Joseph Lawrence Mignogna Jr. (born April 20, 1976), is an American actor, singer, and game show host.

Early life

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

He graduated from Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, in 1994, and later attended the University of Southern California.[6]



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".[7] 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 to 1995, Lawrence co-starred in the hit TV series Blossom, in which he played 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.[8] One of Lawrence's film credits is Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000) in which he costarred with Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, and Hart Bochner.

File:Melissa & Joey cast and crew at Paley Center.jpg

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.[9] He next hosted a dance competition show on The Learning Channel, Master of Dance, which premiered June 9, 2008.[10]

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 Melissa Joan Hart.[11] 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 Scanlan's teacher, Evan McKay. As of 2014, the series has been renewed for its fourth season.[12]

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.[13]

On March 19, 2013, Lawrence began appearing in the ABC reality show Splash. He is co-host alongside Charissa Thompson.


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).[14] 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.

In July 2008, Lawrence told TV Guide that he was working on a new album composed mostly of ballads.[15] In June 2011, he released his new single entitled 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]

Personal life

Lawrence married Michelle Vella in 2002; the couple divorced in 2004. He met his second wife, Chandie Yawn-Nelson, while on vacation in Disney World when the two were teenagers; they married there 13 years later, in July 2005.[18] The couple have two daughters, Charleston 'Charli', born May 10, 2006 and Liberty Grace, born March 4, 2010.[19][20]


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
1985 Summer Rental Bobby Chester
1988 Pulse David Rockland
1988 Oliver & Company Oliver (voice)
1994 Radioland Murders Frankie Marshall
1995 Goofy Movie, AA Goofy Movie Chad (voice)
1999 Horse Sense Michael Woods
2000 Urban Legends: Final Cut Graham Manning
2000 Desperate But Not Serious Darby
2001 Do You Wanna Know a Secret? Hank Ford
2001 Jumping Ship Michael Woods
2001 Christmas Adventure ...From a Book Called Wisely's Tales, AA 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
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
1982 Scamps Sparky Short film
1982 Diff'rent Strokes Joey Episode: "Big Brother"
1982 Silver Spoons Joey Thompson Episode: "The Best Christmas Ever"
1983 Little Shots Pete
1983 Wait till Your Mother Gets Home! Chris Peters
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 role (114 episodes)
1991 Chains of Gold Tommy
1993 Olsen Twins Mother's Day Special Singer
1993 Almost Home Jeff Thornton Episode: "Girls and Boy"
1993 Empty Nest Wade Episode: "Aunt Verne Knows Best"
1995 John Larroquette Show, TheThe 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
1995–97 Brotherly Love Joe Roman Main role (40 episodes)
1996 Brothers of the Frontier Ethan Frye
1999 Touched by an Angel Jesse Episode: "Fool for Love"
1999 Horse Sense Michael Woods
1999 Recess Franklin Dudikoff (voice) Episode: "The Dude"
2001 Jumping Ship Michael Woods
2002 Romantic Comedy 101 Mark Gibson
2002 Zeta Project, TheThe 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
2005 Bow Matt
2005 Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber Ferguson
2005–06 Half & Half Brett Mahoney 9 episodes
2006 Android Apocalypse DeeCee
2007 CSI: NY Clay Dobson 3 episodes
2007–08 Emperor's New School, TheThe 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 Dog Who Saved Halloween, TheThe Dog Who Saved Halloween Zeus
2012 Hitched for the Holidays Rob Marino
2012 The Dog Who Saved The Hollidays Zeus
2013 Splash Himself Co-host
2015 Celebrity Family Feud Himself Episode: "Lawrence vs Lopez"
2016 Cupcake Wars Himself Runner Up


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


Template:BLP sources section Albums


  • 1993: "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" (#19 US Hot 100,[21] #13 UK Single Chart,[23] #68 Australian ARIA singles chart[24])
  • 1993: "I Can't Help Myself" (#27 UK Singles Chart[23])
  • 1993: "Stay Forever" (#41 UK Singles Chart[23])
  • 1998: "Never Gonna Change My Mind" (#49 UK Singles Chart[23])
  • 2011: "Rolled"
  • 2011: "Give It To Ya" (acoustic)
  • 2013: "Our Time"


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  2. Joey Lawrence Biography (1976-)
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  6. Lipton, Michael A. (1994-06-27). "Class of '94". People 41 (24). ISSN 0093-7673.,,20103320,00.html. 
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  10. Master of Dance : TLC
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  18. Rizzo, Monica (2006-11-13). "Whoa, It's Joey!". People 66 (20). ISSN 0093-7673.,,20059931,00.html. 
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External links

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