Molly Parker, one of four girls who attended Eastland School in the show's first year, was played by Molly Ringwald, the only actress in the group who became famous. Her character came in third in a popularity poll on Liz's Unofficial Facts of Life Site 2.
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The Facts of Life has spawned lots of fan sites. When it came back in the '90s on cable's USA Network and then Nick at Nite and TV Land, it found a new generation of admirers.
One of them, Liz Shoda, wasn't even a year old when the show ended its NBC run. The eighth grader, who lives just outside Cleveland, maintains Liz's Unofficial Facts of Life Site 2 (http://fol4ever.tripod.com/lizfolsite2). She's a major athlete, one-half of a former Ohio State Junior Doubles Bowling Championship team, but has had time to come up with, among other things on her Web site, synopses of every Facts episode.
She says she got hooked on the show "when I was little." That was maybe five years ago. She predicts The Facts of Life "will be on forever" and looks forward to watching it with her children.
"It's really entertaining, and everyone can relate to the characters on some level," she said on the telephone. "It's funny, and it teaches you good values, too."
It was no surprise to her that 90 episodes were scheduled for the TV Land marathon.
"I already bought my blank tapes," she said. "I'm going to tape, like, the whole thing."