In 1984, CBS released the TV series Charles in Charge, now considered one of the best sitcoms of its time. The show famously starred Scott Baio as a charming college student who turned to nannying to finance his studies. Though Baio came to the show a well-known actor hot on the heels of a seven-year run as Chachi Arcola on Happy Days, the three children in his care—Jamie, Sarah, and Adam Powell—were played by virtually unknown child actors, Nicole Eggert, Josie Davis, and Alexander Polinsky. Today, Davis—the actress who played the bookish middle child of the Powell clan—is 48 years old, and still every bit the Hollywood star. Read on to see her now and to find out where her career took her after her days on Charles in Charge!
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Davis started acting when she was three years old.
A California native, Davis began her career in Hollywood at just three years old. She shared in a 2016 interview that her father steered her toward acting after her older brother began starring in TV commercials as a kid.
As a pre-teen, she was cast as Sarah Powell, the brainy youngest daughter and middle child in the Powell family. Even though she had been acting for nine years by that time, she says it was still “a great challenge” to act on her first television show. “I had this job that I got and there was an audience of 250 people, and I had never done a show in front of an audience like that. I was by myself on stage—I was 12—and I was really nervous,” she recalled of her first day on set. Thankfully, she says she quickly settled in after seeing the audience’s warm response. “I start doing the scenes and the audience starts laughing. And I felt so much love from the audience, and the energy was so great,” she reminisced. “They were so happy and so nice that I relaxed and everything was fine.”
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She’s still proud to have been a part of Charles in Charge.
Looking back, Davis says she’s still really proud of her role on Charles in Charge, which spanned 104 episodes. “It was a really fun thing to be a part of,” she recalled. “It was a really sweet, funny show and it was so well written by the writer Michael Jacobs,” she said, noting that Jacobs later went on to write the sitcoms Boy Meets World and more recently, Girl Meets World.
When asked if she would consider rejoining the cast for a reunion, Davis responded that she would on one condition: if it was written by Jacobs, “or by someone as great.”
Davis has had a busy Hollywood career since her time on the show.
Though Charles in Charge wrapped in 1990 after five seasons, Davis continued to act long after the final show. In 1996, she joined the cast of The Young and the Restless as Grace Turner for one year, before the role was ultimately recast with the actress Jennifer Gareis. In 1998, Davis was then cast as Camille Desmond on Beverly Hills, 90210 in an 11-episode stint on the popular TV drama. Two years later, she appeared in Aaron Spelling‘s single-season soap, Titans.
Since then, Davis has continued to work in television, appearing in one-off episodes of some of the biggest shows on the air, including Two and a Half Men, CSI: Miami, Burn Notice, Bones, Hollywood Heights, and more. She also appeared in several films, such as Sonny, The Trouble with Romance, Kalamazoo?, The Perfect Assistant, and Stealing Roses.
As the actress scaled back on consistent TV and film work, she moved into a new career field as a luxury realtor in Los Angeles. Surprisingly, she says it was her experience as a child actor that inspired her to sell houses. “Miss Davis began working in the entertainment industry as a child. Buying and selling her own properties at a young age made her realize her talent as a strong negotiator,” states her bio on the Compass website. “When she starred in a film playing a realtor she took it as a sign and dove into the world of real estate.”
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She shared this personal advice with her fans.
Davis now keeps in touch with the public through social media and a YouTube segment she calls “Ask Josie.” In it, she answers emails from her fans, sometimes sharing her more intimate thoughts.
In a 2016 segment, the actress shared advice that she says has helped guide her own life, as an actor and an individual. Her secret, she says, is ignoring the judgement of others, instead focusing on her own personal growth, self-image, and faith. “It’s easy to care what other people think, but I have really concluded in my spiritual work that it’s more important what God and I think of me,” she said. “I had always grown up worrying what people think of me—a lot of us relate to that.”
Davis says she pushes herself to grow every day into a more idealized version of herself. “For me, my spiritual work really makes me have to change, and I really want change, as hard as that is,” she shared. She adds that as a result of striving for these goals, she has more “serenity” than she’s ever had before. “I try for greatness,” she said.
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