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Tiffani Thiessen Young — A Glimpse at the Actress’ Impressive Television Career

From ‘Saved By the Bell’ star to professional foodie, Tiffani Thiessen

You may recognize Tiffani Thiessen from one of the many teen television shows she has starred in, among them comedy Saved by the Bell (where she played America’s sweetheart, Kelly Kapowski) and the more dramatic and angsty Beverly Hills 90210. But ever since, the actress has made varied acting choices that have expanded her horizons as a widely-known performer.

Thiessen shared, “Each one [show] has been part of something, a particular time frame in my life. The very first big show that I had, of course, was Saved By The Bell, which was huge for me… So that made a huge impact on my life.”

MUST-READ: ‘Saved by the Bell’ Actress Tiffani Thiessen (a.k.a. Kelly Kapowski) Wants You To Get Gardening — And Is Showing You How

Tiffani Thiessen young career

group of kids smiling
Cast of Saved By the Bell (1990)

The Long Beach, California born actress was involved in entertainment from a very early start. At age 8, it was suggested by family that Thiessen try acting and modeling — and soon after she was appearing in her first commercial for Peaches n’ Cream Barbie. Afterwards, she began competing in pageants and even won the 1987 title of Miss Junior America.

Two years later, the then 15-year-old actress got her breakout role on Saved By the Bell, which represented a major change for TV sitcoms, the actress herself saying it was “like me starting a whole new world.”

MUST-READ: ‘Saved by the Bell’ Cast: Catch Up With The Teens From Bayside High School

While starring on the teen sitcom, Thiessen was linked to co-stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez.

The series also had a spinoff in the form of Saved By the Bell: The College Years, as well as two TV movies. Thiessen starred in each of the spinoffs until the franchise came to an end in 1994.

Actress goes to Beverly Hills

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Brian Austin Green and Tiffani Thiessen in Beverly Hills, 90210 (1996)

Just as her first hit show was coming to an end, Thiessen, as noted, booked a regular role on the series Beverly Hills, 90210. This time around, the actress was playing mean girl Valerie Malone, replacing former star Shannen Doherty.

While her time on the drama was a memorable one, the show’s other stars weren’t as thrilled about her arrival. Jennie Garth spilled her thoughts on the subject on her podcast, 9021OMG: “I remember thinking, ‘Yeah, why are they bringing this girl in? Like, we’re doing great. … Why is someone coming to fill Brenda’s shoes?’… I didn’t get it.”

Nevertheless, Thiessen remained with the show until its final season in 2000, though her appearances became more sporadic towards the end.

MUST-READ: ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’: Kick Back at the Peach Pit and Catch Up With the Cast

Tiffani Thiessen young moves on from teen dramas

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Peter Facinelli, Bill Bellamy and Tiffani Thiessen in Fastline (2002)

Following her five-season run on 90210, Thiessen took a break from teen dramas, scoring multiple roles including The Ladies Man (2000), Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place (2000), Fastlane (2003) and Good Morning, Miami (2004).

In 2005, Thiessen met her current husband, Brady Smith, while working on the set of a TV show. The couple has two children together, daughter Harper and son Holt.

Thiessen’s recent life

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Tiffani Thiessen and Tim DeKay in ‘White Collar’ (2014)

In 2009, Thiessen booked a starring role in the series White Collar, where she remained for its duration. The actress portrayed Elizabeth Burke, the devoted wife to FBI Special Agent Peter Burke.

By 2015, she made a big switch from her usual drama series to a the Food Network, hosting her own cooking show, Dinner at Tiffani’s, which lasted for three seasons until 2017.

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Tiffani Thiessen and Eddie Shin in ‘Alexa and Katie’ (2018)

Next up was the Netflix series Alexa and Katie, from 2018 to 2020, as Lori Mendoza. The actress said of the series, “Their relationship [Alexa and Katie] is very supportive. It’s this day and age right now in the whole women empowerment [movement] and making sure that you’re supporting each other.”

Most recently, Thiessen has turned to food and shares her favorite recipes on her personal website.

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