You Say It's Your Birthday: Joey Lawrence

Today is the birthday of child star Joey Lawrence (given

name: Joey Lawrence Mignogna), who was born in 1976. Although Lawrence is best

known for his roles on TV shows like Gimme a Break and Blossom,

he's got one album under his belt and another waiting in the wings.

Lawrence's public career began in 1983 with Gimme a Break, in which

he played adoptee to Nell Carter, which is enough to scar anyone for life.

Lawrence returned to the small screen in 1991 in the role of the dimwitted Joey

Russo on Blossom, and currently stars (with his two brothers, Matt and

Andy), on Brotherly Love.

Lawrence lent his, er, acting skills to

several films, including Summer Rental, Pulse and Oliver and

Company. Few of these movies fared well at the box office, though (maybe he

should stick to characters named Joey).

His music career has so far fared

only slightly better, debuting in 1993 with a self-titled record that served as

an easy dartboard for most music critics. His followup, due out later this

year, is titled Soulmates; currently it's tied up in that spaghetti most

musicians affectionately call "contractual difficulties."

Despite his

reputation as a pretty-faced halfwit, Lawrence is currently attending the

University of Southern California. He's also been the subject of at least one

unauthorized autobiography and an "I Hate Joey Lawrence" web page.

Other

birthdays: Tito Puente, Johnny Tillotson, Craig Frost (ex-Grand Funk Railroad)

and Luther Vandross. -- Beth Winegarner