In November 2018, Mrs. Doubtfire turned 25 years old. To celebrate the milestone anniversary, the cast reunited on Today and shared anecdotes about their time on set. Actors Lisa Jakub, Matthew Lawrence, and Mara Wilson — who played children Lydia, Chris, and Natalie, respectively — aren’t children anymore, but they reminisced with clarity. "It’s a bit of a time warp," Jakub expressed. "I mean, there’s a sense that no time has passed."
Notably absent was the late Robin Williams, but the star’s larger-than-life presence could still be felt by his former castmates. Jakub revealed, "One of the most powerful things for me about working with him is that he was very open and honest with me talking about his issues with addiction, depression, and that was so powerful to me at 14."
Similarly, Lawrence said Williams was a "guiding force" and, as a 13-year-old actor, that may have been just what he needed. Lawrence will turn 40 in February 2020 — which is around the same age Williams was when he starred in the iconic film — but the former child actor’s career took a different trajectory. Here’s everything he’s been up to since his big blockbuster debut.
This is how he met Mrs. Doubtfire
Before we explore Lawrence’s life post-Mrs. Doubtfire, we would be remiss if we didn’t first delve into what it was like for him to be cast in the 1993 film. Lawrence was only 12 years old when he auditioned for the role of Robin Williams and Sally Field’s on-screen son, Chris.
When Lawrence arrived for his audition, he was directed to a stage and asked to take a seat on a couch. In an interview with Page Six, Lawrence recounted that an "elderly British woman" then came over and sat next to him and, before long, started pinching and rough-housing with him. Lawrence believes his reaction to the "woman" was what landed him the role. Afterwards, Williams revealed that it was him.
Lawrence added, "Even in person it was so believable," noting, "I have yet to see an actor pull off something so extreme, so well in person, not just on film." During the six months it took to film Mrs. Doubtfire, Williams and Lawrence went for walks around the area to test the costume’s plausibility. In the end, the actor said no one ever "questioned that this was [his] British nanny."
Mrs. Doubtfire’s Robin Williams helped keep him out of trouble
Lawrence wasn’t even old enough to attend kindergarten by the time he started acting. When he auditioned for Mrs. Doubtfire, he’d already been in the business for some eight years, and, well, child actors have a reputation for, shall we say, losing it.
Lawrence’s younger co-star, Mara Wilson, explained why she thinks this happens (via Smithsonian Magazine). "A year in a kid’s life seems like an eternity, and they think anything happening now will happen forever," she professed. "Years of adulation and money and things quickly become normal, and then, just as they get used to it all, they hit puberty — which is a serious job hazard when your job is being cute."
Thankfully for both Wilson and Lawrence, they had their on-screen dad/nanny to help them. "I’ll never forget it. [Robin Williams] called me aside and this was not joking Robin, this is serious Robin. ‘Don’t do [drugs] Matthew,’" the star divulged to Page Six. "There are moments when that voice prevented me from doing anything wrong." The impact Williams had on Lawrence was no doubt profound.
The Mrs. Doubtfire star went from Brotherly Love to Boy Meets World
While filming Mrs. Doubtfire, Matthew Lawrence had another ally in Sally Field, who, he told Page Six, had treated him like a son. It wasn’t until the child actor started accepting other roles that he realized just "how special" that was. Nevertheless, he kept on working.
Before and after starring in the successful film, Lawrence had a small role in a few episodes of the hit TV show Blossom. In 1994, he landed the lead role in the short-lived series Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad. Lawrence continued to take work on made-for-TV movies and shows, but Brotherly Love was his next big success. This show was also special for another reason: Lawrence and his two brothers were the lead characters. Unfortunately, the series was also short-lived and, when the show went off the air in 1997, Lawrence went back to taking on other projects.
That same year, Lawrence started stealing young girls’ hearts when he joined the cast of the incredibly popular series Boy Meets World, and, although it seemed like this show would continue to propel Lawrence’s acting career, he would end up joining other ’90s heartthrobs in relative obscurity.
The boy from Mrs. Doubtfire started dating this famous dancer
In 2006, Matthew Lawrence’s older brother, Joey, became a contestant on Dancing With the Stars, a show on which professional dancer Cheryl Burke also starred. When the cast went on tour the following year, Matthew and Burke had the opportunity to get to know each other better. "I’ll never forget it actually," the Mrs. Doubtfire actor told Yahoo! Lifestyle. "I just saw this little head popping out from the crowd and I was like, ‘Who is that?’ I was captivated." Without her heels, Burke appeared shorter than the other dancers and apparently more noticeable. Burke told the publication, "I just thought he was very handsome," calling him a "good-looking dude." She then had Matthew’s brother introduce them.
Matthew and Burke dated for about a year, before calling it quits in February 2008. "We broke up and we didn’t even run into each other once, which is crazy because we used to live very close," Burke admitted.
You may recognize the Mrs. Doubtfire star from some other things
After Boy Meets World ended in 2000, Matthew Lawrence didn’t pack up his bags and leave Hollywood. He continued to act, although you may not remember some of his other projects. Most notably, Lawrence was cast in The Hot Chick in 2002. The Rob Schneider comedy was not one that would find itself up for an Academy Award, but it was still a success when it came to, as Variety stated, "delighting the less critical masses." It also managed to pull in quite a bit of money.
The following year, Lawrence took a much smaller — but interesting — role in an episode of CSI: Miami. While he and Cheryl Burke were dating, he was also cast in the sports comedy The Comebacks. The talented actor also took on a more serious role in the 2008 dramatic film Trucker. By 2014, he even tried his hand at horror in the obscure flick Of Silence.
The Mrs. Doubtfire kid reprised his role as Jack Hunter
Don’t feel too bad if you didn’t catch any of Lawrence’s work post-Boy Meets World. We were all still mourning the loss of our favorite show — and our crush on Jack Hunter, Shawn’s older brother. In 2015, a decade and a half after Boy Meets World ended, a spinoff, Girl Meets World, was announced. At the time, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that "Matthew Lawrence will bring his perfect hair and 6 percent body fat to the Disney spinoff."
Unfortunately, Lawrence wasn’t cast as a series regular. Ahead of the show’s premiere, Entertainment Weekly revealed that he would only be reprising his role for one episode of the second season. That’s not to say we wouldn’t all hold out hope for more appearances in future seasons. Sadly, though, Girl Meets World met its end after just three seasons — and Jack Hunter never did appear in the show’s subsequent episodes. Sigh. RIP Jack.
Don’t call it a comeback for this Mrs. Doubtfire star
Don’t call it a comeback because the Lawrence brothers have never really left the entertainment industry. You just might not have seen them too much — at least, not together. But in late 2017, the siblings revealed some big news to Entertainment Tonight. "We’re actually working on a TV show together for the first time in 15 years," Joey, the eldest Lawrence brother, divulged. "We wanted to find a way not to redo Brotherly Love, but to bring us back together as grown men." Hmm, well it does sound intriguing. "It’s edgy, which is different," Joey said of the half-hour series. "The dynamic and relationships that we have are not the late ’90s, sitcom-like relationships."
Joey also revealed that the brothers wrote a third film to follow their early ’90s roles in the Disney films, Horse Sense and Jumping Ship. "There’s been interest, and it’s there, and the script’s great. It’s just a matter of finding the right moment to do it," he explained.
Earlier that year, the brothers also got back into music…
Broadening his musical horizons
It’s no secret that Matthew Lawrence has some incredible pipes. He’s showcased his powerhouse vocals several times throughout his acting career, treating us to musical numbers on Gimme a Break, Brotherly Love, and Boy Meets World. In 2017, he put his musical talents to good use with his brothers, launching the single "Lose Myself" under their band name, Still Three. "Making music is so much fun, so why not do it with the two fellas I have the most fun with?" Lawrence’s younger brother, Andy, told People. "It just made sense."
The brothers had been teasing a single for a while, announcing back in 2014 that they were working on a musical project together. As of this writing, "Lose Myself" is the only track they’ve released, but the brothers have promised us more music in the future. It seems to be, after all, in their blood. "We started out as a musical family — acting kinda redirected us," Lawrence said. "It feels good to get back to our roots."
If all of their projects, including the new TV show, thenew movie, and the new music, take off, we might just be seeing a lot more of the Lawrence bros.
Wait, the Mrs. Doubtfire star is a zoologist?
In an interview with the paparazzi in 2016, Matthew Lawrence was asked for his opinion on SeaWorld’s decision to keep orcas in captivity for entertainment. It may have seemed like quite the random question, but Lawrence is, as he explained to the photographers, a zoologist. Yes, that’s right. Although he’s been acting since childhood, he also pursued what he called "the study of animals in captivity."
According to Cheryl Burke, Lawrence has somewhat of an "animal farm." She told Entertainment Tonight in November 2018, "So, Matt loves reptiles. And he’s been raising iguanas for 25 years and he has tortoises." How many does he own exactly? Burke confessed that she didn’t know but that it was likely more than ten. Acting is still Lawrence’s main bread and butter though, and Burke confirmed that caring for animals, like his beloved reptiles, is instead more of a "hobby" for him.
The Mrs. Doubtfire actor came out in favor of marijuana legalization
Some celebs are quick to endorse politicians or make their political views known, but Matthew Lawrence has been pretty quiet on that front. While we may not know who he voted for in the 2016 presidential election, we do know one issue that he did support: marijuana legalization. Several states legalized marijuana in 2016, and Lawrence was all for it.
When asked earlier that year about the use of recreational marijuana among professional athletes, Lawrence wasn’t sure if it should be allowed. "Well, that’s a tough question, man," he told The Paparazzi Gamer. "It’s a slippery slope in the sense that what do you legalize, what do you not. I mean, we all like the fair competition of it… so that’s, you know, that’s cool."
However, he added that, when it comes to the average citizen, he’s got no problem with marijuana. "Weed, I mean, for me, I’d say legalize it," he said. "It’s not hurting anybody."
Matthew Lawrence and Cheryl Burke rekindled their relationship
If you’re wondering how Cheryl Burke knows so much about Lawrence’s "animal farm," it’s because they got back together. After breaking up in 2008, the couple didn’t speak for almost a decade. Nevertheless, Burke’s former flame was on her mind. In late 2016, the dancer’s family encouraged her to reach out to her ex. "My sister and my family used to love Matt," she explained to Yahoo! Lifestyle. "My sister basically took my phone and started the text message. I didn’t think he was going to respond at all." To her surprise, Lawrence did respond, and the two began dating shortly afterward.
After dating for around a year and a half, Lawrence proposed to his girlfriend on her 34th birthday. Ironically, the dancing star actually thought Lawrence was going to break up with her. "No flowers, I got nothing from him. Not even like a Happy Birthday card," she revealed. "On our patio was a candle with a letter, and I was like, ‘Oh great, this is like a breakup letter.’" Instead, Lawrence went down on one knee and asked Burke to marry him. She said yes.
Mrs. Doubtfire’s Matthew Lawrence is still close with this former co-star
Cheryl Burke isn’t the only one from Matthew Lawrence’s past who has stayed in touch. Although the Disney spinoff series Girl Meets World was not quite the success that many fans and cast members might have hoped, the men behind the characters Cory Matthews and Jack Hunter have remained friends in real life. In July 2018, Ben Savage took to Instagram to congratulate Lawrence on his engagement. E! News reported that Savage was actually in attendance at Lawrence and Burke’s engagement party in Los Angeles, Calif., making for a very small — but very appreciated — reunion. Three months earlier, Savage also reunited with two other former co-stars, Rider Strong and Will Friedle, who played Lawrence’s brother and Savage’s brother, respectively.
Although we wish we could be #blessed with a Boy Meets World reunion every day, we’ll just have to take what we can get.
He won’t be in a Mrs. Doubtfire reunion
Since we live in the age of reboots, it’s not all that far-fetched to hope for a Mrs. Doubtfire revival, but that seems, well, doubtful. Without Robin Williams to reprise his iconic role, a Mrs. Doubtfire movie just wouldn’t be the same. As it happens, though, many members of the cast — including Williams — weren’t interested in making a sequel when the idea first surfaced anyway.
Williams did eventually agree to a sequel, but his death rightfully ended the project. "That was the last time I saw Robin, sadly, when we were talking about the sequel to Mrs. Doubtfire," the original film’s director Chris Columbus told Entertainment Weekly. "It will definitely never happen now." At least we did get to see most of the cast reunite on Today, where they all shared some of their best memories from their time spent making one of the most beloved films of the ’90s.
Matthew Lawrence has been looking toward the future
In November 2018, Matthew Lawrence and Cheryl Burke were busy planning their wedding. "We’re gonna go scouting for venues. We already have two in mind," the Dancing With the Stars alum confirmed to Us Weekly. She explained that they have a date in mind, but are making sure they can secure a venue first. In an earlier interview with the publication, Burke revealed that she and her fiancé plan on getting married in 2019, but they’re not really in a rush. Burke gushed to Us Weekly that she and Lawrence "love each other so much." She continued, "I love him for his compassion for what I do and vice versa."
In December 2018, Burke provided another update to Yahoo! Lifestyle about her upcoming nuptials to the former Mrs. Doubtfire star. Burke confirmed, "It’s all really happening. I think once I send out this guest list, it’s all really happening." On May 23, 2019, the couple tied the knot in San Diego, Calif., as reported by People.
The Mrs. Doubtfire star has plans to raise a family
Matthew Lawrence doesn’t have kids at the time of this writing, but we can expect that, when the actor who played the boy from Mrs. Doubtfire does have children (probably in the not-so-distant future), they will go on to do great things. Lawrence’s wife, Cheryl Burke, has given the world an idea of what we can expect from the Burke-Lawrence kids down the road. While she and Lawrence are open to letting them explore their passions, she said that she won’t encourage them to be dancers.
"I definitely want to be a mom," Burke told Us Weekly. "I just don’t know about this dance world though. I don’t know if I want them involved in this." She explained, "It’s a lot of pressure, and they have to grow up way too fast. That’s what I did. I don’t want them to grow up fast, I want them to stay kids forever."
She went on, "They can be doctors, they can be lawyers, they’re not dancers. I can’t do it."