Fast Facts

  • Tried out for the 1968 Olympic gymnastics team, placing 14th out of a field of 28. After a knee injury sidelined her, she turned to dancing.
  • Dropped out of college to tour with the Broadway-bound production Clown Around, helmed by Gene Kelly.
  • Performed at Disneyland before receiving her big break in the touring company of John Guare's musical adaption of Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona (1973).
  • Studied acting with Lee Strasberg, Peggy Feury, Jeff Corey and David Craig.
  • A success in TV commercials, Kerns once had 18 national spots running at the same time.
  • Seminal role was as frazzled journalist mom Maggie Seaver in the sitcom Growing Pains (1985-92).
  • Continued acting after Growing Pains ended but shifted her focus to directing as well as developing, writing and producing TV-movies.
  • Co-founded the Lucy Awards, entertainment awards named in honor of Lucille Ball.


  • Marc Francis Appleton — Husband
  • David DeVarona — Brother
  • Martha Louise DeVarona — Mother
  • Richard Martin Kerns — Ex-husband
  • Ashley Cooper Kerns — Daughter
  • David DeVarona — Father
  • Donna DeVarona — Sister
  • Kurt DeVarona — Brother


  • Attended University of California, Los Angeles, CA

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  • Birth Name: Joanne Crussie DeVarona
  • Birth Place: San Francisco, CA
  • Profession: Actor, Director

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