Birth Name : Tiffany Amber Thiessen
Nickname : Tiff
Height :5' 5" (1.65 m)
Tiffani-Amber Thiessen was born on January 23, 1974, 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 Tiffani 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's 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. Tiffani also lived with co-star Brian Austin Green for several years. 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.
She met actor Richard Ruccolo while starring as Marti in the hit sitcom "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" (1998) where in 2001, the couple became engaged. During the fall of 2002, she hooked up with best friend Jennie's husband, Peter Facinelli, and Bill Bellamy on Fox's action/drama series, "Fastlane" (2002), where she starred as Billie Chambers, but the show was canceled after one season. In 2003, Tiffani broke off her engagement to Richard Ruccolo and in 2005, she married actor Brady Smith.
Former child model and pageant winner turned successful TV actor, usually in roles of the prom queen vein. Thiessen began professionally posing at age seven, appearing in both print and TV ads as well as catalogues. After winning the title Miss Junior America in 1987, she moved to series TV, playing the squeaky clean girlfriend of the conniving Zach on the wildly popular Saturday morning teen hit, "Saved By The Bell" (NBC, 1988-93).
The success of that series spawned several "Saved" TV-movies and a short-lived primetime spin-off, "Saved By The Bell: The College Years" (NBC, 1993-94). After making her feature debut in the Pauly Shore vehicle "Son-in-Law" (1993), Thiessen switched from playing wholesome to raising hell as troubled mini-diva Valerie Malone on Fox's "Beverly Hills, 90210". Producers hoped that Thiessen's character would do for "Beverly Hills" what Heather Locklear did for "Melrose Place", that is, add a bracing dose of bitchiness to spice things up.
While Thiessen's addition to "Beverly Hills 90210" did give it a much needed shot of new life, the show was past its prime and quickly becoming a soap opera rather than a drama. Thiessen, with her stylish new short hair and prominent breast implants, played up the part of the sexy bad girl. Thiessen maintained a level of believable acting, even as the storylines around her became more and more far-fetched. She felt, however, that she was increasingly being used as a sex object on the show, and in 1998, decided to leave and pursue a film career.
Thiessen appeared in two small budget films in 1999, the comedy "Love Stinks" with Bill Bellamy and Bridgette Wilson and the drama "Speedway Junky." She next appeared in the SNL spinoff film "The Ladies Man" (2000) and starred in the straight to video spoof "Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth" (2000).
Although Thiessen had made the difficult transition from child actor to successful adult star, she was finding the notoriously difficult switch from TV to film even more challenging. In 2001, she returned to television with recurring spots on "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" and "Just Shoot Me." However, 2002 gave Thiessen her biggest film role yet, in Woody Allen's "Hollywood Ending." 2002 also saw her return as a cast member on primetime, reuniting with Bill Bellamy in the Fox Series "Fast Lane."