A fun fact of life: Lisa Whelchel is returning to acting.
The actress, who became a household fixture starring in the classic sitcom and is coming off a turn as a contestant, has joined the cast of .
Whelchel boards a production that already includes Chad Michael Murray, Larry the Cable Guy, Tika Sumpter, and Kathy Najimy.
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Perry is starring as Madea and is also directing, adapting his own play, and producing with Ozzie Areu and Matt Moore. Lionsgate is releasing.
The story sees Madea getting coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas. Their arrival, as the rural town prepares for its annual Christmas Carnival, prompts secrets to be revealed and old friendships to be tested.
Whelchel is playing a school principal.
Production began this week in Atlanta.
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Whelchel famously starred as the snobby Blair Warner in the , which ran on NBC from 1979 to 1988. Apart from a couple of TV movies, she has stayed away from the screen, both large and small, since the show ended its run.
Whelchel returned to the spotlight with a surprise turn as a contestant on the 2012 season of , becoming one of the finalists. After the finale in mid-December, she signed with David Shapira and Associates and with , found herself in the audition process for the first time since trying out for as a 16-year old.
She is also recurring as a co-host .