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Actress explains how her Christian faith prompted her to decline filming a virginity episode on popular TV show

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Those were the days

Frank Carroll/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Actress Lisa Whelchel recently admitted her faith played a big role in turning down a feature in a TV episode that addressed her character losing her virginity.

What are the details?

Whelchel, a starring actress on 1980s staple "Facts of Life," told Fox News that she simply couldn't participate in the filming of the controversial show when she knew that she'd be setting a poor example for female teen viewers.

The 55-year-old Whelchel, who played Blair Warner on the beloved show, said that she found Jesus Christ's salvation at 10 years old, and her life was never the same from then on.

"There were some parts and storylines that came up while I was on 'The Facts of Life,' and I have to say that the producers were always very supportive of my beliefs," Whelchel revealed. "Case in point … they assumed Blair would be the more logical one to lose her virginity and write a story about it."

"So, when I heard that was going to be one of the storylines for that year, I did come to the producers and say, 'I don't think I can be a part of that,'" she admitted. "Because for one thing, I really felt a big responsibility of knowing that there were young girls watching this show and that you can't deal with that topic in 20 minutes with a couple of commercials."

She added, "I really didn't want to be responsible for that, and so they were very supportive."

Whelchel said that another actress in the series stepped up to take the storyline, but she was still concerned about being involved in such a controversial arc.

"I just asked [show executives] if it would be OK if I was just written out of that show completely because I also understood that there's just no way to deal with that really complicated topic in a sitcom," Whelchel explained. "And I really do feel such responsibility to the girls watching the show. Again, they were very supportive."

Whelchel added that though it might seem otherwise, she felt that Hollywood at large respected her belief system.

"I'm sure there were some parts that I wasn't offered, but that's OK," she conceded. "I don't feel like I had any backlash because of it."

Anything else?

Whelchel told Fox News that she is still close with her fellow co-stars.

"I'm actually still close with all of the girls," she said. "We have remained in contact, and, you know, I don't think there's been a year gone by that we haven't seen each other at some point. ... Anytime we were anywhere close to the city where we lived, we would always make a point to get together."

“I think that has to do with the fact that, as I mentioned, we were really good friends," Whelchel added. "And it's like your childhood friends, you're super close, and even if you go your separate ways, there's nothing like those childhood friends. And when you get back together, it's just like old times."

Whelchel is now a wife, a mother, and a life coach.

"Even now, I'm a life coach, and I'm finding such fulfillment in really impacting lives individually," she said. "And of course, as a wife and mother or a life coach, you're not making the same kind of money. You're certainly not famous, you're not getting the level of respect, and yet I don't feel like I have to prove anything."

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