Crocker recruited Mrs. Garrett to stay at the school where she eventually became the school's dietician. Mr. Drummond hired Adelaide Brubaker then Pearl Gallagher to take over Mrs. Garrett's duties in New York City.

Although Edna cared for the well-being of "all" the girls at Eastland, she became particularly fond of four of them who constantly sought her advice and her tasty culinary creations.

The girls included Blair Warner (and for a while, Geri Warner, Blair's 23-year-old cousin with Cerebral Palsy), Joanna "Jo" Marie Polniaczek, a streetwise kid from Bronx ("You're born, you move on, you die. That's life"); Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey, a gossipy little girl with braces and a love of roller skates; and Natalie Green, a plump, aspiring writer with a razor-sharp wit.

There was no doubt that Mrs. Garrett loved her girls dearly, but there were times when their antics made Edna cry out "G-i-r-r-r-r-r-ls" The one and only time that Edna really lost her temper was with Jo (episode "Next Door"). Fuming, Edna told her "Get the hell out of here before I beat you with my frying pan!" Most of the time, however, Edna was quit a pleasant person.

Tootie, Blair, Mrs. Garrett, Jo & Natalie

When Edna's pension fund disappeared and the school refused to give her a raise, Edna's accountant son, Raymond purchased her a building (formerly Aera's Deli) and Edna opened Edna's Edibles, a gourmet shop located at 320 Main Street in Peekskill.

Mrs. Garrett hired Jo, Blair, Tootie and Natalie to work at the shop and let them live in a apartment above the store while Jo & Blair attended nearby Langley College.

When the store accidentally burned down in 1985, Edna reopened as a novelty shop called "Over Our Heads," a 1950s style malt shop selling ice cream, records and T-Shirts.

When she had some spare time Mrs. Garrett traveled to Paris in 1982 to take cooking lessons and, of course, her favorite four girls went along for the ride.

 In 1986, Edna married Dr. Bruce Gaines and then went to Africa to join the Peace Corps. She left her novelty store ("Over Our Heads") in the hands of her sister Beverly Ann Stickle. The shop closed in 1987.

Eastland Girls Beverly Ann Stickle & the Girls Mrs. Garrett in Paris
Mrs. Garrett & the  Girls from Eastland Beverly Ann Stickle
& the girls 
Mrs. Garrett & her girls in Paris

In 2001, a widowed Mrs. Garrett accepted the invitation of Natalie Green to share Thanksgiving holiday back in Peekskill and so she left Africa for America. Upon her arrival, Edna became romantically involved with the school's chef and caught up on the lives of her four favorite children.

The last time Mrs. G saw Natalie Green was at Tootie's wedding in 1988 where Natalie who married Snake (Nat lost her virginity to Snake), asked Mrs. G to be the godmother of her first baby (Nat was two months pregnant). Mrs. G accepted the honor. Then Natalie went to New York to be a writer.

Now, in 2001, Natalie (sans Snake & the baby) served as a behind-the-scenes producer at CNN. Her latest problem was having with two suitors who wanted to marry her. In need of advice, Natalie invited her former schoolmates to come to Eastland for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Of course, wealthy Blair Warner (who gave up her dreams of becoming a lawyer to save Eastland from bankruptcy) was now the head mistress at Eastland Academy, as well as the owner of Warner Enterprises, which included numerous hotel holdings. Blair was married to Tad Warner and hoped to have children with him (although she wrongly suspected him of having an affair).

Tootie, who had attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London to pursue an acting career, was now a Hollywood-based talk show host and the single mother of Tisha, a 10-year-old girl (fathered by Jeff Williams).

After her visit, Tootie (who now preferred to be called Dorothy) decided to quit her talk show, "Wake Up With Dorothy," and move to New York to take up the theater, but not before becoming co-owner of The Peekskill Playhouse. Tisha Ramsey remained behind to attend Eastland Academy and continue a family tradition.

Finally, Jo, now a cop, was still married to musician Rick Bonner and had a daughter Jamie. But Jo couldn't make it to the reunion with Natalie, but her daughter and husband came instead.

 In the end, Natalie decided to marry Harper. As for Mrs. Garrett, for all we know, she's still flirting up a storm with Eastland's new chef.

Tootie, Mrs. Garrett, Blair & Natalie Reunited in 2001

Some 'Facts of Life' Quotes

Mrs. Garrett: I can't see my hands in front of my face.
Tootie: Really? My Uncle Jerome was like that.
Mrs. Garrett: He couldn't see either?
Tootie: No, especially on Saturday night.
Mrs. Garrett: It is amazing what a couple of drops can do to your vision.
Tootie: I guess it depends on how big the drops are.

Mrs. Garrett:  Meanwhile what am I going to do about the shower?
Natalie: Hey, try the car wash.

Mrs. Garrett: When I was your age retardation was completely undiscussed.
Natalie: So was sex, religion, and politics. What was left?

Mrs. Garrett: I never cook anything I can't spell.

Jo: I hate Winter Carnival. Every bozo in town is going around singing their head off.
Mrs. Garrett: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Blair: I'm in a house without mirrors.
Mrs. Garrett: Don't worry Blair you can see yourself in the dishes.

Tootie: Last time we looked she was just sitting there looking out the window.
Mrs. Garrett: What's wrong with that?
Jo: She had one leg hanging over the sill.

Sue Ann: Mrs. Garrett could you please take a look at my costume. What did I do wrong?
Mrs. Garrett: Nothing if you plan on growing another arm.

Tootie: Mrs. Garrett you should see what we got at the record store.
Natalie: Three Bongs.
Mrs. Garrett: I don't know that group, are they punk rock? Girls do you know what these (bongs) are used for?
Tootie: Sure you put jellybeans in them.
Natalie: I'm going to put root beer in mine - it comes with a built in straw.

Tootie: Good that means you'll have time to teach me how to pluck my eyebrows.
Mrs. Garrett: Oh sorry not today.
Tootie: But if I do it myself I will end up looking like Mr. Spock.

Mrs. Garrett: This is not a school for spoiled rich girls. (Everyone turns around)
Blair: Why is everyone looking at me?

Mrs. Garrett/Gaines Is Back In Town Part 2
 (1988 season 9/series
[Jo, Blair, and Tootie are talking. Nat and Mrs. G walk in]

Jo: Do you realize this is probably the last time we'll be the 4 musketeers?
Blair: That's extremely sad!!
Tootie: Ok! Let's make a pact... here and now... that in 10 or 15 years we WILL meet together!!
Jo: Sounds good to me!! (puts hand in center)
Blair: Me too!! (puts a hand in center and the other around Jo)
Tootie: (puts hand in center)
Nat: Ok... (puts hand in center)
Mrs. G: If I'm still here!! (jokes and puts hand in center)
Jo: You will be!! (smiles)
All: Friends Forever, together till the end!!

Continued on Page 2 >


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