Tiffani Thiessen

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Tiffani Thiessen
Tiffani Thiessen .jpg
Thiessen in 2010
BornTiffany Amber Thiessen[1]
(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[1]
(1974-01-23) January 23, 1974 (age 40)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)Brady Smith (2005–present)

Tiffani Amber Thiessen (born January 23, 1974) is an American actress. She is known for playing Kelly Kapowski in Saved by the Bell and Valerie Malone in Beverly Hills, 90210. She also starred in Fastlane as Wilhelmina 'Billie' Chambers. Her most recent recurring role is as Elizabeth Burke in the USA Network television series White Collar. After many years of going by her full name (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen), she dropped her middle name and is now credited as simply Tiffani Thiessen.[2]

Early life[edit]

Thiessen was born Tiffany Amber Thiessen[1] in Long Beach, California, the daughter of Robyn (née Ernest), a homemaker, and Frank Thiessen, a park designer and landscape architect.[3] She has two siblings; an older brother named Todd, an actor and avid cyclist, and a younger brother named Schuyler. Her father is of German descent and her mother is a mix of Greek, Turkish and Welsh descent.[4] She credits her brother, Todd, as one of her most important sources of inspiration, and her mother and grandmother as role models.[5] 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 her ninth season in 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. Thiessen was Spelling's first choice to replace Doherty in popular series Charmed in 2001, but she refused his offer.[6]

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 short film Just Pray in 2005, which earned distinctions is several film festivals.[7] 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 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.[8] Since 2009, Thiessen stars in the USA Network crime series White Collar as Elizabeth Burke.

Personal life[edit]

In early 1993, Thiessen started dating Brian Austin Green, introduced by mutual friend David Faustino;[9] they moved in together in July 1994, but they broke up in the fall of the next year.[10] In 1999, she went through a difficult period in her personal life, when David Strickland, whom she had begun dating, committed suicide.[11] 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.[12] She married actor Brady Smith on July 9, 2005,[12] and gave birth to their daughter, Harper Renn Smith, on June 15, 2010.[13]

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, but their friendship has come to an end.[14] Thiessen's friendship with fellow 90210 star Tori Spelling also broke up, after Spelling's split from her first husband.[15]

In 2013, Thiessen participated in the One Bag party for April for Earth Month, in which Glad promoted "clean, green living".[16]


Film and television roles
1989–93Saved by the BellKelly KapowskiTV series
1990Married... with ChildrenHeather McCoyEpisode: "What Goes Around Came Around"
Charles in ChargeJenniferEpisode: "There's a Girl in My Ficus"
1992Step by StepTina GordonEpisode: "Daddy's Girl"
BlossomRickiEpisode: "Driver's Education"
Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian StyleKelly KapowskiTV movie
The Powers That BeBarbaraEpisode: "The Intern"
A Killer Among FriendsJenny MonroeTV movie
1993Son in LawTracy
1993–94Saved by the Bell: The College YearsKelly KapowskiTV series
1994Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las VegasKelly KapowskiTV movie
1994–98Beverly Hills, 90210Valerie MaloneTV series
1995The Stranger Beside MeJennifer GallagherTV movie
She Fought AloneCaitlin RoseTV movie
1996Sweet DreamsAlison SullivanTV movie
Buried SecretsAnnalisse VellumTV movie; also co-producer
1999Speedway JunkyWilma Price
CupidStephanie McGregorEpisode: "Children's Hour"
From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood MoneyPamDirect-to-video
Love StinksRebecca Melini / Juliette
NewsRadioFoxy JacksonTV series
2000Ivans XTCMarie Stein
The Ladies ManHoney DeLune
Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the ThirteenthHagitha UtslayDirect to video
Two Guys and a GirlMartiTV series
2001Everything But the GirlDeniseTV movie
A Christmas Adventure ...from a Book Called Wisely's TalesVixen (voice)Direct-to-video
Just Shoot Me!Amy Watson3 episodes
2002Hollywood EndingSharon Bates
2002–03FastlaneWilhelmina 'Billie' ChambersTV series
2005Just PrayShort film; director
2006Stroller WarsLaineyTV series
2007PandemicKayla MartinTV movie
What About BrianNatasha DrewTV series
2008Cyborg SoldierLindsey Reardon
White CollarElizabeth BurkeTV series
Jake and the Never Land PiratesMisty the Wonderful Witch / MermaidRecurring voice role
Music videos
2000Vertical Horizon"You're a God"
2008Ben Lee"American Television"

Award 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. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ "TV STUFF: Tiffani Drops Amber". Hollywood.com. March 29, 2000. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Tiffani Thiessen Biography (1974-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ Paterakis, Milaine (November 10, 2011). "Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Greek". Ryanseacrest.com. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Tiffani Thiessen's interview". Tiffani Thiessen fansite. Archived from the original on November 4, 2007. Retrieved November 14, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Charm's Way". Entertainment Weekly. June 12, 2001. Retrieved December 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ "News". Tit4tatproductions.com. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  8. ^ "About us". Petitnest.com. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Brian Austin Green & Tiffani-Amber Thiessen". People.com. February 13, 1995. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Robin Williams Secures an 'Aladdin' Sequel". Entertainment Weekly. October 9, 1995. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Sudden Tragedy". Entertainment Weekly. April 2, 1999. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Tiffani Thiessen Weds Actor Brady Smith". People.com. July 12, 2005. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  13. ^ Eunice Oh (June 15, 2010). "Tiffani Thiessen Welcomes Daughter Harper Renn". People.com. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Jennie Garth, Tiffani Thiessen Still Not Speaking". Us Weekly. May 15, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Tiffani Amber Thiessen Discusses Co-Star Feuds". The inquisitr. July 31, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2012. 
  16. ^ Elavksy, Cindy (May 19, 2013). "Celebrity Extra". Downriver Sunday Times. Times-Herald Newspapers. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 

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