Read an Excerpt: 'Cloris'

I hadn't seen Charlotte in years, so we had a sentimental reunion. She came up with my character's first name by combining her sisters' names, Beverly and Ann. My then manager, Steve Vail, and I decided to make separate lists of possible last names. The next day we talked on the phone and alternated reading the names on each of our lists. We each had ten names. We didn't find one we both liked until near the end, when I said, "Stickle," and, a huge surprise to both of us, he said, "Stickle." We were astonished that we had both chosen such an unusual name. That's how we knew it was the right one. So Stickle it was.

I enjoyed my time on The Facts of Life. Each episode was a new kind of fun as we solved the girls' problems. The four of us really did become a family. The girls are grown up now and scattered around the country, but the joy we had in working together comes back with all its original fervor every time I run into one of them.

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