If you’re in your upper 30s or older you’ll probably remember Mindy Cohn from The Facts of Life since this is the one show that a lot of people knew her from and the one that many upon many fans idolized her for since she did play a very noticeable role as one of the female leads. Her role as Natalie Green was one that helped define her career in a big way and if you don’t remember much after then it’s not much of surprise since despite the fact that she’s hung around it is easy to see just how she might get misplaced within the constant hubbub of show business. But if you take a look at her resume you can see just how much she’s actually done throughout the years and how much of an impact she has had in her career. Being the voice of Velma in a great number of Scooby-Doo animated movies isn’t anything to sneeze at since honestly Velma has been a much more popular character than many people seem to realize. But apart from this Mindy’s reputation has been more rooted in her past role than anything since The Facts of Life was a show that many people knew about and either watched when nothing else was on or fully enjoyed since it was, at the time, an uplifting program.
The fact that she was discovered by Charlotte Rae, the woman that would play Edna Garrett, is kind of fun to realize since Charlotte is the person that helped Mindy to get noticed and to become who she is today in terms of being an actor. Charlotte was apparently the one that named her character as well, so there was a lot that went into Mindy’s acting career thanks to Charlotte. The interesting thing to note however is that during her time on the small screen she wasn’t allowed to audition for any movie roles, as the gap between TV stars and movie stars was still fairly large at that point. Thankfully this was upended over time as TV stars started showing up on the big screen more often, which allowed Mindy to finally go out and find other roles. By the 90s however The Facts of Life had pretty much ended and the show had already displayed signs of being on the outs so it wasn’t too hard to think that Mindy would be finding work elsewhere. Given that she had such a recognizable face however it was a bit surprising that she didn’t show up in more projects, though she did continue to remain known by many that had been fans of the show and were more than happy to see a familiar face now and again among the many stars that were vying for attention.
One thing that a lot of folks might not know about, as Caralynn Lippo of Little Things writes, is that she’s also a cancer survivor. Back in 2012 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and for five long years she fought what seemed to be a losing battle as she continued to struggle even as one new problem after another continued to emerge. This was a big reason, possibly the best reason, that she seemed to drop off the map for a while, at least in terms of being seen or noticed by so many, as she felt continually drained and out of sorts. Anyone that’s ever dealt with such a situation or known someone that has can surely understand that when cancer is involved there’s a great deal of uncertainty, fear, and possible depression that can get thrown into the mix of emotions that are already bubbling inside the average person. Thankfully after all was said and done Mindy is cancer-free and is feeling much better, but the fight did teach her quite a bit about herself and what it takes to persevere when the going gets rough. Most cancer survivors are simply happy to be alive, but there are those like Mindy that are ready to go out and live life to the fullest as she intends to do, as she’s returned to show business and is set to keep on with her career. Where it might take her is largely unknown at this time but it’s for certain that so long as she remains cancer-free that she’ll continue to enjoy what time she has left on this earth.
It might behoove a lot of people to try and find old episodes of The Facts of Life if only to remember just why we watched in the first place and to see that once upon a time Mindy was in fact something of an icon as a child actor. In many ways she was a part of one of the greatest TV generations that’s come along in a long time.