Tiffani Thiessen biography
Born on January 23, 1974, in Long Beach, California, Tiffani Thiessen began her career as a model and caught her big break when she was just a teenager, landing a starring role on the sitcom Saved By the Bell. Thiessen has found continued success on the small screen, on such programs as Beverly Hills, 90210 and White Collar.
Tiffani Amber Thiessen was born on January 23, 1974, in Long Beach, California, to Robyn, a homemaker, and Frank, a landscape architect. As a young girl, Thiessen's uncle suggested she pursue a career in show business. She landed a spot in a Barbie commercial at the age of 8, and success quickly followed.
Thiessen spent much of her youth in beauty pageants and working as a model. She went on to win the Miss Junior America pageant in 1987, and Teen Magazine's "Great Model Search" the following year.
'Saved By the Bell' and 'Beverly Hills, 90210'
Tiffani Thiessen's success as a model generated wide exposure, and by 1989, at the age of 15, she had caught her big break: landing the life-changing role of Kelly Kapowski on the popular NBC series Saved By the Bell. Starring on the hit teen sitcom from 1989 through 1993, Thiessen became a teen idol and her career took off. She went on to star in a number of TV movies and sitcoms, including A Killer Among Friends, Saved By the Bell: The College Years, Saved By the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas and, more notably, Beverly Hills, 90210.
Beverly Hills, 90210 marked Thiessen's second career hit show in less than a decade; she starred as Valerie Malone on the program from 1994 through 2000. Now an immensely popular actress, she meshed well with her new castmates and became good friends with 90210's lead, Jennie Garth.
Following these two successful, long-running sitcoms, Thiessen was cast in a string of short-lived series, including Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place; Just Shoot Me!; Fastlane; Good Morning, Miami; and What about Brian.
In 2005, the ambitious Thiessen started her own production company, Tit 4 Tat Productions. The company's first project was also Thiessen's directorial debut: a short film entitled Just Pray.
Following a decade of on-again-off-again work, in 2009, Thiessen was cast as event planner Elizabeth Burke on USA Network's breakout series White Collar.
Thiessen was struck by tragedy in the late 1990s when her then-boyfriend, Suddenly Susan star David Strickland, committed suicide.
She later found love on the set of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, where she met and fell for her co-star, Richard Rucculo. The couple announced their engagement in 2001, but broke off it off a year and half later.
Thiessen settled down in 2005, marrying actor and artist Brady Smith. The couple had their first child, Harper Renn, in 2010.