Jan. 23rd, 1974
Long Beach, California, USA
Tiffani Thiessen's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Tiffani Thiessen (born Tiffani Amber Thiessen 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. Her most recent recurring role is as Elizabeth Burke in the USA Network television series White Collar.
Born in Long Beach, California, USA, to Frank Thiessen, a park designer, and Robyn Ernest, a homemaker. She grew up in Long Beach with her parents and her brothers, professional cyclist Todd (b. 1968) and Schuyler (b. 1977). When Thiessen was 8, her uncle, 'Roger Ernest', suggested that she try acting and modeling. Soon afterward, she appeared in her first TV commercial, for Peaches and Cream Barbie. From there she started competing in several beauty pageants and, in 1987, she won the Miss Junior America pageant.
She got her big-screen break when she was cast as the popular cheerleader Kelly Kapowski on the NBC series Saved by the Bell (1989), which lasted for five years. But this was not at all the end of her career. Coinciding with the cancellation of the short-lived Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993), she was cast as the bitchy, conniving vixen Valerie Malone on 'Aaron Spelling' long-running hit series Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990). Here, she played the constant enemy of Kelly Taylor, played by 'Jennie Garth', although in real life, the two are actually best friends.
In early 1992, Thiessen started dating 'Brian Austin Green', introduced by mutual friend David Faustino; they moved in together in July 1994, but they broke up in the fall of the next year. She stayed with the show until 1998 and then left to pursue her movie career. The result was two independent movies, followed by two comedies and then Hollywood Ending (2002), in which she starred alongside 'Woody Allen'.
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. 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. She married actor 'Brady Smith' (July 9, 2005), and gave birth to their daughter, Harper Renn Smith, (June 15, 2010).
Thiessen served as maid of honor at 90210 co-star and best friend Jennie Garth's wedding to actor 'Peter Facinelli' (Twilight Saga), with whom she co-starred on Fastlane. Garth and Thiessen's friendship has since come to an end. Her friendship with fellow 90210 star 'Tori Spelling' also broke up, after Spelling's split from her first husband.
In 2013, she participated in the One Bag party for April for Earth Month, in which Glad promoted "clean, green living".
- Became engaged to actor 'Richard Ruccolo' (qv) in October 2001.
- Her father is of German descent. Her mother is of Greek, Turkish, and Welsh descent.
- Won the CLCA Green Image Award presented by the "Green Expo/Green Image Awards" for her contributions to help residents learn sustainable living techniques and support the California Green Movement .
- Romantically linked to 'David Strickland (I)' (qv) at the time of his death 
- Attended Valley Professional High School in Studio City, California; named class valedictorian in 1992.
- Made Cover Girl Magazine's Model of the Year 
- Admitted an ongoing struggle to fit Hollywood's waifish beauty ideal.
- Was offered a role on _"Charmed" (1998)_ (qv) to replace 'Shannen Doherty' (qv), but turned it down.