Joseph Joey Lawrence is an American actor, R&B-singer, and TV-host. He is known for his roles in the TV-series Gimme a Break!, Blossom, and Melissa & Joey.
Lawrence was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Donna Mignogna, a personnel manager and former elementary school teacher, and Joseph Lawrence Mignogna, Sr., an insurance broker. He is of Italian descent. His family's surname was changed to Lawrence during his childhood. He has two younger brothers, Matthew and Andrew, who are also actors.
He graduated from Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, in 1994, and later attended the University of Southern California.
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. After appearing in guest spots on Diffrent 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. 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, a teenager who frequently said Whoa!, which due to the success of the show became a catchphrase in the United States.
Lawrence has also starred in the series Brotherly Love and Run of the House, and has guest starred on shows such as American Dreams and CSI: NY. One of Lawrence's movie credits is Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000) in which he costarred with Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, and Hart Bochner.
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. He next hosted a dance competition show on The Learning Channel, Master of Dance, which premiered June 9, 2008.
In 2009, Lawrence starred in the television movie My Fake Fianc, 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, opposite Melissa Joan Hart. 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 member of the financial industry whose company came under investigation for wrongdoing and caused his professional life to be put on hold and in limbo.
Lawrence has said that music was always his passion and in the wake of his success began a recording career. Lawrence was 16 when his debut album, Joey Lawrence, was released in February 1993. The album was produced by Terry Lupton, Ian Prince and Teddy Riley. Lawrence also co-wrote songs on the album, including the international hit single Nothin My Love Cant Fix (#6 Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, #10 Billboard Top 40 Mainstream, #19 Billboard Hot 100, #13 United Kingdom, #68 Australia). Said 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 is working on a new album composed mostly of ballads. In June 2011 he released his new single entitled Rolled, which was available as a free download for one week on ABCFamily's website. In July, Joey released a second single, Give It To Ya (Acoustic) via Pledge Music.
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