A critically acclaimed TV show about the Lawrence family from Pasadena California. The show follows the ups and downs of father Doug, housewife Kate, married and then quickly divorced daughter Nancy, teenage son Willie and coming-of-age daughter Buddy.

Episode Info

Final: 5x13 -- Letting Go (Jun/25/1980)

Buddy disappears from home after Doug interferes in her new romance with a handsome medical student.
Sada ThompsonSada Thompson
As Kate Lawrence
James BroderickJames Broderick
As Doug Lawrence
Gary FrankGary Frank
As Willie Lawrence
Kristy McNicholKristy McNichol
As Letitia "Buddy" Lawrence
Elayne HeilveilElayne Heilveil
As Nancy Lawrence Maitland (S01)
Meredith BaxterMeredith Baxter
As Nancy Lawrence Maitland (S02-S05)
Quinn CummingsQuinn Cummings
As Annie Cooper Lawrence (S04-S05)

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1x1: The Best Years recap: Lawrence's older daughter Nancy is shown coming home early to find hubby Jeff in bed with her best friend. Then the opening credits roll as Nancy speeds off to mother. Mother Kate Lawrence (Sada Thompson) tells Nancy (Elayne Heilveil) that a successful marriage requires setting aside one's individual pride. But this belated advice, for whatever it is worth, comes from a woman who has harbored a grudge against her husband for exactly that same infidelity. And Mama Kate is living proof that simply setting aside one's pride can make you the scourge of the family as she has been for 20 years. Forgiveness is never mentioned. Instead Kate and Nancy have to change Jeff from his spoiled, rich-child ways. In the meantime, the Lawrence son, Willie(Gary Frank), is doing his 13-year-old sister's math homework as if it were perfectly legal, letting her also drive the car as if it were perfectly legal and sassing his mother along with other signs of barely tolerated respect. Buddy, the young sister, knows all about what abortion means . So when she overheard her mother say she had tried to track down an abortionist when she was carrying Buddy, Buddy runs away in the car, vandalizes a greenhouse, is picked up by the police and is bailed out by her father before morning. On the way to and from jail, the background music is spirited drum rolls and playful flutes which brighten the charge of breaking and entering and assault into a mere juvenile adventure. Buddy gets a reconciliation with her mother when Kate told her she — Buddy — is important because: "You're the chance life has given to me to be better, to do better".. read more.
Recurring Guests

Louise Foley as Audrey Pfeiffer (4 eps)
John Rubinstein as Unknown (2 eps)

View All Recurring Guests