- 04:23 PM, Jun 27
Norman Lear, who was looking for someone to help gain back ratings in one of his groundbreaking shows, the family sitcom, "Good Times." Performing the role of an abused child named Penny, she easily stole public attention that helped her to get a starring member role by the end of the 1977 to 1978 season, held her remained in the show until it was canceled for good in 1979. As time went by, Janet continued her acting career appearing briefly in a short-lived sitcom entitled "A New Kind of Family", which in early 1980 was also canceled. A year later, in 1981 she got a chance playing in another family sitcom, "Diff'rent Strokes." Co-starring Todd Bridges, who played Willis, the now 15 years old Janet officially became a teen idol mainly for the Charlene Duprey role she played in the show. Along with her acting career she also started to enter music world, which her father at first surely opposed. And it was his order for the 18 year old Janet to take the role of Cleo Hewitt in "Fame" that sent her back in the TV field by 1984. In fact, in 1985 she finally left the show and headed to music production. Deeply in love to music, Janet had started writing her first song since she was nine, but she never aspired herself to be a professional singer anyway. Nevertheless, she agreed to participate in music just to help her family out. Thus Janet had her very first recording in 1978, which was a duet with baby brother Randy on a song titled "A Love Song for Kids."
From that time Janet would sometimes participate in her family's other recordings, particularly with sister LaToya and brother Michael, before in 1981 she and her two older sisters LaToya and Rebbie had wanted to start their own musical group, but disagreements between the older sisters forced the group to disband without ever making a record. In hearing Janet's voice, her father Joseph finally changed his mind and asked her to start a singing career. Was uncomfortable of being in the recording studio Janet felt that she wasn't as talented vocally as her brothers, particularly brother Michael, who was becoming a pop superstar thanks to his albums, "Off the Wall" and "Thriller." It was at the age of 16 when Janet released her debut album simply called "Janet Jackson", which was