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‘Wonder Years’ star Danica McKellar explains why she became a mathematician and stopped acting

<i>Paul Archuleta/Getty Images</i><br/>
Getty Images
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images
"The Wonder Years" actress Danica McKellar

By Marianne Garvey

“The Wonder Years” actress Danica McKellar left acting to pursue a mathematics career and now she’s explaining why.

McKellar’s young son Draco recently interviewed his mom for ET, asking her, “You were about my age when you acted in ‘The Wonder Years.’ What do you remember most about those years?”

McKellar said it was hard to balance work and school.

“What I remember the most is juggling being an actress and doing my schoolwork,” she said. “It was a lot of going back and forth to the school trailer.”

While taking a break from acting for some time, she became an acclaimed mathematician. McKellar has also authored 11 children’s books about math.

Her son asked why.

“When and why did you decide to take a break from acting and become a mathematician?” Draco asked.

“I went to UCLA, but when I got to school, everywhere I went, people all over campus would shout across campus, you know, ‘Hey Winnie!’ or ‘Hey, loved you on ‘The Wonder Years!'” McKellar said of her character on the show, Winnie Cooper. “I couldn’t get away from it. So I needed to find out how I was valuable outside of Winnie Cooper, and math was challenging and I did well at it. And I love this feeling that my value, the important stuff had nothing to do with how I looked or television.”

She also told her son that while the acting life is hard, she would support him if he chose that path.

“Draco, I will support you whatever you wanna do. I would put you in acting classes and I would help guide you through it,” she said.

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