Kelly Kapowski fans, eat your heart out. “Saved By the Bell” star Tiffani Amber Thiessen turns 40 on January 23 and we chronicle her rise to fame. Check out Thiessen’s career timeline: from beauty queen to teen heartthrob to active mom.
Thiessen’s first acting job was a spot in a Peaches n’ Cream Barbie commercial. The youngster plays with the ’80s bestseller and exclaims “Gorgeous!”. Who knew this one word debut would lead to considerable success within a few short years?
After several modeling stints, Thiessen parlayed her good looks into beauty pageant success. She won the Miss Junior America crown as a fresh-faced 13-year-old.
The Miss Junior America title prompted Thiessen to take her modeling career to the next level, and she won “Teen” Magazine’s Great Model Search contest. This would foreshadow an offer from NBC for a starring role.
NBC jumps on Thiessen’s rising star and offers her a key role in ’80s hit “Saved By the Bell.” Kelly Kapowski won the admiration of teen girls all over America, and managed to kidnap the hearts of teenage boys in the process.
Only the magic of television could make a Vegas wedding a symbol of eternal love. Kelly Kapowski (Thiessen) and co-star Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) reunite the cast of “Saved By The Bell” for a special wedding episode.
Shannon Doherty’s abrupt exit from “Beverly Hills 90210” left the door wide open for Thiessen to take on the role as Valerie Malone. According to Thiessen, her five years on the show included rocky relationships with fellow cast mates.
Thiessen’s reputation as a sexy-girl-next door landed her dozens of sitcom appearances. This included an extended stint on “Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place.”
A steamy cover for “FHM” allowed Thiessen to shed her teen idol image … and most of her clothing.
As the 2000s progressed, Thiessen decided to try her hand at the other side of the camera. She began her own production company, Tit 4 Tat Productions.
After a television hiatus, Thiessen got back in the game on USA Network’s “White Collar.” She plays wedding planner Elizabeth Burke.
In an interview with Howard Stern, Thiessen opens up about the trials of young fame. She mentions an extreme falling out with Jenny Garth, former co-star of “Beverly Hills 90210.”
At 39, Thiessen is a thriving, fit mom of one. She opens up to “Women’s Running” about moving past her Kelly Kapowski alter ego.