Joey Lawrence (born April 20, 1976) is an American actor. He became
successful through the TV show Gimme A Break and followed that up with the
TV series Blossom in the 1990s, in which he played the character Joey Russo,
a dim-witted young man who frequently uttered the phrase "No Way!" and
"Whoa!" In the wake of his acting success, he started a recording career,
releasing two albums during the 1990s. In later years he went back to using
his given name Joseph. Most recently he competed in the 2006 season of
Dancing With the Stars competition, but was eliminated from the competition
on November 8, 2006.
Joey was born Joseph Joey Mignogna, Jr. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Donna Mignogna, a personnel manager, and a Joseph Joey Mignogna, Sr., an insurance broker of mixed European and African-American descent. Joey Lawrence's family's surname was changed to "Lawrence" during his childhood. He has two brothers, actors Matthew Joey and Andrew Lawrence. He began acting at a very young age. He also graduated from Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. He also attended Southampton Summer Day Camp with his brother Matt when he was a child. He married Michelle Vella in 2002; the couple divorced in 2004.
Joey Lawrence met his second wife, Chandie Yawn-Nelson, while on vacation in Disney World when the two were teenagers; they married there 13 years later. Their daughter, Charleston "Charli" Lawrence, was born on May 10, 2006, weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces.
Joey has starred in shows such as Gimme a Break!, American Dreams, Blosson, Brotherly Love, and Run of the House. One of Joseph's international movie credits was Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000) in which he costarred with Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, and Hart Bochner.
In early 2006, a bald-headed Lawrence, wearing earrings, made a cameo appearance in a commercial for Ice Breakers gum with sisters Hilary and Haylie Duff, ending the ad with his trademark, "WHOA!" Later, sporting his "new look", Joey had a recurring role on the UPN sitcom Half and Half as Brent.
Joey Lawrence also starred as Clay Dobson on CSI: NY. Recently, he starred in the Broadway hit Chicago as Billy Flynn.
Joey also had a music career. In the wake of his teenage heart-throb status and fame from the TV show Blossom, he recorded his debut album, Joey Lawrence, in 1993. The album was produced by US producers, such as Terry Lupton (Michael Learns to Rock, Jamie Stevens, Apollonia Kotero), Elliot Wolff (Paula Abdul), Ian Prince (Sheena Easton), and Teddy Riley (Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, Tevin Campbell, Color Me Badd). The album included the international hit single "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" (US Top 40 Mainstream #10, US Hot 100 #19, UK #13, AU #68). Two more singles from this album also managed to crack the UK Top 50 ("I Can't Help Myself" #27, "Stay Forever" #41). A second album, Soulmates, followed four years later, in 1997. Although the album was not the major commercial success his debut album was, it did feature two singles. The song, "Never Gonna Change My Mind" became a moderate Rhythmic/Dance format radio hit. The second single, "Ven Ven Conmigo" became a minor radio hit.
He and his dance partner, Edyta Śliwińska, came in third place on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. On November 8, 2006, they were eliminated from the show by viewer votes due to a three-way tie the night before.
Joey Lawrence is currently a celebrity judge on an Internet reality show called Total Pop Star. He judges alongside Debbie Gibson and Andrew Van Slee.
Joey Lawrence next hosted a dance competition show on The Learning Channel. Master of Dance premiered June 9, 2008.
This Joey Lawrence Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub