Tiffani Thiessen

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Tiffani Thiessen
Tiffani Thiessen.jpg
Thiessen in 2010
BornTiffany Amber Thiessen
(1974-01-23) January 23, 1974 (age 40)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)Brady Smith (2005–present)
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Tiffani Thiessen
Tiffani Thiessen.jpg
Thiessen in 2010
BornTiffany Amber Thiessen
(1974-01-23) January 23, 1974 (age 40)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)Brady Smith (2005–present)

Tiffani Thiessen (born Tiffani Amber Thiessen[1] January 23, 1974) is an American actress. She played Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell and Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills, 90210. She also starred in Fastlane as Wilhelmina 'Billie' Chambers. From 2009 to 2014, Thiessen played the role of Elizabeth Burke in the USA Network series White Collar.

Early life[edit]

Thiessen was born in Long Beach, California, the daughter of Robyn (née Ernest), a homemaker, and Frank Thiessen, a park designer and landscape architect.[2] She has credited her brother, Todd, as one of her most important sources of inspiration, and her mother and grandmother as role models.[3] She attended Cubberley Elementary and Marshall Junior High School in Long Beach. In 1992, Thiessen graduated as valedictorian at Valley Professional High School in Studio City, Los Angeles.


After a childhood of beauty pageants, Thiessen was crowned Miss Junior America in 1987, and the following year, she won Teen magazine's "Great Model Search", gracing the cover. In 1989, she was named Cover Girl magazine's "Model of the Year", and landed her first role of Kelly Kapowski on television sitcom Saved by the Bell, starring until its end in 1993. The success of the show gave her career a boost and Thiessen received Young Artist Award nominations for Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in 1990 and Best Young Actress in an Off-Primetime Series in 1992 and 1993. Simultaneously, Thiessen guest starred on series such as Married... with Children, Charles in Charge and Step by Step. In 1992, she starred in her first television movies Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style and A Killer Among Friends, making her film debut in Son in Law in 1993. She then continued with starring in spin-off Saved by the Bell: The College Years in its single season (1993–94) and in television movie Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas (1994), which marked the end of the original Saved by the Bell series.

In 1994, after her tenure on Saved by the Bell had ended, Thiessen landed the role of Valerie Malone in Aaron Spelling-produced hit teen-drama Beverly Hills, 90210, to fill the void after Shannen Doherty's departure. She was the first actress to join directly the main cast of the show and portrayed Valerie until 1998, when she left in the early episodes of the ninth season of the show. While starring in 90210, Thiessen began to take on continuous dramatic leading roles in television films: The Stranger Beside Me and She Fought Alone in 1995, Sweet Dreams and Buried Secrets in 1996. After her departure from the show, she appeared on a number of films, including Speedway Junky (1999), From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999), Love Stinks (1999) and The Ladies Man (2000); she also guest-starred on NewsRadio (1999), Two Guys and a Girl (2000), Just Shoot Me! (2001) and Good Morning, Miami (2003–04). In 2000, she was featured in the music video for "You're a God" by Vertical Horizon, portraying a beauty pageant contestant, in her first music video appearance. That year she also dropped her middle name which she had been including professionally for many years and is now credited as simply Tiffani Thiessen.[4] Thiessen was Spelling's first choice to replace Doherty in popular series Charmed in 2001, but she refused his offer.[why?][5]

Meanwhile, Thiessen starred in direct-to-video parody film Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth (2000) and in television movie Everything But the Girl (2001), before appearing in Woody Allen-directed film Hollywood Ending (2002) and starring in action drama series Fastlane (2002–03) as Wilhelmina 'Billie' Chambers, for which she received a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice TV Actress in Drama/Action Adventure. In 2003, she launched her production company Tit 4 Tat Productions, producing and directing the short film Just Pray in 2005, which earned distinctions at several film festivals.[6] Later on, she starred in television movies Stroller Wars (2006) and Pandemic (2007), she joined the cast of ABC's drama What About Brian (2007) for its last five episodes and starred in the science fiction film Cyborg Soldier (2008). In 2008, she made her second music video appearance, this time for Ben Lee's "American Television". Thiessen appeared with her husband Brady Smith on the September 6, 2009 episode of season four of the reality show HGTV Design Star. Interior designer Lonni Paul, one of the final three contestants of the season, was given the task of redesigning Thiessen's guest bedroom with an eco-friendly theme; Thiessen and Paul now have a nursery furniture line called PetitNest.[7] Since 2009, Thiessen stars in the USA Network crime series White Collar as Elizabeth Burke.

Personal life[edit]

In early 1992, Thiessen started dating Brian Austin Green, introduced by mutual friend David Faustino;[8] they moved in together in July 1994, but they broke up in the fall of the next year.[9] In 1999, she went through a difficult period in her personal life, when David Strickland, also an actor, whom she had begun dating, committed suicide.[10] From 2001 to the spring of 2003, she was engaged to actor Richard Ruccolo, whom she had met during the Two Guys and a Girl run.[11] She married actor Brady Smith on July 9, 2005,[11] and gave birth to their daughter, Harper Renn Smith, on June 15, 2010.[12]

Thiessen served as maid of honor at 90210 co-star and best friend Jennie Garth's wedding to actor Peter Facinelli, with whom she co-starred on Fastlane. Garth and Thiessen's friendship has since come to an end.[13] Her friendship with fellow 90210 star Tori Spelling also broke up, after Spelling's split from her first husband.[14]

In 2013, she participated in the One Bag party for April for Earth Month, in which Glad promoted "clean, green living".[15]



1989–93Saved by the BellKelly KapowskiSeries
1990Married... with ChildrenHeather McCoyEpisode: "What Goes Around Came Around"
1990Charles in ChargeJenniferEpisode: "There's a Girl in My Ficus"
1992Step by StepTina GordonEpisode: "Daddy's Girl"
1992BlossomRickiEpisode: "Driver's Education"
1992Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian StyleKelly KapowskiTV movie
1992The Powers That BeBarbaraEpisode: "The Intern"
1992A Killer Among FriendsJenny MonroeMovie
1993–94Saved by the Bell: The College YearsKelly KapowskiSeries
1994Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las VegasKelly KapowskiMovie
1994–98Beverly Hills, 90210Valerie MaloneSeries
1995The Stranger Beside MeJennifer GallagherMovie
1995She Fought AloneCaitlin RoseMovie
1996Sweet DreamsAlison SullivanMovie
1996Buried SecretsAnnalisse VellumMovie; also co-producer
1999CupidStephanie McGregorEpisode: "Children's Hour"
1999NewsRadioFoxy JacksonEpisode: "Assistant"
2000Two Guys and a GirlMarti8 episodes
2001Everything But the GirlDenisePilot movie
2001Just Shoot Me!Amy Watson3 episodes
2002–03FastlaneWilhelmina 'Billie' ChambersSeries
2003–04Good Morning, MiamiVictoria Hill11 episodes
2006Stroller WarsLaineyPilot movie
2007PandemicKayla MartinMovie
2007What About BrianNatasha Drew5 episodes
2009–14White CollarElizabeth BurkeMain role (76 episodes)
Jake and the Never Land PiratesMisty the Wonderful Witch / MermaidRecurring voice role


1993Son in LawTracy
1999Speedway JunkyWilma Price
1999From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood MoneyPamDirect-to-video
1999Love StinksRebecca Melini / Juliette
2000Ivans XTCMarie Stein
2000The Ladies ManHoney DeLune
2000Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the ThirteenthHagitha UtslayDirect to video
2001A Christmas Adventure ...from a Book Called Wisely's TalesVixen (voice)Direct-to-video
2002Hollywood EndingSharon Bates
2005Just PrayShort film; director
2008Cyborg SoldierLindsey Reardon
Music videos
2000Vertical Horizon"You're a God"
2008Ben Lee"American Television"

Awards and nominations[edit]

1990Young Artist AwardOutstanding Young Ensemble CastSaved by the BellNominated
1992Young Artist AwardBest Young Actress Starring in an Off-Prime-time or Cable SeriesSaved by the BellNominated
1993Young Artist AwardBest Young Actress in an Off-Prime-time SeriesSaved by the BellNominated
2003Teen Choice AwardChoice TV Actress – Drama/Action AdventureFastlaneNominated
2005Jury AwardBest Live Action Over 15 Minutes (as producer and director)Just PrayRunner-up


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Tiffani Thiessen Biography (1974-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Tiffani Thiessen's interview". Tiffani Thiessen fansite. Archived from the original on November 4, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2007. 
  4. ^ "TV STUFF: Tiffani Drops Amber". Hollywood.com. March 29, 2000. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Charm's Way". Entertainment Weekly. June 12, 2001. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ "News". Tit4tatproductions.com. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ "About us". Petitnest.com. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Brian Austin Green & Tiffani-Amber Thiessen". People.com. February 13, 1995. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Robin Williams Secures an 'Aladdin' Sequel". Entertainment Weekly. October 9, 1995. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sudden Tragedy". Entertainment Weekly. April 2, 1999. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Tiffani Thiessen Weds Actor Brady Smith". People.com. July 12, 2005. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  12. ^ Eunice Oh (June 15, 2010). "Tiffani Thiessen Welcomes Daughter Harper Renn". People.com. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Jennie Garth, Tiffani Thiessen Still Not Speaking". Us Weekly. May 15, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Tiffani Amber Thiessen Discusses Co-Star Feuds". The inquisitr. July 31, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  15. ^ Elavksy, Cindy (May 19, 2013). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Times-Herald Newspapers. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 

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