‘DWTS’ Star Cheryl Burke Reveals an Interesting Fact About the Lawrence Brothers — They’re Not Who Fans Think

Matthew, Joey, and Andy Lawrence were major child stars in the ’90s. The brothers got their start on the sitcom Brotherly Love and never looked back. But as Dancing With the Stars pro and Matthew Lawrence’s wife Cheryl Burke recently revealed, there’s something fishy about the Lawrence family. Lawrence isn’t their real last name! 

Andrew Lawrence, Joey Lawrence, and Matthew Lawrence
Andrew Lawrence, Joey Lawrence, and Matthew Lawrence | David Becker/WireImage

The Lawrence Brothers are still acting 

All three Lawrence siblings are still acting in the entertainment business.

Joey, the eldest Lawrence, had a part on the popular sitcom Melissa & Joey until it was canceled after four seasons. According to his IMDb page, Joey is continuing to book jobs, including upcoming films like My Brother’s Keeper and Roe v. Wade

Matthew is best known for starring in Boy Meets WorldMrs. Doubtfire, and the Disney Channel Original Movie Jumping Ship. More recently, Lawrence reprised his Boy Meets World role in Girls Meets World. He has also explored roles on Workaholics and guest-starred on Melissa & Joey.

Andy, the youngest Lawrence brother has also guest-starred on Melissa And Joey. He also had roles on CSI: Cyber and Hawaii Five-0 .

Cheryl Burke and Matthew Lawrence have a long history 

Before the couple got married in May 2019, Burke and Lawrence dated on-and-off-again for several years. Burke first met Lawrence when his brother, Joey, competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2007. The two hit it off right away, but their relationship only lasted a few years. 

As fate would have it, Burke and Lawrence reconnected in 2017. Us Weekly reported Lawrence proposed to Burke on May 3, 2018, in their Laguna Beach hotel room. The engagement ring included the diamond from the ring Burke’s late father gave to her mother. The Boy Meets World actor included a note that read: “I will love you always and forever. That’s what I engraved in this ring. I want you to marry me.”

Considering their history, it makes sense that Burke knows intimate details about Lawrence and his family — including their real last name.

Matthew Lawrence and his brothers have a different last name 

As it turns out, Lawrence isn’t the real last name of the Lawrence brothers! Their last name is actually Mignogna. 

This week, Lawrence was a guest on the Pretty Messed Up podcast, a show run by Burke and her celebrity partner this season of Dancing With the Stars, Backstreet Boy AJ McLean. Burke introduced their special guest by his proper name — Matthew Lawrence Mignogna. 

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“When we were kids, we started in the entertainment industry as actors and musicians, and nobody could pronounce Mignogna,” Lawrence explained. “The G’s are silent. So [industry people] said ‘It’s not really sellable, we need to change their name. No one can say it; it sounds too ethnic.’ So my mom was like, ‘Okay, what about [their] dad’s middle name,’ which was Lawrence.” 

Matthew Lawrence wishes his parents didn’t change his last name

The Lawrence Brothers have become iconic siblings in the entertainment industry. But Lawrence wishes their last name wasn’t hand-selected by the big-wigs. 

“Looking back now, I wish they had not done that,” Lawrence admitted on the podcast. “My dad came from a family that was trying to Americanize. They didn’t teach him any of the old school Italian stuff. Maybe until about his late 30s, early 40s, he had that rolling around in his head — that it was about being Americanized.” 

Since his father was forced to Americanize, Lawrence never got to learn much about his origins. “I didn’t get to learn Italian, and nobody knows me by my real, Italian last name,” he added. 

Fortunately, when he and Burke got married, she chose to have Mignogna as her last name. “I didn’t want Lawrence,” she laughed. 

“I was really touched by that,” Lawrence said. 

So Lawrence Brothers fans finally know the truth — the Lawrence Brothers are really the Mignogna Brothers.