Tiffani Amber Thiessen is an actress probably best known for her role as Kelly Kapowski in “Saved By The Bell.” Most recently, she has appeared on the USA Network series “White Collar.”
Her nickname is Tiff, though she dropped her middle name and now goes by Tiffani Thiessen. She is a mix of German, Greek, Turkish and Welsh ancestry. She grew up in Long Beach, California and when she was 8 an uncle suggested she get into acting and modeling.
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Tiffani Thiessen's first TV commercial was for Peaches and Cream Barbie. Afterwards, she competed in beauty pageants and in 1987 won Miss Junior America.
In 1989, she landed on the series that would make her famous: “Saved By The Bell.” She said “I was never a cheerleader. I never went to prom. I didn’t have any of those experience.” Of her fame, she said, “None of expected it to last very long. We didn’t realize anything big was happening until our first personal appearance, and then we were shocked out of our minds. We went to a mall and there were 4,000 screaming kids waiting for us.”
Tiffani-Amber Thiessen followed up “Saved by the Bell” with “Beverly Hills 90210.” She said, “If you work with Aaron Spelling and he likes you, you’ll always work for Aaron. And believe me, that’s not a bad thing.” She was offered a role in “Charmed” in 2001, but turned it down.
She attended Valley Professional High School in Studio City, California and in 1992 was named class valedictorian.
She admitted that she has struggled with her weight since she was 17. “There’s a lot of added pressure because I work with so many beautiful, thin people, and I’ve been asked to lose weight before by producers. It really hurts but that’s part of what this business is about. People expect me to be thin and perfect and I’m not.”
She has also appeared on “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Just Shoot Men,” among other projects. She is the mother of a daughter Harper Renn Smith, born in June 2010. Tiffani Thiessen splits her time between New York and Los Angeles.