I enjoy Courtney Thorne-Smith's performance on ABC's According to Jim and remember her from Ally McBeal. Where is she from, and how did she get her start in show business?
—Kay M., Ohio
Courtney Thorne-Smith was discovered while in high school when 20th Century Fox was looking for a new talent to play Charlie Sheen's girlfriend in the film Lucas. The Mill Valley, Calif., native then decided to pursue acting as a career, canceled her plans to attend Pennsylvania's Allegheny College, and moved to Los Angeles. Thorne-Smith, 35, has been successful in picking television series. Besides According to Jim and Ally McBeal, she starred in Melrose Place for five seasons. She also starred in the short-lived series Day By Day. Her movies credits include Summer School and Revenge of the Nerds II. Thorne-Smith has starred in several plays. She lives in Los Angeles and enjoys relaxing with her dogs. She likes to read, work out, and spend time with friends in her spare time. And she has taken up writing. She has had features in SELF magazine and is now a contributing editor to that publication. She's also written for InStyle and Allure.