By People Staff
Updated August 23, 2004 12:00 PM

AGE: 40

HOMETOWN: Hauppauge, N.Y.

CURRENT GIG: Stars in The WB’s Summerland as Ava, a single aunt raising three orphans in a beach house.

Since ABC’s Full House ended nearly a decade ago, Lori Loughlin has gone from playing sitcom wife and mom to—you guessed it—starting a full house of her own. After tying the knot with fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli in 1997, a second marriage for both, “I put my career on the back burner,” she says, to raise their daughters Isabella, 5, and Olivia, 4. Now, with Summerland, she has a second family. “I feel a little bit like they’re my kids,” Loughlin says of her TV brood, Jesse McCartney, 17, Kay Panabaker, 14, and Nick Benson, 10. “I’m very protective of them.” Panabaker even had a sleepover at Loughlin’s Santa Monica home.

In turn, Isabella and Olivia sometimes accompany their mother to the set. When Loughlin, who’s also a producer, has to work late, Giannulli, 41, “can be home in time for dinner with the kids,” she says. (A nanny also helps out.) “Lori sings and reads to the girls every night,” says her spouse. “She’s very nurturing, but she rules with an iron fist.” She yields to her daughters, though, when they ask to watch Full House reruns with her. Keeping in touch with all her old House mates, she says, “I’m probably closest to John [Stamos] and Dave [Coulier]. We built lifelong friendships.”