The NBC sitcom Blossom debuted 1990 and ran for five seasons. The show’s titular character Blossom Russo, played by Mayim Bialik, was a wise-cracking, teenage girl living with her father and two older brothers. Joey, the younger of the two brothers, was played by Joey Lawrence who road his monosyllabic catchphrase, “Whoa,” to great heights in the early 90s.
In addition to co-starring on the popular show, Lawrence had a pop hit single in 1993 with Nothin’ My Love Can’t Fix. The song, from the self-titled Joey Lawrence album, stayed on the Billboard chart for 18 weeks, peaking at #22.
After Blossom was canceled, Lawrence picked up right where he left off, starring in the NBC show Brotherly Love alongside his real-life younger brothers, Mattew and Andrew Lawrence. While the show was shortlived, the show gained a successful second life through reruns that aired on the Disney Channel.
Lawrence was no stranger to television viewers. Prior to Blossom, he had been a successful child actor in the 80s. He appeared in guest spots on Different Strokes and Silver Spoons before landing the role of Joey Donovan (Another Joey?) opposite Nell Carter on Gimme a Break!. He literally grew from cherub-faced boy to teen heartthrob right before a television audience.
Lawrence worked steadily throughout the late 90s and early 2000s. Appearing in dozens of guest spots on various television shows, and as regular in a few short-lived series. He also continued to pursue his musical career, both as a solo artist and with his brothers in their band Still Three. However, Lawrence would never quite reach the level of notoriety and success he achieved in the early 90s.
In 2006, Lawrence waltzed his way back into the national spotlight with a successful run on Dancing with the Stars. He and his dancing partner Edyta Sliwinska placed third in the competition. Lawrence declined to return to the show for an all-star competition, telling People in 2012, “I did it. It was good for me.”
In 2010, Lawrence returned for another successful television run with Melissa and Joey — this time on ABC Family. He teamed up with fellow former 90s television star Melissa Joan Heart from Clarrissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The series ran from 2010 until 2015.
More recently, Lawrence has been in the headlines for his financial woes. People reports that he and his wife Chandie Yawn-Nelson have been forced to file for bankruptcy. The actor’s earnings took a big hit after Melissa and Joey was canceled. The article states that he earned nearly 1/10 of the amount of money in 2016 as he had in 2015. This coupled with the large amount of debt the couple has accrued over the years has left them in dire straights. “To help their financial situation,” People reports, “Lawrence and his wife…sold some of their items secondhand, including clothing, accessories, and furniture.”
While he’s fallen on hard times for now, if Lawrence’s career is any indication, we can hope that he has the tenacity and wherewithal for one more comeback.