olive skinned

Tiffani Thiessen

Tiffani Thiessen (born Tiffani Amber Thiessen on January 23, 1974 in Long Beach, California) is an American actress known for her roles as Kelly Kapowski in Saved by the Bell and as Valerie Malone in Beverly Hills, 90210. After many years of going by her full name, she is now credited as simply Tiffani Thiessen.


Early life

She was born in Long Beach, California; her father, Frank, was a park designer and her mother, Robyn, was a homemaker. She is of Turkish, German, Greek, and Welsh descent. She told InStyle: "I'm a mutt. I have so much of everything in me, and half of it I don't even know. German on one side, Greek, Turkish and Welsh on the other. My mom is very olive-skinned; I get my blue eyes from my dad. She credits her brother, Todd, as one of her most important sources of inspiration, and her mother and grandmother as her role models. Her uncle, Roger Ernest, who attended college with Steven Spielberg and co-wrote one of his student films called Slipstream, and who appeared in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Sugarland Express playing a cop in both films, was the person who had first suggested that his niece enter show business.


After a childhood of beauty pageants, Tiffani Amber Theissen was crowned Miss Junior America in 1987 and won Teen Magazine's Great Model Search in 1988, gracing the cover of that issue. A year later, her first big break in show business was her role on the television program Saved By The Bell, which was publicized and given a great deal of fanfare by the same magazine. She portrayed Kelly Kapowski, a role she continued playing in the short lived Saved by the Bell: The College Years. This was very different from her next major role, as a duplicitous vixen, Valerie Malone, on Beverly Hills, 90210.

She later guest-starred in the sitcom Two Guys and a Girl and the short-lived action show Fastlane, as well as guest-starring on Just Shoot Me!. Her transition to film has not gone well so far, as most of her movies have been critically panned. In 2002, she appeared in the film Hollywood Ending directed by Woody Allen.

In 2005, she released a short (21 minute) film she had directed called Just Pray. It placed at several film festivals and was the first major effort from her new production company, Tit 4 Tat Productions.

In January 2007 Thiessen joined the cast of ABC's relationship drama What About Brian, playing the boss of Brian, and a potential love interest for Adam. However, in May 2007 ABC officially canceled the series.

Personal life

During her Saved By The Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210 career she dated her co-stars Mark Paul Gosselaar and actor Brian Austin Green for about 7 years.

In March of 1999, her then-boyfriend, actor David Strickland, committed suicide. From October 2001 to April 2003, she was engaged to actor Richard Ruccolo, whom she had met during the Two Guys and a Girl run. On July 9, 2005, she married actor Brady Smith in Montecito, California.

Thiessen is a part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In February 2006, she accepted an invitation to serve on the National Advisory Council for the organization.


Year Title Role Notes
1989 Saved by the Bell Kelly Kapowski TV series (she played in 1989-1993)
1992 Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style Kelly Kapowski TV movie
A Killer Among Friends Jenny Monroe TV movie
1993 Son in Law Tracy Film
1993 Saved by the Bell: The College Years Kelly Kapowski TV series (1993-1994)
1994 Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas Kelly Kapowski TV movie
Beverly Hills, 90210 Valerie Malone TV series (she played in 1994-1998)
1995 The Stranger Beside Me Jennifer Gallagher TV movie
She Fought Alone Caitlin Rose TV movie
1996 Sweet Dreams Alison Sullivan TV movie
Buried Secrets Annalisse Vellum TV movie (and co-producer)
1999 Speedway Junky Wilma Price Film
From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money Pam Film
Love Stinks Rebecca Melini/Juliette Film
2000 Ivans XTC Marie Stein Film
The Ladies Man Honey DeLune Film
Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth Hagitha Utslay Film
2001 Everything But the Girl Denise TV movie
2001 A Christmas Adventure from a Book Called Wisely's Tales Vixen (voice) Animated film
2002 Hollywood Ending Sharon Bates Film
2002 Fastlane Wilhelmina 'Billie' Chambers TV series (2002-2003)
2005 Just Pray - Short film (co-producer only)
2006 Stroller Wars Lainey TV series
2007 Pandemic Kayla Martin TV movie
What About Brian Natasha Drew TV series
2008 Cyborg Soldier Lindsey Reardon Film

Award nominations

Teen Choice Awards

  • 2003 - Choice TV Actress: Drama, "Fastlane" - (Nominated)

Young Artist Awards

  • 1989 - Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast, "Saved by the Bell" - (Nominated)
  • 1991 - Best Young Actress Starring in an Off-Prime Time or Cable Series, "Saved by the Bell" - (Nominated)
  • 1992 - Best Young Actress in an Off-Prime Time Series, "Saved by the Bell" - (Nominated)


  • Recorded a public service announcement for Deejay Ra's 'Hip-Hop Literacy' campaign
  • She was featured in the following music videos:


External links

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