Open main menu

Joseph Lawrence Mignogna Jr. (born April 20, 1976)[1] is an American actor, musician, and game show host. He got his start as a child star in the early 1980s and is best known for his role as Joey Russo in Blossom. Lawrence also starred in the series Brotherly Love with his real-life brothers Matthew and Andrew.

Joey Lawrence
Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence March of Dimes 414 (5673496652) (cropped).jpg
Lawrence in 2017
Joseph Lawrence Mignogna Jr.

(1976-04-20) April 20, 1976 (age 43)
Other namesJoe Lawrence, Joseph Lawrence
EducationAbington Friends School (1994)
University of Southern California
OccupationActor, singer-songwriter, record producer, game show host
Years active1982–present
Michelle Vella
(m. 2002; div. 2005)

Chandie Yawn-Nelson
(m. 2005)
FamilyMatthew Lawrence (brother)
Andrew Lawrence (brother)


Early lifeEdit

Lawrence was born in Abington, Pennsylvania,[1] and raised in Philadelphia, the son of Donna, a personnel manager and former elementary school teacher[2] and Joseph Lawrence Mignogna, an insurance broker.[3][4] He is of Italian, Scottish and English descent.[5] His family's surname was changed to "Lawrence" during his childhood. He has two younger brothers, Matt and Andy, who are also actors.[6]

He graduated from Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, in 1994, and later attended the University of Southern California.[7]



Lawrence's first acting role was in a Cracker Jack commercial. At the age of five, he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, where he performed the song "Give My Regards to Broadway".[8]

After appearing in guest spots on Diff'rent Strokes and Silver Spoons, Lawrence won the role of Joey Donovan on the hit NBC sitcom Gimme a Break! in 1983. He continued in that role until the series ended in 1987. 1985 marked Lawrence's theatrical debut with the release of Summer Rental. Lawrence provided the voice of Oliver, the protagonist in the 1988 Disney film Oliver & Company. From 1991-95, Lawrence co-starred in the hit TV series Blossom, playing Joey Russo.

Lawrence has also starred in the series Brotherly Love (which featured his real life brothers, Matthew and Andrew Lawrence) and Run of the House, and has guest starred on such programs as American Dreams and CSI: NY.[9] One of Lawrence's film credits is Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000).

Lawrence with the cast of Melissa & Joey

In 2006, Lawrence appeared on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Paired with professional dancer Edyta Śliwińska, he placed third in the competition.

In May 2007, he starred in the Broadway hit Chicago as Billy Flynn.[10] He next hosted a dance competition show on The Learning Channel, Master of Dance, which premiered June 9, 2008.[11]

In 2009, Lawrence starred in the television movie My Fake Fiancé with Melissa Joan Hart, which premiered on ABC Family to 3.6 million viewers, becoming the most-watched television movie of the ratings season, sweeping top rank in its time-period in key demos. In August 2010, Lawrence returned to television in the ABC Family sitcom Melissa & Joey, again opposite Hart.[12] Hart plays a woman who hires Lawrence as a nanny to help care for her incarcerated sister's kids. Lawrence's character is a former figure in the financial industry whose company came under investigation for wrongdoing and caused his professional life to be put on hold. Lawrence's brothers have guest starred on the show. Matthew Lawrence played Tony Longo in season 1 episode 25 and Andrew Lawrence appeared in season 1 episode 26 as Ryder Scanlon's teacher, Evan McKay. The series was renewed for its fourth season and ended in 2015.[13]

In 2012, he was contracted to be a Chippendales dancer for a special engagement in June at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.[14] On March 19, 2013, Lawrence began appearing in the ABC reality show Splash, which he co-hosts alongside Charissa Thompson.

Music careerEdit

Lawrence has said that music was always his passion, and at the height of his success began a recording career. Lawrence was 16 when his debut album Joey Lawrence was released in February 1993. Produced by Steve Barri, Tony Peluso, Terry Lupton and Ian Prince. Lawrence co-wrote some material, including the international hit single "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" (#6 Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, #10 Billboard Top 40 Mainstream, #19 Billboard Hot 100, #13 United Kingdom, #68 Australia).[15] The song was used as the end-title theme from the movie Cop and a Half; its music video received heavy airplay on MTV and MuchMusic, and Lawrence was invited to perform live on MTV's Spring Break, The Arsenio Hall Show, and the UK's Top of the Pops in 1993.[citation needed]

In June 2011, he released a single, "Rolled", which was available as a free download for one week on ABC Family's website.[16] In July, Joey released a second single, "Give It To Ya (Acoustic)" via Pledge Music.[17] In 2017 Joey started a band with Matt and Andy called Still 3. They released their debut single "Lose Myself".[18]

Personal lifeEdit

Lawrence married Michelle Vella in 2002; the couple divorced in 2005. He met his second wife, Chandie Yawn-Nelson, earlier while on vacation in Disney World when the two were teenagers; they wed there in July 2005.[19] The couple have two children.[20][21]

Reports surfaced in March 2018 that Lawrence and Yawn-Nelson had filed for bankruptcy in July 2017.[22][23] On 6 April 2018 the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was reportedly settled.[24][25]


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
1985 Summer Rental Bobby Chester
1988 Pulse David Rockland
1988 Oliver & Company Oliver (voice)
1991 Chains of Gold Tommy
1994 Radioland Murders Frankie Marshall
1995 A Goofy Movie Chad (voice)
1999 Tequila Body Shots Johnny Orpheus
2000 Urban Legends: Final Cut Graham Manning
2000 Desperate But Not Serious Darby
2001 Do You Wanna Know a Secret? Hank Ford
2001 A Christmas Adventure ...From a Book Called Wisely's Tales Wolfpack Leader (voice) Video
2002 Trois 2: Pandora's Box Det. Anderson
2006 Rest Stop Officer Michael Deacon Video
2008 Killer Pad Joey Lawrence
2008 Together Again For The First Time Carey Krzyznyk Video
2010 Sinatra Club Louie 'Pipes' Pepitone
2011 Tumor & Gooch Gooch Short film
2011 Hit List Lyle
2016 Saved By Grace Rick
2016 Emma's Chance Kevin Chambers
2016 Arlo: The Burping Pig David
2016 Isle of the Dead Lt. Paul Gibson
2017 Girl Followed Jim
2018 Sk8 Dawg Mr. Hoffman
TBA My Brother's Keeper Preach
TBA Roe v. Wade Robert Byrn Filming
TBA Pardoned by Grace Scott Highberger Filming
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
1982 Scamps Sparky TV film
1982 Diff'rent Strokes Joey Episode: "Big Brother"
1982 Silver Spoons Joey Thompson Episode: "The Best Christmas Ever"
1983 Little Shots Pete TV film
1983 Wait till Your Mother Gets Home! Chris Peters TV film
1983–87 Gimme a Break! Joey Donovan Main role (77 episodes)
1984 Young People's Specials Billy Episode: "Umbrella Jack"
1985 ABC Afterschool Special Mattie Episode: "Don't Touch"
1989 Adventures in Babysitting Brad Anderson Pilot
1990–95 Blossom Joey Russo Main
1993 Olsen Twins Mother's Day Special Singer TV special
1993 Almost Home Jeff Thornton Episode: "Girls and Boy"
1993 Empty Nest Wade Episode: "Aunt Verne Knows Best"
1995 The John Larroquette Show Carly's Brother Episode: "Whipping Post"
1995 Something Wilder J.J. Travis Episode: "Bergman of Alcatraz"
1995 Prince for a Day Ralph Bitondo / Ricky Prince TV film
1995–97 Brotherly Love Joe Roman Main role (40 episodes)
1996 Brothers of the Frontier Ethan Frye TV film
1999 Touched by an Angel Jesse Episode: "Fool for Love"
1999 Horse Sense Michael Woods TV film
1999 Recess Franklin Dudikoff (voice) Episode: "The Dude"
2001 Jumping Ship Michael Woods TV film
2002 Romantic Comedy 101 Mark Gibson TV film
2002 The Zeta Project Dex Finley (voice) Episode: "Eye of the Storm"
2002–03 American Dreams Michael Brooks 11 episodes
2003–04 Run of the House Kurt Franklin Main role (19 episodes)
2004 Love Rules! Michael Warner TV film
2005 Bow Matt TV film
2005 Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber Ferguson TV film
2005–06 Half & Half Brett Mahoney 9 episodes
2006 Android Apocalypse DeeCee TV film
2007 CSI: NY Clay Dobson 3 episodes
2007–08 The Emperor's New School Dirk Brock (voice) 2 episodes
2009 My Fake Fiancé Vince
2010–15 Melissa & Joey Joe Longo Main role (104 episodes)
2011 The Dog Who Saved Halloween Zeus TV film
2012 Hitched for the Holidays Rob Marino TV film
2012 The Dog Who Saved The Hollidays Zeus TV film
2013 Splash Himself Co-host
2015 Celebrity Family Feud Himself Episode: "Lawrence vs Lopez"
2016 Cupcake Wars Himself Runner Up
2017-19 Hawaii Five-0 Aaron Wright 4 episodes
2019 Celebrity Big Brother Himself / Houseguest[26][27] 9th place
Dancing with the Stars season 3 performances
Week# Dance / Song Judge's scores Result Ref
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha / "I Like the Way (You Move)" 7 7 7 [28]
2 Quickstep / "I Got Rhythm" 10 9 10
3 Jive / "Blue Suede Shoes" 8 6 8
4 Waltz / "Take It to the Limit" 9 9 9
5 Samba / "Freedom! '90" 8 8 9
6 Rumba / "Father Figure"
Group Disco / "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough"
7 Foxtrot / "Singin' in the Rain"
Mambo / "Mambo No. 5"
Tango / "The Addams Family Theme"
Paso Doble / "Sympathy for the Devil"
Quickstep / "42nd Street"
Rumba / "Eternal Flame"
Third place


  • Chicago (2007), as Billy Flynn (replacement)



Year Album Peak positions Certification
US Hot 200

1993 Joey Lawrence 74[29] 39[30]
1997 Soulmates  –  –


  • 2017: Imagine


Year Title Peak positions Album
US Hot 100

1993 "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" 19[29] 13[31] 68[32] Joey Lawrence
"I Can't Help Myself"  – 27[31]  –
"Stay Forever"  – 41[31]  –
1998 "Never Gonna Change My Mind"  – 49[31]  – Soulmates

Other non-charting singles

  • 2011: "Rolled"
  • 2011: "Give It To Ya" (acoustic)
  • 2013: "Our Time"
  • 2017: "Imagine"
  • 2017: "Christmas Time"


  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference filmref was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Gliatto, Tom (March 15, 1993). "A Method to His Doofus". People. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  3. ^ "Joey Lawrence Biography (1976-)". Archived from the original on July 31, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  4. ^ "Grown Up Joey Lawrence Kept the 'Y' - Here's Why". Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  5. ^ Gostin, Nicki (July 26, 2010). "Grown Up Joey Lawrence Kept the 'Y' — Here's Why". Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  6. ^ Radovsky, Vicki Jo (April 23, 1993). "Stonecoldfox". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  7. ^ Lipton, Michael A. (1994-06-27). "Class of '94". People. 41 (24). ISSN 0093-7673.
  8. ^ "Joey Lawrence". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  9. ^ Snierson, Dan (October 16, 2002). "'Whoa' Be Gone". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew (2007-05-04). "Joey Lawrence Joins Broadway's Chicago May 4". Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ Master of Dance Archived 2008-05-30 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed March 20, 2017.
  12. ^ Bockelman, Andy (2010-04-01). "Melissa Joan Hart, Nikki Blonsky Among Stars To Appear In New ABC Family Shows". Retrieved June 12, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Hart & Lawrence Land New Sitcom". Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  14. ^ "Joey Lawrence – Whoa, I'm a Stripper!". TMZ. May 16, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  15. ^ "Joey Lawrence: Billboard chart history". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  16. ^ "ABC Family's Hit Comedy "Melissa & Joey" Returns With All-New Episodes, Premiering Wednesday, June 29 at 8:00 ET/PT". 2011-06-24. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  17. ^ "Give it to ya". PledgeMusic. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  18. ^ Whoa! Hear Joey Lawrence's New Song with Brothers Matthew and Andy
  19. ^ Rizzo, Monica (2006-11-13). "Whoa, It's Joey!". People. 66 (20). ISSN 0093-7673.
  20. ^ Michaud, Sarah (2009-11-13). "Joey Lawrence, Wife Expecting Second Daughter". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  21. ^ Michaud, Sarah (2010-03-04). "Joey Lawrence Welcomes Second Daughter". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  22. ^ Dave Quinn (2018-03-09). "Joey Lawrence files for bankruptcy after accumulating over $355K in liabilities". People. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  23. ^ Ryan Naumann (2018-03-09). "Joey Lawrence Filed for Bankruptcy After Things Got So Bad, He Had to Sell His Clothes". Blast. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  24. ^ Ryan Naumann and Daniel Goldblatt (2018-04-09). "Joey Lawrence's Bankruptcy Case Comes to a Close, Several Creditors Get the Shaft". Blast. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  25. ^ Sarah Hearon (2018-04-09). "Joey Lawrence's Bankruptcy Case Settled, IRS Won't Receive Full Payment". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  26. ^ Porreca, Brian (13 January 2019). "'Celebrity Big Brother' Cast Includes Anthony Scaramucci, Dina Lohan and Ryan Lochte". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  27. ^ Ross, Dalton (13 January 2019). "Anthony Scaramucci among 12 new Celebrity Big Brother houseguests". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 3)", Wikipedia, 2018-08-20, retrieved 2018-08-26
  29. ^ a b "Joey Lawrence - Chart history". Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  30. ^ "joey-lawrence - full Official Chart History - Official Charts Company". Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  31. ^ a b c d "Official Charts > Joey Lawrence". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  32. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending May 1, 1994". ARIA. Retrieved February 22, 2016.

External linksEdit