Joseph Lawrence Mignogna Jr.
April 20, 1976
Abington, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, game show host|
(m. 2002; div. 2005)
(m. 2005; div. 2020)
Joseph Lawrence Mignogna Jr. (born April 20, 1976) is an American actor, musician, singer-songwriter, record producer, and game show host. He got his start as a child star in the early 1980s and is best known for his role as Joey Russo in Blossom and Joe Longo in Melissa & Joey. Lawrence also starred in Gimme a Break! (1983–1987), and the series Brotherly Love with his real-life brothers Matthew and Andrew, and for his movie roles in Summer Rental (1985) and Oliver & Company (1988).
Lawrence was born in Abington, Pennsylvania and raised in Philadelphia, the son of Donna, a personnel manager and former elementary school teacher and Joseph Lawrence Mignogna, an insurance broker. He is of Italian, Scottish and English descent. His family's surname was changed to "Lawrence" during his childhood. He has two younger brothers, Matt and Andy, 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 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 at the age of 12. From 1991 to 1995, at the age of 15, Lawrence co-starred in the hit TV series Blossom on NBC, playing 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. One of Lawrence's film credits is Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000).
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 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 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 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 Scanlon's teacher, Evan McKay. The series was renewed for its fourth season and ended in 2015.
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. On March 19, 2013, Lawrence began appearing in the ABC reality show Splash, co-hosting 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, No. 10 Billboard Top 40 Mainstream, No. 19 Billboard Hot 100, No. 13 United Kingdom, No. 68 Australia). 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 June 2011, he released a single, "Rolled", which was available as a free download for one week on ABC Family's website. In July, Joey released a second single, "Give It To Ya (Acoustic)" via Pledge Music. In 2017 Joey started a band with Matt and Andy called Still 3. They released their debut single "Lose Myself".
Lawrence married Michelle Vella in 2002; the couple divorced in 2005.
He met his second wife, Chandie Yawn-Nelson, earlier while on vacation in Disney World when the two were teenagers; they wed there in July 2005. Reports had surfaced in March 2018 that Lawrence and Yawn-Nelson had filed for bankruptcy in July 2017. On April 6, 2018, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was reportedly settled. Lawrence filed for divorce in July 2020. The couple has two children.
In August 2021, Lawrence announced his engagement to actress Samantha Cope whom he met on the set of a Lifetime movie directed by his brother Andrew and co-starring his daughter Charleston. On May 1, 2022, Joey married Cope in an intimate wedding in California.
|1985||Summer Rental||Bobby Chester|
|Oliver & Company||Oliver||Voice role|
|1991||Chains of Gold||Tommy|
|1994||Radioland Murders||Frankie Marshall|
|1995||A Goofy Movie||Chad||Voice role|
|1999||Tequila Body Shots||Johnny Orpheus|
|2000||Urban Legends: Final Cut||Graham Manning|
|Desperate But Not Serious||Darby|
|2001||Do You Wanna Know a Secret?||Hank Ford|
|A Christmas Adventure ...From a Book Called Wisely's Tales||Wolfpack Leader||Direct-to-video film; voice role|
|2002||Trois 2: Pandora's Box||Det. Anderson|
|2006||Rest Stop||Officer Michael Deacon||Direct-to-video film|
|2008||Killer Pad||Joey Lawrence|
|Together Again for the First Time||Carey Krzyznyk||Direct-to-video film|
|2010||Sinatra Club||Louie 'Pipes' Pepitone|
|2016||Saved By Grace||Rick|
|Emma's Chance||Kevin Chambers|
|Arlo: The Burping Pig||David|
|Isle of the Dead||Lt. Paul Gibson|
|2018||Sk8 Dawg||Mr. Hoffman|
|2020||Money Plane||The Concierge|
|My Brother's Keeper||Preach|
|Pardoned by Grace||Scott Highberger|
|2021||Roe v. Wade||Robert Byrn|
|TBA||Turning Tables||Reid|||
|Diff'rent Strokes||Joey||Episode: "Big Brother"|
|Silver Spoons||Joey Thompson||Episode: "The Best Christmas Ever"|
|1983||Little Shots||Pete||Television film|
|Wait till Your Mother Gets Home!||Chris Peters||Television film|
|1983–1987||Gimme a Break!||Joey Donovan||Main role|
|1984||Young People's Specials||Billy||Episode: "Umbrella Jack"|
|1985||ABC Afterschool Special||Mattie||Episode: "Don't Touch"|
|1989||Adventures in Babysitting||Brad Anderson||Unsold TV pilot|
|1990–1995||Blossom||Joey Russo||Main role|
|1993||Olsen Twins Mother's Day Special||Singer||TV special|
|Almost Home||Jeff Thornton||Episode: "Girls and Boy"|
|Empty Nest||Wade||Episode: "Aunt Verne Knows Best"|
|1995||The John Larroquette Show||Carly's Brother||Episode: "Whipping Post"|
|Something Wilder||J.J. Travis||Episode: "Bergman of Alcatraz"|
|Prince for a Day||Ralph Bitondo / Ricky Prince||Television film|
|Wheel of Fortune||Himself||Episode #2398: Celebrity Week|
|1995–1997||Brotherly Love||Joe Roman||Main role|
|1996||Brothers of the Frontier||Ethan Frye||Television film|
|1999||Touched by an Angel||Jesse||Episode: "Fool for Love"|
|Horse Sense||Michael Woods||Television film; also co-producer|
|Recess||Franklin Dudikoff||Voice role; episode: "The Dude"|
|2001||Jumping Ship||Michael Woods||Television film|
|2002||Romantic Comedy 101||Mark Gibson||Television film|
|The Zeta Project||Dex Finley||Voice role; episode: "Eye of the Storm"|
|2002–2003||American Dreams||Michael Brooks||Recurring role, 11 episodes|
|2003–2004||Run of the House||Kurt Franklin||Main role|
|2004||Love Rules!||Michael Warner||Television film|
|Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber||Ferguson||Television film|
|2005–2006||Half & Half||Brett Mahoney||Recurring role, 9 episodes|
|2006||Android Apocalypse||DeeCee||Television film|
|2007||CSI: NY||Clay Dobson||3 episodes|
|2007–2008||The Emperor's New School||Dirk Brock||Voice role; 2 episodes|
|2009||My Fake Fiancé||Vince||Television film|
|2010–2015||Melissa & Joey||Joe Longo||Lead role|
|2011||The Dog Who Saved Halloween||Zeus||Television film|
|2012||Hitched for the Holidays||Rob Marino||Television film|
|The Dog Who Saved The Hollidays||Zeus||Television film|
|2015||Celebrity Family Feud||Himself||Episode: "Lawrence vs Lopez"|
|2016||Cupcake Wars||Himself||Contestant: runner-up|
|2017–2019||Hawaii Five-0||Aaron Wright||4 episodes|
|2018||A Mother's Worst Fear||Brent||Television film|
|2019||Celebrity Big Brother||Himself||Contestant / Houseguest: 9th place|
|Dollface||Himself||Episode: "Mystery Brunette"|
|2021||Danger Force||Himself||Episode: "Vidja Games"|
|My Husband's Secret Brother||Kevin||Television film|
|2022||Call Me Kat||Himself|||
|Week #||Dance / Song||Judges' scores||Result|
|1||Cha-Cha-Cha / "I Like the Way (You Move)"||7||7||7||Safe|
|2||Quickstep / "I Got Rhythm"||10||9||10||Safe|
|3||Jive / "Blue Suede Shoes"||8||6||8||Safe|
|4||Waltz / "Take It to the Limit"||9||9||9||Safe|
|5||Samba / "Freedom! '90"||8||8||9||Safe|
|6||Rumba / "Father Figure"||8||8||8||Bottom two|
|Group Disco / "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"||No scores given|
|7||Foxtrot / "Singin' in the Rain"||10||9||10||Safe|
|Mambo / "Mambo No. 5"||9||9||10|
|Tango / "The Addams Family Theme"||10||9||9||Safe|
|Paso Doble / "Sympathy for the Devil"||9||8||9|
|Quickstep / "42nd Street"||9||10||10||Third place|
|Rumba / "Eternal Flame"||10||10||10|
|Title||Album details||Peak positions|
|Title||Extended play details|
|1993||"Nothin' My Love Can't Fix"||19||68||50||22||13||Joey Lawrence|
|"I Can't Help Myself"||—||—||—||—||27|
|1997||"Ven Ven Conmigo"||—||—||—||—||—||Soulmates|
|1998||"Never Gonna Change My Mind"||—||—||—||—||49|
|"Give It To Ya" (Acoustic)||—||—||—||—||—||Guilty|
|2013||"Our Time"||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|"Christmas Time"||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|"Give It To Ya"||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Under the Tree"||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|