Exclusive Interview: Lisa Whelchel Reveals What She Did With Her ‘Survivor’ Winnings

Lisa Whelchel took home the “Fan Favorite” vote during Survivor: Phillipines in 2012, garnering The Facts of Life actress a cool $100,000 in prize money. Although she didn’t take home the $1 million grand prize (she tied for second place), Lisa wants her fans to know how much winning that money changed her life.

“I owe my fans a lot because it was because of them that I was voted the Fan Favorite and that paid for me to move out to California after my divorce, and get back to acting,” Lisa told The Ashley at ‘The Facts of Life’ 35th Reunion event, held on Monday in Beverly Hills. “I am forever grateful to my fans for that.”

Lisa, who divorced her husband of 24 years in 2012, said she was shocked at the support the ‘Survivor’ fans gave her throughout the process.

“They were great and they were right behind me all along,” she said.

While it may seem shocking that an actress that was on a successful TV show for nine seasons would be hurting for money,it appears the ‘Facts of Life’ actresses aren’t exactly rolling in cash these days. During the event, which included a panel discussion with Lisa, as well as her ‘Facts of Life’ cast mates, the issue of residuals from the show came up.

“I think there’s a misconception out there that we’re sitting on these pots of gold,” said Mindy Cohn, who played Natalie Green on the show.

Lisa has just started to work as an actress again, following her divorce. In fact, she is currently developing a new sitcom that will star her and her daughter, Clancy Cauble! The show, which will be called ‘Like Mother, Like Daughter,’ is still a work in progress, but will mirror the real-life situation of Lisa and her daughter.

“We’re very different and our generations are very different but we find ourselves in similar situations with work and dating and life, and that can make for some very funny situations,” Lisa said. “We are constantly writing down things that happen in our real lives and telling each other, ‘This could be an episode!'”

According to Clancy, who walked the event’s red carpet with her mom, seeing Lisa on ‘Survivor’ was much more strange than seeing her on old episodes of ‘The Facts of Life.’

“I think it’s because when she was on ‘Survivor,’ that was how she really is today,” Clancy told The Ashley. “That’s how she looks and it was her real personality, rather than a character.”

Wanna see what the cast of ‘The Facts of Life’ looks like, now that they’re all in their forties and fifties? (Charlotte Rae, who played Mrs. Garrett, is now 88, and still looking fabulous!)

To read more of the cool stuff The Ashley learned about ‘The Facts of Life’ at the reunion event, click here!


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