Character Biographies

Mrs. Garrett, formerly the housekeeper for the Drummond family (Diff'rent Strokes), joins the Eastland staff as housemother to a group of young girls. Far from being just a faculty member, Mrs. Garrett is a wise and loving friend and counselor. The girls constantly seek her advice, as well as her delicious culinary creations. Mrs. Garrett takes on the job of school dietician in addition to her dormitory duties, but a conflict with the school administration eventually impels her to leave the school and open a gourmet food shop in Peekskill. The girls stay with Mrs. Garrett through the fire that destroys Edna's Edibles, and help her open a boutique called Over Our Heads until her depature in season eight.
A streetwise kid from the Bronx who joins the Eastland family in the show's second season, Jo is brash and headstrong. Don't be fooled, though. Her tough exterior hides a first-class intellect and a soft heart. Jo, often the voice of reason in a crisis, learns to navigate the privileged world of a private girls' school without losing her street smarts. Rich kid Blair is a favorite target for Jo's sarcasm, but if anybody else picks on Blair, Jo will likely rush to her defense.
Money, breeding, beauty—Blair Warner has it all, and she isn't afraid to let everyone know it. She admits to being spoiled and always getting her way. But tragic events, such as her parents' divorce and the fire at Edna's Edibles, bring out Blair's loyalty and compassion. As she matures, Blair becomes more than just a Warner and shows herself to be an intelligent, responsible person who delights in helping others.
"I'd rather be a happy Magic Marker than a skinny pencil," says chubby Natalie—and she means it. Even though she doesn't fit the mold of a traditional beauty, Natalie has a healthy self-image and a razor-sharp wit. She is an active member of the school newspaper staff, which she hopes will prepare her for a future as a writer. One of her major flaws is her willingness to follow any new trend or advice, no matter how way-out it may seem.
Looking for juicy gossip? Just ask Tootie, the resident busybody. In her younger years, Tootie was usually zipping around on her trademark roller skates and digging up every little secret in the world of Eastland. She is Natalie's best friend and everyone's little sister. Her ambition is to become an actress, which is a natural outlet for her bubbly, outgoing personality. However, Tootie's thirst for adventure occasionally leads her into trouble, like when she runs off to New York and ends up confronting a world of pornography and prostitution.