From The NEW Mickey Mouse Club Funbook, Copyright © 1977, Walt Disney Productions.
Since Lisa Whelchel was eight years old, she has wanted to be an actress and has studied at the Casa
Manana Playhouse in Fort Worth, Texas. Her big break cane four years ago, when she tried out for a talent
show at her elementary school -- and didn't make it. "I wanted to try out for the talent show again the next
year," remembers Lisa, "so I asked my teacher, Zac Ward, if he knew something I could do for drama. He
suggested ventriloquism. My parents let me order a figure -- you never call them dummies -- from a Sears
catalog. It included a record and instruction booklet. I studied the directions and was lucky enough to win
the talent show."
The next couple of years brown-eyed Lisa worked with her figure "Ollie." "But 'Ollie' wasn't big enough
to use in the larger theatres because the audience couldn't see him, so I wrote all over the country asking
prices of figures," says Lisa. "A lady form Springfield, Illinois, Mrs. Sieving, wrote back and told me that
she had a figure that her husband, Arthur, had carved before he died. When I saw the picture of the figure,
I knew I would never be satisfied with any other. But I didn't have enough money to buy him. The next
thing I knew, Mrs. Sieving called and told me she was shipping the figure on a Greyhound bus and I could
pay her when I had earned enough money. She knew her husband would have wanted me to have it. I
named the figure 'Arthur.' I love him as if he were a real person."
When Lisa read in the newspaper that Walt Disney Studios was holding auditions for the "New Mickey
Mouse Club," she wrote to the casting director asking for a chance to perform. When she received a
standard form letter she was disheartened, but Lisa was determined. She asked her agent, directors who
worked with her at the Casa Manana Playhouse and people who had been interested in her to write letters of
recommendation to the Disney Studio. She wrote one more letter herself, explaining that she just wanted a
chance to audition. It worked. She flew from Texas to California for a special audition with the producers,
Ed Ropolo and Michael Wuergler. A week later she received a phone call informing her that she was a "new
Lisa, born on May 29, 1963, is the daughter of James and Ginger Whelchel. She loves entertaining. Not only does she perform with "Arthur," but she also plays classical guitar, sings and dances. Motorcycling is a favorite pastime of hers. She resides in Lake Worth, Texas with her parents and younger brother, Cody
Lisa is best known as "The Facts Of Life's" Blair Warner, who in the course of nine seasons rose from student to headmistress of the Eastland School.
Lisa has appeared in numerous movies and telefeatures, all of which are listed in the Internet Movie Database.
In addition Lisa now has her own Web page, set up by her grandmother, Velma French.