A group of girls attending a boarding school experience the joys and the trials of adolescence under the guiding hand of housemother Edna Garrett.
At the beginning of the series in 1979, Blair was played as very rebellious, yet still very rich. She was seen smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, and had many boyfriends and was looking to lose her virginity, unlike a lot of the other girls she shared the house with. When the show was retooled in 1980, all instances of Blair's rebellion were either dropped or given to the new character of Jo Polniaczek, and she was rewritten as an unashamedly spoiled "Daddy's Girl," whose business alone could have kept Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus afloat.
Blair was very vain and believed that she was perfect in every way. She may be rich, but she's funny, kind-hearted and loving to Mrs. Garrett and her friends, especially Jo Polniaczek. To her credit, Blair got good grades, won school awards, was crowned Harvest Queen for three years running, and even convinced a boy to move from Switzerland to attend school near her (when asked about it, Blair dryly remarked, "I've done it before.") Blair's delusions of grandeur were usually played for laughs when Natalie, Tootie or Jo would make sarcastic remarks about her "beauty", "perfect" personality, or her "naturally blond hair". Blair felt she was more important than other, "regular" people because she was the heiress to her father's multi-million dollar business, Warner Textile Mills. Any crisis at Eastland would usually prompt a suggested solution from Blair, preceded by her catch phrase: "I just had another one of my brilliant ideas!" More often than not, though, her "brilliant ideas" were really quite the opposite. She eventually developed a more down-to-earth attitude, especially after she suffered a car accident after falling asleep at the wheel that left her slightly scarred and spoiled her "perfect beauty".
Blair's parents (played by soap opera actors Nicolas Coster and Marj Dusay) were divorced on June 14, 1973, and although she didn't usually show it, Blair wished that she had a nuclear family like all of her friends. Later in the series, her mother remarried (for the fourth time) and gave birth to a baby girl (Bailey). Blair had misgivings about her mother's pregnancy but fell in love with baby Bailey as soon as she laid eyes on her.
Another secret Blair kept from her friends was that her cousin Geri (played by comedian Geri Jewell) had Cerebral palsy. She was not embarrassed by her cousin, but rather jealous of her, since Blair was used to being the center of attention. Mrs. Garrett told Blair not to lash out against Geri because of her jealousy, and Blair joined Geri, a successful comedian, onstage at an impromptu comedy show Geri threw at the Eastland Academy. Blair's big sister Meg visited Eastland to tell her little sister that she's going to become a nun in "Best Sister Part 1" and in "Best Sister Part 2" it's revealed that Blair is an atheist because she asked God to not allow her parents' divorce to become final in 1973, but her parents split up nevertheless. In real life 'Lisa Whelche'l is a Christian.
Blair attended Eastland, and upon graduating in 1983, attended nearby Langley College. She worked with Mrs. Garrett at Edna's Edibles and, later, Over Our Heads. Blair graduated from Langley, and enrolled in law school. In the final episode of the series, Blair purchases a financially troubled Eastland Academy and turns it into a co-educational school.
Blair's chief foil was Jo. The two made no secret about their dislike for one another. Jo found Blair spoiled and snobbish, while Blair thought Jo was classless and crude. However, more than once Blair stuck up for and stood by Jo in her time of need (and vice versa), and eventually the two developed a much friendlier relationship. In one episode, Jo even declares Blair as her official best friend.
In the episode "Legacy," Blair, initially enthusiastic about a library being built with her family's funds and named after her late maternal grandfather, Judge Carlton Blair, which in her eyes would thus immortalize the name "Blair," was horrified to learn her grandfather had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The revelation devastated Blair and made her question all her assumptions about her supposed "superiority," even though Jo assured her "You're not a racist, you're a snob." She almost withdrew the library funding to avoid commemorating her grandfather but finally agreed to let it be built so long as it was not given the "Blair" name.
In addition to the Diff'rent Strokes episode "The Girls School" that serves as the pilot for The Facts of Life, Blair also appears in "The Older Man".
Blair Warner Photos
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