Sandra Kerns is a former actress who is best remembered for her role as Ellen Powell in the popular sitcom “Charles in Charge” in the 1980s.
Sandra Kerns was born on March 20, 1949, in Murphysboro, Illinois. Little is known about her background, prior to her acting career.
Kerns began her acting career at at the age of 27, securing a role in the television show Marcus Welby, M.D. She would go on to have small parts on TV shows like Sanford and Sons, The Rockford Files, Punky Brewster and The Incredible Hulk before she would land her most career defining role.
Charles in Charge
In 1984, Kerns landed the role of Ellen Powell in the hit sitcom “Charles in Charge”. The show revolved around a college student named Charles, who works as a live-in babysitter in exchange for room and board.
Sandra Kerns portrayed the character Ellen, a caring and understanding mother of three children. Her character was warm, loving, and often the voice of wisdom in the Powell family.
“Charles in Charge” underwent a significant change between its first and second seasons. The show was initially canceled after the first season by CBS, but it was revived in syndication. When the show was brought back, it came with a new premise and a new cast, except for Scott Baio who played Charles and Willie Aames who played Buddy.
In the first season, Charles was a college student working as a live-in babysitter for the Pembroke family. When the show was revived for the second season, Charles was now working for the Powell family, with Sandra Kerns playing the role of the mother, Ellen Powell.
The reason for this change was primarily due to production and contractual issues. When the show was revived, the original actors who played the Pembroke family were not available or chose not to return, so the producers decided to introduce a new family for Charles to work for. This allowed the show to continue with a fresh storyline while maintaining the same main character and premise.
Kerns would appeared in four seasons and 38 episodes of the show.
What did Sandra Kerns do after ‘Charles in Charge’?
After her role in “Charles in Charge,” Sandra Kerns only had small appearances in two television shows and a straight to video movie, "Magic Kid". After a successful career in television during the 1970s and 1980s, she decided to step away from the limelight to focus on her family.
She is married to Hubie Kerns Jr., a professional stuntman in the film and television industry. He comes from a family of stunt performers; his father, Hubie Kerns Sr., was also a well-known stuntman who worked on numerous films and TV shows, including the original “Batman” TV series where he often doubled for Adam West.
Hubie and Sandra have two children, Zachariah Sage Kerns and Kallie Kerns.
Kallie Kerns followed in the footsteps of her parents and has taken up acting and stunt performing and Zachariah Sage Kerns is a musician and DJ, who performs under the moniker of Scallywag.
What is Sandra Kerns doing now?
After retiring from acting in the 1990s, Sandra Kerns has largely stayed out of the public eye. In 2019 she did make an appearence at the Charles in Charge reunion alongside Scott Baio, Willie Aames, Jennifer Runyon, April Lerman, Ellen Travolta and Josie Davis.
Although Sandra Kerns does not have a social media account, she does frequently show up in her daughters posts. In one post Kallie described Sandra as her ‘best friend‘ and in another post, Kallie had this to say about her mom:
"To my #MOM… I love you, so much… You’ve allowed me to be this weird for this long. Basically, you’ve put up with a LOT. Everyday should be your day, but it’s not, because you’re a mom… You give & love & teach & support & blah blah->insert Hallmark card HERE<—- And you do it all, whether or not it’s appreciated, because that’s the AMAZING power and love of a mom."
It seems Kerns not only had a successful career as an actress and entertainer but also of a loving and devoted mom as well. We wish her all the best!