THEN & NOW: What the Step By Step Characters Are Doing Now3
By Steven Novak
THEN & NOW: What the ‘Step By Step’ Characters Are Doing Now
For those of us that grew up in the 90’s, ABC’s Step By Step was our version of The Brady Bunch. Debuting in September 1991 and featuring television icons Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers as the parents, the show chronicled the mostly wacky tales of a divorced contractor named Frank (Duffy) whose ex-wife ran off to be a Las Vegas lounge singer. Frank meets a widowed beautician named Carol (Somers) while on vacation in Jamaica and, impetuously, the pair gets married. The sizeable families of each are merged and, of course, hijinks ensue. So where are the stars of Step By Step today?
Patrick Duffy and The Crab: Discuss a Threesome
PATRICK DUFFY – FRANK LAMBERT
THEN: As a divorced contractor, father of three, avid Packers fan, and the head of the wacky Foster-Lambert household, Patrick Duffy played the character of Frank with an honesty that never felt anything other than genuine. Duffy is well known for his role as a dad but some may know him better from his previous roles on Knots Landing and on Dallas as Bobby Ewing. And, for those old enough, he also played the Man from Atlantis, replete with gills!
NOW: At age 62, Duffy continues to find roles in the business that he’s worked in since he was 25. Appearing alongside a puppet crab in KoldCast TV’s hilarious, completely absurd series Patrick Duffy and the Crab, he’s managed once again to reinvent, repackage, and reintroduce himself to yet another generation of audiences.
Patrick Duffy and The Crab: Facebook
SUZANNE SOMERS – CAROL FOSTER-LAMBERT
THEN: As the high-stung beautician and mother of three who eventually learned to “cut loose” and let her hair down, Suzanne Somers’ portrayal of Carol was always funny, often touching, and undeniably MILFish at the same time. This is no surprise seeing that America originally discovered Somers as the ditsy Chrissy on the legendary sitcom Three’s Company.
NOW: After a well-publicized diagnosis of breast cancer in 2001, Suzanne Somers became an outspoken supporter of biodentical hormone replacement therapy, and has written a number of books on the subject of alternative cancer treatments. When not traveling the country selling her books, supporting her causes, and building her multimillion-dollar lifestyle empire, she makes television appearances on talk shows like The Rachel Ray Show and Larry King Live.
STACI KEANAN – DANA FOSTER
THEN: You might remember her as Nicole Bradford from the sitcom about an alternative family in My Two Dads. However, as Dana Foster, 16 year old Staci Keanan was a smarty-pants, a wisecracker, a perfectionist, and openly hostile toward her new family members, the Lamberts.
NOW: At 35 years old and with 31 years experience, Staci Keanan has become a rather sexy “older” woman and continues to work sporadically in the biz. In 2009 she appeared in the film Sarah’s Choice, and in 2010 made a little flick called Holyman Undercover.
BRANDON CALL – J.T. LAMBERT
THEN: Perhaps you remember Call from a little show called Baywatch… even if it’s Step By Step that put his mug on the map. Like his stepsister Dana, Brandon Call’s John Thomas Lambert character, aka. J.T., resented his new family and wasn’t the least bit ashamed of making his feelings known. He struggled with his academics, and during the fourth season excitedly exclaimed, “Hey great news everyone, I have dyslexia!”
NOW: Having begun his career at the tender age of 8, Brandon Call retired from acting in 1998 when Step By Step went off the air. He is divorced, reportedly owns a gas station, and is the father to two children. And, believe it or not, in September 1996, during the filming of the show, he was actually attacked by an unknown gunman in an apparently random attack after a traffic incident. He was shot in both arms and eventually made a full recovery.
CHRISTOPHER CASTILE – MARK FOSTER
THEN: As the nerdy little computer wiz Mark Foster, Christopher Castile was the oddball of the group early on in the series’ run. As the years went on, he progressed into more of a “normal” teenager with “manly” pals and even landed himself a girlfriend.
NOW: Having worked in film and television, both on screen and off, since the tender age of 7, Christopher successfully called it quits on acting not long after Step By Step wrapped. He has since written an autobiography about growing up as a child actor with the unfortunate title, “Being You Is Most Definitely Cool.” He owns a pilot license and has successfully managed to stay out of the public eye.
CHRISTINE LAKIN – ALICIA aka “AL” LAMBERT
THEN: As the tomboyish, all-American girl of the group, 12 year-old Christine Lakin seemed perfectly cast in the role of Frank’s daughter “Al.” And though she eventually learned to embrace her femininity, she never forgot who she was.
NOW: First and foremost, she got really, really sexy. Since the conclusion of Step By Step, Christine has continued to work regularly in both film and television, maybe more than anyone in the cast, with roles in 2007’s The Hottie and the Nottie, 2008’s The Race to Witch Mountain, and 2009’s Valentines Day. She can also be seen regularly on FOX’s The Kilborn File.
ANGELA WATSON – KAREN FOSTER
THEN: As Karen Foster, Angela Watson was a vanity obsessed, ditzy valley girl, aspiring model, and the character young boys everywhere simultaneously drooled after, but couldn’t stand to listen to.
NOW: After the show ended, Angela Watson headed to college and found herself caught up in a court battle with her own parents for the $2.8 million they apparently stole from her childhood earnings – a battle she won. She currently works as a spokeswoman for HugsAmerica Charity Events and offers assistance on everything from child abuse and domestic violence, to abandoned or endangered animals, to providing wheelchair accessible vans for families caring for the elderly and disabled.
JOSH BRYNE – BRENDAN LAMBERT
THEN: As played by 7 year old Josh Bryne, the shy, carefree youngster Brendan Lambert was arguably the most “forgettable” of the cast – so forgettable, that he eventually disappeared without explanation from the show after season 6.
NOW: With the conclusion of Step By Step, Josh successfully disappeared almost completely from the public eye – making finding any information about him almost impossible. He’s rumored to live in Thousand Oaks California where he enjoys taking part in medieval war games. Maybe. No one is really quite sure.
SASHA MITCHELL – CODY LAMBERT
THEN: As Frank’s nephew, whom J.T. looked up to, Cody appeared in a number of episodes over the course of the series’ run, had a crush on Dana, and sometimes dispensed bits of wisdom from the van in the driveway where he lived. He could possibly have landed the role with the help of Duffy since his previous work had included a recurring role on Dallas.
NOW: Now in his forties, Sasha was forced to publicly defend himself against spousal abuse allegations made by his wife after the conclusion of the show. In 2002, he told Entertainment Tonight that she suffered from drug addiction and only made the claims in hopes of selling them to the tabloids. As of today, he retains custody of their four children, while his wife has limited visitation rights. In recent years, he’s acted in several films and made guest appearances on JAG, NYPD Blue, and even ER.
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Steven Novak is a writer, illustrator, graphic designer and admitted lifelong nerd with an embarrassingly large DVD collection. He is currently working and living in the Southern California desert. His most recent fantasy/action adventure novel, “Forts: Fathers and Sons,” is available everywhere books are sold.