Danica McKellar is usually remembered for her role on The Wonder Years as the young, good-natured Winnie Cooper. But what many don’t know is that the actress, 45, grew up to become a genius mathematician too. McKellar opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about 25 things you might not know about her — including her love for the subject and her favorite hobbies. Read on to learn more facts about the Times Machine! author.
1. My cheat food is dark-chocolate-covered almonds.
2. I hardly ever drink alcohol.
3. As a kid, I was in love with Michael J. Fox. Once, my sister and I spotted him driving behind us on our way to school. He waved to us and we freaked out!
4. I’m a workaholic.
5. My latest McKellar Math book, The Times Machine!, is my 10th published book.
6. People often ask me if I use a ghostwriter. Nope! I write every single word.
7. I homeschool my 9-year-old son [Draco, who I share with ex Mike Verta].
8. My husband [Scott Sveslosky] and I love jigsaw puzzles.
9. I’ve been a fan of mermaids since I was a little girl!
10. I love to sweat. I have an infrared sauna in my office.
11. I enjoy helping kids with their math homework.
12. During “Happy Birthday,” I can’t help but sing the harmony for the last line.
13. I graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a degree in mathematics. I struggled in physics, so I made myself minor in it, just to prove I could do it.
14. I was so afraid of math that I used to cry before I did my homework.
15. I’ve starred in 13 Hallmark movies; five of them are Christmas movies.
16. I’ll eat smoked oysters cold and right out of the can.
17. I made it to the quarterfinals on Dancing With the Stars in 2014 and broke my rib just before week seven. I still danced. The show must go on!
18. When I was about 13, Debbie Gibson asked me to be in her music video [for] “No More Rhyme.” I was a huge fan and couldn’t believe she was a fan of mine too!
19. My husband and I are making our way through The Office for the first time ever.
20. I co-authored a mathematical physics theorem now called the Chayes-McKellar-Winn theorem.
21. Switching gears between acting and doing schoolwork every day on the set of The Wonder Years trained me to have the dual life I have now — acting and writing McKellar Math books.
22. Several years ago, my mom, a meditation instructor, and I created a beginner’s yoga-and-meditation DVD called Daily Dose of Dharma.
23. I spend most of my social media time on Instagram.
24. After I shot Avril Lavigne’s 2013 music video for “Rock N Roll,” my mom and I drove to San Francisco just in time to see my sister give birth to my niece.
25. My birthday, January 3, often gets overlooked after the holidays, so my mom always celebrates my “half birthday” on July 3. She bakes me half a cake and gives me a gift.
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