Danielle Brisebois Played Stephanie on "All in the Family." See Her Now at 52.
She's had an enduringly popular song—and earned an Oscar nomination—since leaving the hit show.
For nine seasons in the '70s, viewers tuned in week after week to see Archie and Edith Bunker on All in the Family. Widely considered one of the best shows in television history, it gained popularity for its willingness to touch on topics previously considered too taboo for TV: racism, homosexuality, religion, infidelity, and more. After a rocky start in its first season, All in the Family went on to land the number one slot in the Nielsen ratings for five years in a row.
In the final season of the show, the Bunkers welcomed an unexpected guest: Archie's nine-year-old niece, Stephanie, who was left at their doorstep by her troubled father. The memorable role was played (and later reprised in a spin-off of the show) by child actress Danielle Brisebois. Today, Brisebois is 52, and her decades-long career has taken her to unexpected and impressive heights. Read on to see her now and to find out what she's done since her days on All in the Family.
She had a successful acting career throughout the '70s and '80s.
Brisebois began her acting career as a child, first appearing in the 1976 movie The Premonition at the age of seven. A year later, she starred in the original Broadway cast of Annie as the young orphan Molly. It wasn't until the late '70s that she joined the cast of All in the Family as Archie Bunker's niece, Stephanie, but she would continue to play the character into the early '80s on the show's spin-off, Archie Bunker's Place. She was nominated for several awards for her work on the show, including a Young Artist Award and a Golden Globe.
After the shows ended, she continued to act throughout the early '80s, appearing on episodes of Battle of the Network Stars and Circus of the Stars. She joined the cast of Knots Landing during the series' fifth season and made one-off appearances on the shows Hotel; Mr. Belvedere; Murder, She Wrote; Tales from the Darkside; and Days of Our Lives.
Brisebois had a major music career in the '90s.
After retiring from her childhood acting career in the late '80s, Brisebois turned her attention to music. Teaming up with songwriter and singer Gregg Alexander, she helped co-found the alt-rock band New Radicals, performing keyboard, percussion, and vocals. You almost certainly remember their most famous song, "You Get What You Give," which reached number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 8 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart in 1998.
Besides her work with New Radicals, Brisebois has also recorded two solo albums and co-wrote several songs for other artists. Two of her most popular hits were performed by Natasha Bedingfield: "Unwritten" and "Pocketful of Sunshine."
She recently performed at Biden's presidential inauguration.
Though New Radicals only ever released one studio album, they clearly left a lasting impression on fans. Over two decades later, the group was recruited to play their chart-topping hit song at President Joe Biden's 2020 inauguration. Biden wrote in his 2017 autobiography that his connection to the song was deeply personal, as it reminded him of his late son, Beau Biden. "During breakfast, Beau would often make me listen to what I thought was his theme song, You Get What You Give by the New Radicals," Biden recalled. "Even though Beau never stopped fighting and his will to live was stronger than most—I think he knew that this day might come. The words to the song are: 'This whole damn world can fall apart. You'll be ok, follow your heart.'"
Alexander shared that he and Brisebois were honored to be invited to the inauguration. "If there's one thing on Earth that would possibly make us get the band together, if only for a day, it is the hope that our song could be even the tiniest beacon of light in such a dark time," he said in a statement published by Rolling Stone.
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Brisebois was even nominated for an Oscar.
Continuing their decades-long collaboration, Brisebois and Alexander co-wrote a song called "Lost Stars" for the 2013 movie Begin Again. Performed by Keira Knightly and Adam Levine, the track earned the co-writers an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. "Oddly enough, we've had various successes here and there—independent of each other," Alexander said while speaking with ABC before walking the red carpet at the awards show. "This is the first time [since New Radicals] that we've done something that actually got out there and got heard properly," he added.
Brisebois shared that while being nominated for an Oscar was a "nice perk" of their working relationship, the pair's decades-long friendship has always been a reward in itself. "I think our friendship works regardless if there was an Oscar nomination or not, and that's always the most important thing to us—or to me—about our relationship, is always being friends," she said.