Family & Companions
Having made a name for herself as the smart-mouthed youngest daughter of the Keaton clan on "Family Ties" (NBC, 1982-89), actress Tina Yothers struggled like so many other child actors to make the transition to adult roles. Yothers had been acting practically since birth and made her official debut on the anthology series, "The Wonderful World of Disney" (ABC, 1954-2008). But it was her performance as the young Jennifer Keaton - who lives in a home culturally divided home and wants nothing more than to be a normal kid - that made her a star. Yothers grew up on the show, starting as a nine-year-old and blossoming into a young woman by decade's end. Continuing to land roles, she starred in television movies like "The Laker Girls" (CBS, 1990) and "Spunk: The Tonya Harding Story" (1993). She left acting for nearly a decade to pursue a brief music career, before returning to the spotlight to portray famed porn actress, Linda Lovelace, in "Lovelace the Musical" (2004). From there, she was a stock player in a Florida dinner theater before appearing on the fourth season of the reality series, "Celebrity Fit Club" (VH1, 2005-2010) and appearing on the U.S. version of "Celebrity Wife Swap" (ABC, 2012- ), which perhaps marked a comeback for the previously dormant Yothers.
The daughter of TV/film producer Robert Yothers, Tina was born on May 5, 1973 in Whittier, CA. Like her three brothers, Jeff, Randy and Cory, Yothers began acting in commercials as a toddler. Due to her on-set duties, she was never able to attend high school. After landing commercials for Bell Telephone, Doritos and McDonald's, the young blonde actress moved it up a notch and began landing small film and TV roles, leading up to her performance in the feature film, "Shoot the Moon" (1982). Shortly thereafter, Yothers was cast as Jennifer Keaton on "Family Ties." For the bulk of the series, Yothers played the youngest of three teenage children of former hippies, Steven (Michael Gross) and Elyse (Meredith Baxter Birney) Keaton. Her role was largely as the petulant, know-it-all youngest sister of older siblings Alex (Michael J. Fox) and Mallory (Justine Bateman). Although the show was a family sitcom, it focused specifically on two contrasts: the politically conservative Alex vs. the liberal Keaton- parents and, to a lesser extent, the vapid Mallory vs. the rest of the intellectual Keaton clan.
By 1987, the show was losing steam, so producers tapped some new storylines, including adding a new Keaton child to the brood. Unseated as the family's youngest sibling, Yothers' Jennifer became big sis to baby brother Andy (Brian Bonsall). Although the new addition received its fair share of press, the family sitcom never regained its popularity from its glory years, ending its run with much fanfare in 1989. After "Family Ties" closed up shop, Yothers landed a few roles, but nothing of consequence. Other than occasional appearances as herself, her last televised role was in "A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Jealous Jokester," (NBC, 1995). Around this time, she not only dyed her natural blonde locks to jet black, she shifted her focus away from acting and enjoyed a slight degree of success in music. One of her bands toured with the Latin teen group, Menudo. Later, she sang lead in the band Jaded, which featured her brother Cory on keyboards, and released one album.
In 2004, Yothers played the title role in "Lovelace: The Musical," a musical adaptation of the life of former "Deep Throat" (1972) porn star, Linda Lovelace. The return to acting sparked a stint at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Boca Raton, FL, where she performed from 2005-07. During that time, she appeared on the fourth season of "Celebrity Fit Club (VH1, 2005-2010), following the birth of her second child with husband and electrical contractor, Robert Kaiser. With her taste whetted for more, Yothers participated in the American debut of "Celebrity Wife Swap" (ABC, 2012-15), where she changed places with diva-esque comedian Niecy Nash.