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‘Step By Step’ Cast: See the 90s Sitcom Stars Then and Now

Catch up with the Foster-Lambert clan!


Can you remember feeling your stomach turning upside-down as a roller coaster takes a steep plunge on your TV screen? If you were a fan of the Step by Step cast, that’s what you experienced every week during the opening sequence of that TGIF sitcom. Which, of course, was followed by the unforgettable catchy theme song that got stuck in your head before we even saw the Foster-Lambert family in full array posing in front of the amusement park.

For seven seasons – 1991-1998 — Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy starred as two single parents with three children each, who marry and raise their blended family. Wait! Didn’t we see this plot play out a few decades earlier?

Essentially Step by Step was an updated version of The Brady Bunch, right down to the fact both moms are named Carol. And like its predecessor, the modern, updated sitcom quickly became a fan favorite with a perfectly normal family with perfectly normal family problems, which were handled with humor, respect and simplicity.

Related: 12 ‘Brady Bunch’ Behind-the-Scenes Facts You Probably Never Knew

Step by Step cast portrait, 1992
Step by Step cast portrait, 1992Bickley-Warren Productions/Miller-Boyett Productions/Lorimar Television/MoviestillsDB

As the story goes, Frank Lambert is a construction worker and single dad while Carol Foster is a beautician and single mom. The two meet each other on a Jamaican vacation, decide to get married after a whirlwind romance and then return to their fictional hometown, Port Washington, Wisconsin.

Naturally everything goes as smoothly as their romance, since the kids knew each other previously and did not have a friendly relationship. But everyone eventually learns to live together in harmony and love, though it’s not easy. How do they accomplish it? Step by step.

Step By Step cast then and now

It’s been over 25 years since the Foster-Lambert clan left Port Washington, so let’s catch up with the Step By Step cast now.

Patrick Duffy as Frank Lambert

Patrick Duffy from Step by Step. Left: 1991; Right: 2023
Patrick Duffy Left: 1991; Right: 2023Eric Robert/Sygma/Getty; Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty

His fictional sitcom family on Step by Step was not a dream sequence — like the famous storyline of his previous character, Bobby Ewing, on Dallas. Duffy played Frank Lambert on the sitcom, which was another one of his frequent nice guy, lovable roles. In fact, Duffy said that he still received Father’s Day cards from on-screen daughter Christine Lakin for many years.

MUST-READ: The Original ‘Dallas’ Cast: Surprising Behind-the-Scenes Facts You Probably Didn’t Know!

Born in Montana, Patrick Duffy was raised in Everett, Washington and excelled in sports, with dreams of becoming an athlete. But his involvement in his high school drama department introduced him to Plan B – becoming an actor, which led him to apply to the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington.

A freak accident where he ruptured both of his vocal cords during his senior year led him to create the position of actor-in-residence, where he worked as an interpreter for ballet, opera and orchestra companies; he also taught mime and movement classes.

Portrait of Patrick Duffy, 1979
Portrait of Patrick Duffy, 1979Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

He met his future wife, Carlyn, a ballet dancer, who introduced him to Buddhism, which he still practices. The couple married in a Buddhist temple in 1974 and soon moved to New York City, where Patrick did pick up roles in off Broadway plays, but supported himself and Carlyn by working as a carpenter. Hollywood beckoned and the couple moved out West, where he drove a florist’s delivery truck while appearing in small roles both in film and TV.

Duffy was working as a house painter when his first big break came in the form of Mark Harris in the sci-fi TV series Man From Atlantis (1977). With this role — a kind of Aquaman — Duffy learned to hold his breath underwater for three minutes.

Two years later, he became internationally famous as Bobby Ewing on Dallas. It was actually Carlyn who suggested the “dream season” to explain Bobby Ewing’s return from the dead on the hit nighttime series. And in a nod to this dream season episode, Duffy played an elderly version of his Step by Step character and asks, “Where’s J.R.?” Unfortunately, all was not rosy in Duffy’s world.

Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers in Step by Step, 1990s
Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers in Step by Step, 1990sBickley-Warren Productions/Miller-Boyett Productions/Lorimar Television/MoviestillsDB

In 1986, his parents were murdered during an armed robbery by a pair of teenagers who had raided their tavern in Boulder, Montana. Yet despite this tragedy, Duffy continued to work in a variety of TV movies. “I’m one of the lucky actors in television. I don’t make a lot of big waves, but there’s constant activity, and that’s the way I prefer to live my life.”

After the sitcom went off the air, Duffy did some voiceover work on shows including Family Guy and Justice League. He also appeared in two Dallas reunion movies and the revival series. Widowed in 2017, Duffy has been in a secure and loving relationship with actress Linda Purl since 2020.

Suzanne Somers as Carol Foster Lambert

Suzanne Somers from Step by Step. Left: 1994; Right: 2020
Suzanne Somers Left: 1994; Right: 2020Catherine McGann/Getty; Paul Archuleta/Getty

While Suzanne Somers might always be known as the effervescent Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company, Suzanne also made an indelible impression playing Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step. Moving on from this sitcom, she portrayed Sheriff Hildy Grander on She’s The Sheriff and competed on season 20 of Dancing With The Stars. She also was among the celebrities who held residency in Las Vegas during the 80s, headlining at the former MGM Grand for two years and then at the Las Vegas Hilton for another two-and-a-half years. In 2015, Somers returned to Vegas and starred in Suzanne Sizzles.

Related: 10 Shocking and Hilarious Behind-the-Scenes Facts About ‘Three’s Company’

Since departing show biz, she transitioned her role as an actress into a powerful voice for women’s health and wellness. The actress, best-selling author of over 25 books, entertainer and health advocate, was born in San Bruno, California to an alcoholic and abusive father. Doing poorly in school due to dyslexia, she still got the lead role in H.M.S. Pinafore in high school and won an award for her role in the senior musical Guys and Dolls.

Suzanne Sommers, 1975
Suzanne Sommers, 1975Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Small roles in the late 60s and early 70s came her way and a cameo in American Graffiti, as the blonde in the white T-bird, led to an appearance on The Tonight Show where ABC President Fred Silverman had seen her banter with Johnny Carson. He suggested her for the role of Christmas “Chrissy” Snow, who was a stereotype of many blonde women.

Somers married Alan Hamel in 1977 after meeting him in 1968 when she won a job as a prize model on a game show he hosted. The couple endured a sexy, loving and fun marriage with Alan always championing Somers’ ventures and was by her side during her various cancer diagnoses, one being breast cancer in 2000. She underwent experimental therapies but the cancer had returned early in 2023, ultimately leading to her death one day before her 77th birthday. Up until then she was bedridden in her Palm Spring, California home, Suzanne maintained a good relationship with her Step by Step cast co-star, Patrick Duffy.

MUST-READ: The Vibrant Life of Suzanne Somers in 16 Rare Photos

Christine Lakin as Alicia “Al” Lambert

Christine Lakin Left: 1990s; Right: 2023
Christine Lakin Left: 1990s; Right: 2023Bickley-Warren Productions/Miller-Boyett Productions/Lorimar Television/MoviestillsDB; Amy Graves/Getty

Known as tomboyish Al on Step by Step, her full name on the sitcom was Alicia Lambert. Following her days in the Step by Step cast, Christine Lakin appeared in many films, including Veronica Mars, Valentine’s Day, Parental Guidance and The Hottie & The Nottie alongside Paris Hilton. The role required extensive makeup to make Lakin’s good looks … less so. The film was a flop.

Lakin got her start in show biz by acting in commercials before landing her breakout role as Young Rose in The Rose and the Jackal in 1990. In 2010, she became Craig Kilborn’s sidekick and provides the voice of news anchor Joyce Kinney in Family Guy. Her voice also serves as a popular narrator on several audiobook adaptations. Not relegated to just the bright lights, Lakin also has directed many television episodes, including The Goldbergs, Schooled and Puppy Place.

Brandon Call as J.T. Lambert the Step by Step cast

Brandon Call Left: 1992; Right: 1994
Brandon Call Left: 1992; Right: 1994Vinnie Zuffante/Getty; Vinnie Zuffante/Getty

As J. T. Lambert on Step by Step, Brandon Call’s acting ambition was cut short after a tragic accident in 1996 that resulted in him being shot in both arms. The former child star soon retired from the bright lights of Hollywood.

Born in Torrance, California, Brandon began acting when he was just 8 years old with his first roles as guest spots on Simon & Simon and Hotel. His film debut was voicing Fairy #1 in the animated 1985 Disney film The Black Cauldron. In the same year, he landed a recurring role on the soap opera Santa Barbara, garnering two Young Artists Awards. He left the series in 1987 and guest starred on different TV shows and, in 1989, was cast as Hobie Buchannon for the first season of Baywatch But he felt education was important and left the show to concentrate on his studies.

Related: Original ‘Baywatch’ Cast: See the Stars of the Iconic ’90s TV Show Then and Now

Brandon Call, 1994
Brandon Call, 1994Vinnie Zuffante/Getty

Other notable film roles came his way in 1990 and then Call was asked to play John Thomas Lambert as part of the Step by Step cast. But after taping an episode on September 3, 1996, he got into a traffic dispute while driving home. He was shot, but made a full recovery. Call then retired from acting altogether when Step by Step ended. His co-star, Lakin, believes the shooting contributed to his departure from Hollywood.

Staci Keanan as Dana Foster the Step by Step cast

Staci Keanan Left: 1993; Right: 2007
Staci Keanan Left: 1993; Right: 2007Bill Nation/Sygma/Getty; Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty

Audiences were first introduced to Staci Keanan in her part as Nicole Bradford in the sitcom, My Two Dads. She then landed small roles in films before being cast as Dana Foster on Step by Step.

Born Anastasia Sagorsky in Devon, Pennsylvania, Keanan began her career at age four with fashion show assignments and magazine work. When she turned eight, she moved to New York City with her mother and sister and juggled modeling with regional theater and (eventually) high school studies. She won several prestigious scholastic awards, including a City of New York essay contest. Her modeling career branched out to acting with commercials, voiceovers and several miniseries and TV specials.

Staci Keanan and Angela Watson in Step by Step, 1990s
Staci Keanan and Angela Watson in Step by Step, 1990sBickley-Warren Productions/Miller-Boyett Productions/Lorimar Television/MoviestillsDB

Her big screen debut was in the horror film Lisa in 1990, which was just before getting the role of Dana Foster. Leaving show biz behind, Keanan attended Southwestern Law School and was admitted to the California Bar in 2013. She currently practices law under her birth name and, in 2021, in addition to practicing law, became an adjunct associate professor of law at her alma mater.

Christopher Castile as Mark Foster in the Step by Step cast

Christopher Castile Left: 1990s; Right: 2012
Christopher Castile Left: 1990s; Right: 2012Bickley-Warren Productions/Miller-Boyett Productions/Lorimar Television/MoviestillsDB; Alexandra Menendez/The Downey Legend

Best known for his character Mark Foster on Step by Step and Ted Newton in the Beethoven movies, Christopher Castile retired from acting following the cancellation of his sitcom. He received a master’s degree and currently teaches political science as a professor at Biola University in La Mirada, California. He also teaches a U.S. History class called Step by Step at a local high school.

Angela Watson as Karen Foster in the Step by Step cast

Angela Watson Left: 1990s; Right: 2020
Angela Watson Left: 1990s; Right: 2020Bickley-Warren Productions/Miller-Boyett Productions/Lorimar Television/MoviestillsDB; Artswfl/Tom Hall

Earning a weekly paycheck as Karen Foster on the TGIF hit sitcom Step by Step, Angela Watson found out her own family had squandered nearly $2.5 million of her earnings over a 10-year period. She recouped most of the money and property after suing her parents and then became an advocate for child actors. In 2000, she started C.A.S.T. — Child Actors Supporting Themselves — a non-profit organization that helps coordinate attorneys and accountants for child performers. With most of her time devoted to this organization, acting has taken a back seat.

Find more 90s TV favorites below!

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‘3rd Rock From The Sun’ Cast: The Star-Studded Ensemble of the Sci-Fi Comedy Then and Now

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