Lori Loughlin got her start as a young soap opera star and made it big on network TV — but her time in the spotlight hasn’t been all positive.
The New York native became interested in acting at a young age after she fell into the modeling world at 11 years old. “My mom had a friend that was going into Manhattan to meet with an agency for modeling,” she recalled in a 2004 interview with the Washington Post. “My mom reluctantly let me go, but I don’t think she ever thought anything would come of it. And I went in and they handed me a contract and said, ‘We’ll take you.'”
At 15, she scored her first television gig with a role on ABC’s popular soap, The Edge of Night. She appeared on the series from 1980 to 1983, and five years later, was cast in her most recognizable role to date: Aunt Becky in Full House.
Loughlin starred alongside John Stamos, Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for eight seasons on the beloved family sitcom. The series ran from 1987 to 1995, and still held a special place in Loughlin’s heart after it went off the air.
“I keep in touch with everybody from that show,” she told the Washington Post. “We are truly a family, and I think that’s a large reason we were as successful as we were.”
Loughlin looked back on her time working on Full House while speaking to Us Weekly in February 2019, admitting that she kept all of her “wrap gifts” from each season’s end.
“My favorite memory from Full House was [during] my first week with Bob, Dave and John,” she revealed at the time. “[We] were all laughing about something and David said, ‘I think Lori is going to be around for a long time.’ It was so sweet, and he was right!”
More than 20 years after Full House ended, Netflix announced that a sequel series, Fuller House, was officially in the works. Much of the original cast returned to reprise their roles for five seasons on the streaming platform. However, Loughlin was left out of the show’s final season after her involvement in the nationwide college admissions scandal, which first made headlines in March 2019.
The Summerland star and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were among several people implicated in a bribery scam to help their kids get into college. Loughlin and the fashion designer allegedly spent a large sum of money to ensure that their daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade, would be admitted into the University of Southern California as crew recruits. It was later revealed that neither student had ever played the sport.
As more details of the case continued to emerge, Loughlin and Giannulli were faced with charges of fraud, money laundering and bribery. The pair initially pleaded not guilty, but changed their tunes in May 2020 when they accepted a plea deal, which included consequences of community service, jail time and supervised release.
Despite the major media frenzy caused by the actress’ alleged involvement in the scandal, the family is hoping to someday put it all out of their minds.
“They’re all longing for the day when they can move on and put this nightmare officially behind them,” a source told Us exclusively in May 2020.
Scroll down to relive Loughlin’s rise to fame, from Full House to facing charges.