“Step by step, day by day, a fresh start over, a different hand to play, the deeper we fall, the stronger we stay, and we’ll be better, the second time around!” Remember the song? The ‘90s was a classic decade ripe with some of the best family sitcoms. But for some reason, Step by Step falls just under the radar and doesn’t seem to get the admiration it deserves. It’s one of those sitcoms that was thoroughly enjoyed back in the day, only to be forgotten. That is until someone says to you: “Hey, remember Step by Step? I wonder what they look like now!”
Well, let’s just say that this “someone” is us, and instead of asking you, we’re just going to show you. Despite the fact that Step by Step was a big hit, many of the actors and actresses never continued their time in the limelight. Here is the cast of Step by Step as well as some of the more juicy facts from behind the scenes.
Is a Reboot on the Horizon?
For seven seasons, between 1991 and 1998, Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy played two single parents with three kids each who married and raised a blended family in Wisconsin. It was basically just a modern version of The Brady Bunch – but, dare I say, much better? So, would the cast ever consider doing a reboot?
Apparently, Patrick Duffy revealed he would be thrilled to get the Foster-Lambert unit back together on the screen again. The way he put it: “We all were a very close and loving family off-camera, and if the idea and the script were correct, I’m sure — speaking for myself and Suzanne because we’ve discussed it — we would be more than happy to resurrect the Lambert family.” Apparently, they have been approached about it often and have been in discussion as recently as 2019.
Let’s take a look back now…
Patrick Duffy aka Frank Lambert
Patrick Duffy played Frank Lambert, the patriarch of the Lambert family. Most viewers knew him from the smash hit prime time soap opera Dallas, where he played Bobby Ewing, the brother of J.R. Ewing. Duffy had just finished his first run on Dallas before joining the sitcom cast. Duffy graduated in 1971 from the University of Washington with a degree in drama.
Many don’t know that Duffy was an accomplished singer. He recorded a duet with French crooner Mireille Mathieu which reached #5 on the charts in Holland. After Step by Step was canceled, he found himself back in his biggest role, the 2012 Dallas reboot, Dallas: War of the Ewings.
Patrick Duffy Now
Like Christine Lakin, Duffy also did voice work on Family Guy, where he recreated the famous shower scene from Dallas. In 2016, he published a book called Man from Atlantis – a companion guide to his 1977 TV series of the same name. Duffy still makes guest appearances in movies and TV shows, including, most recently, Siddarth Kara’s Trafficked.
He hosted the game show Bingo America and took on a recurring role as Stephen Logan on the day time soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. The now 71-year-old is now a widow (he was married to Carlyn Rosser until 2017 when she passed away) and has two kids. For anyone who’s interested, he has an estimated net worth of 14 million dollars.
Christine Lakin aka Alicia “Al” Lambert
Christine Lakin played Al, the tomboyish all-American girl who was Frank’s only daughter. Lakin was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia, but quickly understood that her Hollywood dreams meant she needed to relocate to the West Coast. Her first major role was in the TV drama The Rose and the Jackal. During her time on Step by Step, she continued her studies.
She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Communications at the age of 20. She enjoyed continued success after Step by Step went off the air. In addition to Hollywood Darlings, she appeared in over 40 movies and TV shows, including Georgia Rule, The Game Plan, Boston Public, Veronica Mars, and Wild ‘n Out.
Christine Lakin Now
Lakin has remained close to Step by Step co-stars Patrick Duffy and Staci Keanan. The two even appeared in her mockumentary, Lovin’ Lakin. She also found a place for herself on the theater stage and as a voiceover artist. After Step by Step was canceled, Christine starred in the 2008 movie The Hottie and the Nottie with Paris Hilton.
She was also in two 2005 made-for-TV movies, Reefer Madness and Who’s Your Daddy? Here’s one for Family Guy fans: Lakin does the voice of newscaster Joyce Kinney in Family Guy as well as Jane in The Walking Dead: Season Two video game. The 41-year-old is married and has a daughter.
Brandon Call aka J.T. Lambert
Brandon Call played John Thomas (JT), the oldest kid in the Lambert family. In many ways, he was a typical jock – a Packers fan like his dad, uninterested in school and focused on sports. JT was then said to have dyslexia, which explained his problems in school. Call actually had a long list of credits before joining Step by Step, including St. Elsewhere, Webster, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, and Baywatch.
But, after Step by Step wrapped up, so did Call’s career. Call happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and was a victim of a shooting that left him with gunshot wounds in both of his arms. He hasn’t acted ever since…
Brandon Call Now
Brandon Call was involved in an incident that proved nearly fatal. He was driving home from the studios in Burbank when a car started to tail him. The driver cornered him, stepped out, and suddenly began firing at Call with a gun. He barely missed his head and chest, hitting both of his arms. The young actor managed to drive away and reach a police station.
Yes, it is absolutely strange and frightening. The shooter’s motive remains a mystery to this day, but authorities suspectd that it was a traffic conflict. Call decided to stay out of the spotlight. Apparently, the 43-year-old is working at a gas station and car wash that his parents own in San Diego.
Sasha Mitchell aka Cody Lambert
Sasha Mitchell played Cody Lambert, Frank’s nephew. If you’re not a Dallas fan, then you might be surprised to hear that Step by Step wasn’t the first time he and Patrick Duffy worked together. Both appeared on Dallas, where Mitchell played Bobby’s nephew, James Beaumont. Before joining the sitcom, Mitchell appeared in several action films due to his background in martial arts. Later, he starred in the Kickboxer films, replacing Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Mitchell was fired from Step by Step at the end of Season 5 because of some personal issues that were making the news. He and his wife had four children before divorcing in 1997. During their marriage, police were called to their home to investigate reports of domestic abuse.
Sasha Mitchell Now
In 1996, Mitchell was convicted of domestic abuse and given three years probation and was forced to do community service and attend counseling for spouse abusers. He then violated his probation and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. After the sitcom ended, Mitchell went back to acting. He appeared in several shows like ER, JAG, and NYPD Blue.
In 2010, he left the industry again, but recently relaunched his career. He appeared in Drunk Parents with Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek. Mitchell has a black belt in Tae Kwan Doe and has been in local MMA tournaments. The 53-year-old remarried but never had any more children. I guess four is enough.
Suzanne Somers aka Carol Foster Lambert
Suzanne Somers was, of course, the matriarch of the sitcom, Carol Foster Lambert. Somers first rose to fame as Chrissy Snow on the 1970s sitcom Three’s Company. Thanks to the show’s massive success, she quickly became a household name. There was a period of time when her show business career stalled, and she gained notoriety for selling the Thighmaster exercise equipment on home shopping channels.
But playing Carol was a welcome return to TV for Somers, who was excited to have another major place on a sitcom. After the sitcom ended, she co-hosted a brief reboot of Candid Camera for CBS. She also appeared on Dancing With the Stars.
Suzanne Somers Now
Away from the camera, Somers made a name for herself as a health and wellness advocate. She has a line of cosmetics and supplements. Somers is also an author; she has published more than 20 books, on topics from diet to bio-identical hormone replacement. Somers has been the subject of controversy regarding her research and views on alternative cancer treatments.
After Step by Step ended, she remained in the spotlight but didn’t land any major acting roles. She did a one-woman Broadway show called The Blonde in the Thunderbird about her life. She also starred in a reality show focused on her life. The 73-year-old now hosts an Internet talk show called Suzanne Somers: Breaking Through.
Christopher Castile aka Mark Foster
Christopher Castile played Mark Foster, Carol’s only son. Castile began acting at a very young age. The Orange County native got his first major role came on the sitcom Going Places. He played Sam Roberts, the son of Dick Roberts, and his costar was Staci Keanan – his onscreen sister on Step by Step. Both sitcoms were created by the same producers.
Castile appeared in two very popular Beethoven films and voiced a character on the show Hey Arnold! while he was still on Step by Step. But he retired from acting after the show ended. He went on to earn his BA and MA from Cal State Long Beach.
Christopher Castile Now
After several seasons of voicing the character of Eugene Horowitz on Hey Arnold!, he was replaced by Jarret Lennon. Ironically, Lennon was originally supposed to play Mark Foster on Step by Step. The 40-year-old is now a political science professor at Biola University, and he teaches history at Downey High School. I’m sure his students get a kick out of his star-studded past.
Castile was a talented young actor who received a number of Young Artist Award nominations, including Best Young Actor Starring in a Television Series on Step by Step, 1992; Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture on Beethoven, 1992; Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Television Series on Step by Step, 1993; Best Performance by a Youth Ensemble in a Motion Picture on Beethoven’s 2nd, 1994; and Best Performance by a Young Actor in a TV Comedy Series on Step by Step, 1996.
Staci Keanan aka Dana Foster
Staci Keanan played Dana Foster, one of Carol’s two daughters. Keanan was born in Philadelphia and was given a very different name – Anastasia Love Sagorsky. She adopted her stage name (as many did and still do) to give her broader appeal. She was worried her real name would sound too foreign.
Keanan started off in TV commercials for Burger King and Hershey’s Kisses. She then did the voice of My Little Pony. She was also cast in the sitcom My Two Dads. From there, she landed her big break as Dana Foster in Step by Step. Like her TV mom, she was already familiar with the sitcom world. She starred in My Two Dads and Going Places before Step by Step.
Staci Keanan Now
After the show was canceled, Keanan appeared in a few movies, including You Again in 2010, in which she reunited with Patrick Duffy and Christine Lakin. But, Keanan has since retired from the acting world. She graduated from UCLA and then headed onward to Southwestern Law School. She passed the bar and, in 2013, was admitted to the State Bar of California.
The 45-year-old is now a practicing lawyer in Los Angeles under her original name Anastasia Sagorsky. In 2014, she worked as a prosecutor for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, handling felony cases of violent crime or death. As of 2019, she became a Deputy District Attorney in the LA County District Attorney’s office. Beauty and brains!
Angela Watson aka Karen Foster
Angela Watson played Carol’s other daughter, Karen Foster. Watson was in front of the cameras since she was in diapers. She was also a beauty pageant winner, with 60 crowns and 200 trophies during her time in the circuit in Florida and in several other southern states.
After she won Face Finders Model Search in Dallas, her family decided to relocate to Los Angeles so she could develop a show business career of her own. She did local theater productions and was eventually cast on Step by Step. After the sitcom ended, the beauty queen-turned-actress learned some devastating news.
Angela Watson Now
After the cancelation of the show, Watson learned that the money she had earned playing Karen Foster (which was roughly $2.5 million) was misspent by her parents. In other words, they blew away her fortune. After that, Watson was determined to protect other child stars from being victims and started an organization called CAST (Child Actors Supporting Themselves) in 2000.
Watson now spends her time helping young actors protect their earnings by getting them in touch with private investigators, accountants, and attorneys. She hasn’t been doing any acting, really. She does, however, have a good reputation in the acting community, having served on the Screen Actors Guild Board of Directors for several years.
Jason Marsden aka Rich Halke
Marsden played Rich Halke, J.T.’s best friend and confidant. But Step by Step wasn’t the first major role for this child actor. Jason Marsden was still in elementary school when he played Alan Quartermaine, Jr. on the soap opera General Hospital. He also had some major roles as a voice actor, including Max Goof in A Goofy Movie and the announcer of The Mickey Mouse Club.
He was already a staple of ABC’s TGIF programs by the time he became a full-time cast member. In addition to being on Full House, he also played a part in Boy Meets World. Marsden has been in a few films and shows over the years, but his most successful venture has been in voice acting.
Jason Marsden Now
Marsden has found major success in the world of voiceover acting, a lot of it well-received. He lent his voice to major feature animated films like Tarzan, Monsters Inc., Spirited Away, and The Secret Life of Pets, to name a few. But, sadly for Full House fans, he didn’t reprise his role as Nelson in the second season of Fuller House.
Fans can keep up with him on social media, though. In 2020, he started an online series for YouTube called The Mars Variety Show. It follows the style of The Dean Martin show, featuring musicians, comedians, and other performers. The 45-year-old married Christy Hicks in 2004, but the two just recently split up. He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his son.
Josh Byrne Then and Now
Brendon Lambert, the youngest brother on Step by Step, was played by Josh Byrne. However, he had a strange disappearance from the show. In the last season, Brendon didn’t appear in any episodes – out of nowhere. There was no plot line that explained his absence, either. When Step by Step moved from ABC to CBS by the end of Season 6, Byrne didn’t make the move.
Before the show, Byrne had a short-lived recurring role on Who’s The Boss and a small role in the movie Mr. Saturday Night. Byrne decided to pursue a life away from the spotlight. The 36-year-old hasn’t acted since and currently lives in Thousand Oaks, California. Judging by his social media, it looks like he has a liking for the Renaissance and dressing up in costume.
Alexandra Adi, Then and Now
Alexandra Adi grew up in upstate New York but is originally from Miami, Florida. After her college graduation in 1993, she moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of acting. She landed some small roles on TV shows such as The Adventures of Pete and Pete, The Cosby Mysteries, and Cop Land. Her big break came in 1997, though, when she was cast on Step by Step as JT’s girlfriend Samantha “Sam” Milano.
After Step by Step, she took on minor parts in Hollywood blockbusters, with appearances in American Pie, Jawbreaker, and Slap Her… She’s French. She had guest-starring roles on CSI: Miami and Boy Meets World, too. She also took part in several successful bikini modeling campaigns. Now, the 49-year-old lives a quiet life with her husband and two kids.
The Opening Title
If you go and look back at the show’s opening credits, you’ll see that the role of the dorky brother Mark Foster was actually played by a brunette child named Jarrett Lennon, who was filmed in the unaired pilot. The producers then realized that they wanted to keep Carol’s kids as blondes and Frank’s as brunettes.
Lennon was then dismissed and replaced with Christopher Castile. The pilot was then re-shot, but for some reason the opening credits weren’t. The blond Mark Foster got his own title card, but in the group shots with the whole family, there’s this mysterious brunette boy. The editors clearly tried their best to hide it.
If you’re still in the mood for more ‘90s goodies, you’ll enjoy what’s coming up next…