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Samantha 'Sam' Kanisky

Samantha Kanisky is a fictional character portrayed by Lara Jill Miller on the NBC sitcom Gimme A Break! which ran from October 29, 1981-May 12, 1987.


Samantha went by Sam for short. She was the youngest of three sisters. In fall of 1981 to  spring of 1983, she was a tomboy, into sports and not liking boys the way her sister's Katie and Julie did. Her hair was short and she played on a baseball team from fall of 1981 to the spring of 1982. In the fall of 1983, she was slowly outgrowing her tomboy phase, though she still had a few more months of growing up and was sometimes talking about boys she was going out with or liked. By the fall of 1983, she was no longer a tomboy, and she was totally boy crazy.

Samantha did a lot of bad things when she was a kid or got into many strange situations involving being jealous of her father dating a woman named Marion, months after her deceased mother's death of cancer at age of 55 on September 6, 1981, then later kissing a boy and thinking she was pregnant, stealing her father's squad car after calling Nell a racial slurr, making up an imaginary friend named Debbie Jo, and usually mis-interpreting what many people would say between 1981-1982.

In 1984-1985, Sam had a few troubled times. One included protesting to save the Santa Marta Mission School from being torn down and getting herself and her whole family arrested by her father, Carl Kanisky, the Chief of police. Another troubling time included when she thought the world was going to end because her boyfriend Herbie, who was a philosopher thought it would. As she finally outgrew her tomboy stage and let her hair grow out in the fall of 1984, Sam had a few instances that were very much dramatic relating to Nell and her. In the early years, Nell would be around her often, but once Joey came into the Kanisky household, this turned Nell's attention more to him than Samantha. Sam then painted Joey in blackface to get back at Nell after she forbade her from going on a camping trip with boys. One other dramatic event with Sam as she got older was that she met a boy named Jeffrey, who's father kicked him out of the house, and he sponged off all of her family while the Chief was gone and away studying crime at Scotland yard. Sam and Jeffrey fled to Mexico to get married, but he dumped her on the beach and took her savings account, they no longer want to get married after their relationship.

After this point, Sam entered her final year of high school in early 1985 and was frequently seen just talking about boys she was dating or wanting to do things she couldn't wait to do once the 90's arrive. In the fall of 1986, Sam was accepted into Littlefield College in Warren, New Jersey, but the school turned down her scholarship. Once Nell called Addy and got her to clear things up with that as Addy was now working at the school there and living in New York, Samantha got her scholarship there in New Jersey in late 1986, and Nell took her to New Jersey and helped her get settled and they parted ways. Nell soon moved off to New York, and Grandpa sold out and gave away the Kanisky house in early 1986 so Sam was seen a few more times at Nell's New York Apartment, for only a few episodes and then departs from the show later that year in 1987.

In the Spring of 1986, Nell decided to go to parents week at Sam's college much to Sam's objection and found out she was engaged to a guy named Eric. Sam tells Nell that Eric can't stay in college because his parent's farm in South Dakota is going broke, and she decides to drop out after the school year is over and move there with him and be a farm wife. Nell, however, helps Eric get his novel "The Hayloft" published by her company in New York so he'd have the money to stay in school but once Eric hears this, he leaves for Hollywood during the show and ditches Sam who stays in college till late 1987, The Samantha 'Sam' Kanisky character is seen only in the 1981-1986 seasons (Seasons 1-5) and is eventually phased out of the series but she is only a recurring character in the 1986-1987 seasons (Season 6). She then recurrs only for a few episodes, and then she leaves the show in late 1987 after that, therefore it was her departure from the series after the end of season 6 and the cancellation of the show on May 12, 1987, The show no longer is on air after May 12, 1987. The show is off the air and cancelled after that.

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