Just about everyone who grew up in the 1980s knows Andrea Barber. She grew up in front of millions of viewers when she played the role of Kimmy Gibbler on the ABC sitcom Full House, but the actress says that what fans saw on television didn’t reflect what was going on in her real life. And now, she is telling her story in her new memoir Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again.
The 43-year-old actress’ career took off in 1987 when her character was introduced in the second episode of Full House, and for the next eight years she was a regular on the sitcom. But, when ABC canceled the show in 1995, Barber went back to living a normal life, and she eventually got married and became a mom.
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This is my life story, FULL CIRCLE. You’ll read funny, sweet stories from my early days on Full House. You’ll read about what I did during my twenty year break from Hollywood including college, post-graduate studies abroad, marriage, motherhood, and ultimately, a painful divorce. I dig deep into the hardest moments of my life when I was suffocating in the throes of debilitating anxiety and depression. And finally, I come full circle with the success and final season of Fuller House. This is me. All of me. I hope you find a little of yourself here, too. ❤️ FULL CIRCLE available NOW anywhere books are sold. 📚
But, her 12-year marriage to her husband Jeremy Rytky ended in divorce in 2014. In her memoir, Barber shares the details of her split, and she says it was the hardest chapter to write because she was dreading the thought of going back through that painful time in her life. But, at the same time, she made sure not to criticize her ex-husband for the sake of her two kids.
“I constantly questioned, ‘How much do I want to share? I want to be honest, but I want to respect the privacy of my ex-husband and my kids,’” explained Barber. “I didn’t want to throw anybody under the bus. And honestly, today, I don’t really have many negative things to say about my ex-husband. We’re great friends.”
Barber says that after the split she struggled with depression, and it was hard for her to be happy about anything. But, thanks to her friends, some therapy, and the 80s boy band New Kids On the Block, Barber was able to make it through.
“I was a little embarrassed to write that, yes, New Kids on the Block helped me through my divorce,” said Barber. “I’m sure anybody out there would kind of make fun of it, but when you break it down and think about it, it’s a great thing to be able to just put your worries behind, to shelve all of your problems.”
Barber told Us Weekly that she went to the band’s outdoor festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and it started pouring down rain. But, she remembers looking up at the group performing on stage, and she was “beaming and screaming and laughing and singing,” and she thought, “I feel so free.”
Barber notes that she is a much different person today than she was at the start of her journey, but she thinks that applies to everyone. She says that every challenge you go through, every success, and every hardship makes you who you are. And, Andrea Barber says she wouldn’t change a single thing.
Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again is available online and in bookstores. And, the final season of Fuller House will premiere on Netflix in 2020.