Courtney Thorne-Smith
Birth Date:
November 8, 1967
Birth Place:
San Francisco, California, USA
Famous for:
Her role as Allison Parker in Fox's series Melrose Place (1992-1997)
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Ally McBeal


Actress Courtney Thorne-Smith first came to fame as Allison Parker on the Fox prime time soap opera “Melrose Place,” a role she played from 1992 until 1997 when she departed the show. Commenting about her character on “Melrose Place,” she said, “Allison has been through so much. I was sexually harassed, carjacked, had an affair with a married man -- who then tried to rape me, and shot himself while he was on the phone with me. I was drunk, sober -- well, getting sober, then I got to have an affair.”

The San Francisco, California native beauty acquired even more recognition and popularity with her portrayal of lawyer Georgia Smith on the legal dramedy series “Ally McBeal” (Fox, 1997-2002), from which she also jointly picked up the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 1999. Thorne-Smith later starred with Jim Belushi in the ABC sitcom “According to Jim,” which ran for eight seasons from 2001 to 2009, and in 2010, she began her recurring role as Lyndsey Mackelroy in the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” In 1999, Thorne-Smith was named the face of Almay Cosmetics' new line of make-up, “Skin Stays Clean.”

Thorne-Smith has been married twice. She and her husband Roger Fishman have one son together, Jacob 'Jake' Emerson (born 2008). Courtney had an on-and-off screen romance with Andrew Shue (Billy) during the filming of “Melrose Place” but the bond ended after a year.

Menlo Park

Childhood and Family:

Born on November 8, 1967, in San Francisco, California, Courtney Thorne Smith was raised in a suburb south of San Fransisco called Menlo Park. Her father was a computer market researcher and her mother was a therapist. Her parents divorced when she was seven years old. She has a sister named Jennifer. Courtney enrolled at Menlo-Atherton High School, in Atherton, California, and later graduated from Tamalpais High School, in Mill Valley, California in 1985. While attending high school, she also trained with the Ensemble Theatre Company in Northern California.   

Engaged in November 1998, Courtney and her fiancé Andrew Conrad, a generic scientist, married on June 2, 2000. The couple, however, split up just a few months after the wedding and eventually divorced on January 19, 2001. She married present husband Roger Fishman on New Year's Day 2007.

“It's such an amazing moment for both of us, because we both sort of had to say, 'I don't know if this is going to happen for me.' The fact it's happening is just astounding! Once I realized that I didn't care if it was a boy or a girl, I got into the adventure of not knowing.” Courtney Thorne-Smith (on her surprise pregnancy)

At age 41, Courtney gave birth to her first child, son Jacob 'Jake' Emerson, on January 14, 2008.

Melrose Place


Courtney Thorne-Smith first discovered that she had a knack for acting while performing in a kindergarten production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” As a senior in high school, she started performing with the Ensemble Theatre Company in Northern California. The talented youth quickly came  attracted the attention of 20th Century Fox when they came to her school to find a new face to play Charlie Sheen's girlfriend in the comedy film “Lucas.” Released on March 28, 1986, the 20th Century Fox movie marked Thorne-Smith's big screen debut.

Thorne-Smith landed her first series regular role in the short lived comedy “Fast Times” (CBS, March -April 1986), which was a sequel to the 1982 film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” She portrayed Stacy Hamilton, the role originated by Jennifer Jason Leigh in the film. The same year, she also co-starred with Mariska Hargitay and JoAnn Willette in the coming of age comedy/drama film “Welcome to 18” and played Sheryl in the “Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color” episode “The Thanksgiving Promise (31.8).”

Thorne-Smith made her television movie debut in the ABC drama “Infidelity” (1987), starring Kirstie Alley, Lee Horsley and Laurie O'Brien, and returned to the big screen with supporting roles in the Joe Roth comedy film “Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise” (1987, opposite Robert Carradine, Curtis Armstrong and Larry B. Scott) and Carl Reiner's “Summer School” (1987, played Pam House). She portrayed the regular role of Kristin Carlson, a nanny, in the NBC sitcom “Day by Day,” which was telecast from February 29, 1988 through June 25, 1989. Co-stars in the series included Douglas Sheehan, Linda Kelsey, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Thora Birch.    

Not to mention guest appearances in “Growing Pains” (1998) and “Anything But Love” (1990), Thorne-Smith took on a recurring role as Michael Kuzak's love interest, Kimberly Dugan, on the NBC legal drama “L.A. Law” (6 episodes, 1990), marking her initial collaboration with David E. Kelley.
She was featured alongside C. Thomas Howell, Peter Horton, Harley Jane Kozak in the volley beach film “Side Out” (1990), directed by Peter Israelson, starred in the Canadian television movie “First Flight” (1991) and guest starred in “Jack's Place” and “ Grapevine” (both 1992) before scoring her big break on television with the Darren Star prime time soap opera, where she played the regular role of  the receptionist at D&D Advertising Alison Parker.   

“Melrose Place” premiered on the Fox Network on July 8, 1992 and was an instant smash hit when it debuted at No. 19 on the Nielsen ratings with a 10.3/19 share. At the peak of the show's popularity, Thorne-Smith was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in May 1994 with other female stars like Heather Locklear, Laura Leighton, Daphne Zuniga and Josie Bissett. Sheleft the show in 1997 after staying for five seasons.

During her tenure in the series, Thorne-Smith also accepted other acting jobs. In 1994, she played Helen Lutz in the made for television film “Breach of Conduct,” opposite Peter Coyote, and voiced the English version of Shiho Tsukishima in Yoshifumi Kondô's animated film “Whisper of the Heart” in 1995. She also starred in the 1995 NBC drama film “Beauty's Revenge” and made a guest appearance in an episode of “Partners” in 1996.  

Following her exit from “Melrose Place,” Thorne-Smith had a two episode arc in ABC's “Spin City” (1997-1998, as Danielle Brinkman) and played a supporting role in the Michael Goldberg comedy film “The Lovemaster” (1997). It was not long before she gained even further acclaim for her  portrayal of attorney Georgia Smith on the Fox Emmy Award winning series “Ally McBeal” (1997-2002), which she began as a regular part during its first three seasons and moved to a recurring one for the following two seasons. The show brought her a Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, which she shared with co-stars Calista Flockhart, Portia de Rossi, Lucy Liu and Gil Bellows, among others. Thorne-Smith also played Georgia Smith on the “Ally McBeal” truncated spawn, “Ally” (1999), which was canceled partway through its initial run.  

Thorne-Smith returned to the big screen in 1998 by co-starring with Carrot Top in the comedy “Chairman of the Board,” directed by Alex Zamm. The film unfortunately received negative reviews and was a box office flop. In the following year, she signed modeling contract with Revlon to be the spokesperson for Almay Cosmetics, being the face of their new line of make-up “Skin Stays Clean.”  She has appeared in television and prints ads for Almay.  

In 2001, Thorne-Smith landed the lead role opposite Jim Belushi in the ABC fall sitcom “According to Jim,” playing Jim's wife Cheryl. She stayed with series throughout its eight season run from October 3, 2001 to June 2, 2009.

In 2009, Thorne-Smith was cast as the mother of Lucy Hale on the Lifetime movie “Sorority Wars.”  

In 2010, Thorne-Smith joined the cast of the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men” in the seventh season as Lyndsey Mackelroy, Alan's girlfriend and the mother of Jake's best friend, Eldridge.         

Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, “Ally McBeal,”  1999
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