Courtney Thorne-Smith is an actress who is best known for her roles on the shows Melrose Place, According to Jim, Ally McBeal, and Two and A Half Men.
She was born on November 8, 1967, in San Francisco, CA, to Walter Smith, a computer market researcher, and Lora Thorne, a therapist. Smith’s parents divorced when she was seven, and she and her sister lived with both parents at various stages.
Smith began high school at Menlo-Atherton but eventually graduated from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, CA. While in high school, the actress performed with the Ensemble Theater Company in Mill Valley.
Smith’s first acting credit was in the 1986 film Lucas, which starred Charlie Sheen, Winona Ryder, and Corey Haim.
The actress played Alise in the romantic comedy centered around Lucas (Haim) and his ability to attract bullies through his meek and nerdy demeanor.
The actress appeared in all seven episodes of Fast Times, the sitcom based on the iconic film Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Smith played Stacey Hamilton; however, the short-lived series lasted only one season, with critics saying the show couldn’t emphasize the R-rated comedy from the movie.
Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
In 1987, Smith starred as Sunny Carstairs in the comedy Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, the sequel to the original film.
The movie follows the Lambda Lambda Lambdas members traveling to Fort Lauderdale, FL, for a national fraternity convention. Smith plays a trainee at the Royal Flamingo Hotel, where the fraternity attempts to stay.
From 1992-1997, Smith starred as Alison Parker in 158 episodes of the prime-time soap opera Melrose Place.
The show centered around a group of young adults living in a Melrose Place apartment complex.
Smith left the show at the end of season 5, while the series continued for two more seasons.
Chairman of the Board
Smith starred as Natalie Stockwell in the 1998 comedy Chairman of the Board, which also starred comedian Carrot Top in his only feature-length film lead role.
The movie centers around a surfer and inventor, Edison (Carrot Top), who inherits and operates a billionaire’s company.
The movie would end up being widely panned by critics and viewers alike and would be a recurring joke in interviews in the future with Courtney.
The actress returned to the small screen for 69 episodes of the hit legal comedy-drama series Ally McBeal, which starred Calista Flockhart.
From 1997-2002, Smith played Georgia Thomas in a recurring role in the first three seasons and as a guest in the final two seasons.
The show received critical acclaim, taking home several awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1999.
According to Jim
The actress co-starred with Jim Belushi from 2001-2009 in the ABC sitcom According to Jim.
Smith was a series regular, playing the role of Cheryl, the wife to Jim Belushi’s character.
The show followed the couple and their children and included regulars Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Larry Joe Campbell.
Two and a Half Men
Smith joined the cast of Two and a Half Men in 2010 and would play the role of Lyndsey McElroy until 2015, for a total of 52 episodes.
Smith’s character, Lyndsey, was Eldridge’s (Graham Patrick Martin) mother and had an on and off again relationship with Alan (Jon Cryer).
Lyndsey was introduced in the seventh season, which would be one of the last seasons Charlie Sheen appeared in.
Fans didn’t love Smith’s character and didn’t appreciate the way she treated Alan, despite him deserving it sometimes.
The actress appeared in the television miniseries Past Malice as Emma Fielding, an amateur sleuth and archaeologist.
The series was initially titled Emma Field Mysteries and had three parts released between 2017-2019 and follows Emma as she solves murder mysteries with her FBI agent friend Jim, played by James Tupper.
Smith’s last acting credit was as Sam in the 2020 "Beef Baloney Dan and a Sarcastic No" episode of the sitcom Mom.
The actress played the Al-Anon (a program for the recovery of friends and families of alcoholics) sponsor to Adam, played by William Fichtner.
The popular series lasted eight seasons and starred Anna Faris and Allison Janney.
What is Courtney Thorne-Smith doing now?
Smith has not acted since 2020; however, she participated in an online reunion of Melrose Place during the pandemic, and the reunion was held to raise money for those in the arts who live paycheck to paycheck.
Before the virtual one, Smith had a reunion of sorts in 2019 when she and several cast members, including Andrew Shue, Doug Savant, Laura Leighton, Daphne Zuniga, and Josie Bissett, had lunch in New York City.
Smith also made headlines again in 2021 when comedian Norm McDonald died from multiple myeloma, a disease he kept secret from the public. A video resurfaced from a 1997 appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, where the two were guests.
In the episode, McDonald roasts Smith for going from Melrose Place to starring in a movie with Carrot Top.
Smith now considers it a career highlight to be roasted by the legend, with the actress saying, "So it was a joy to be teased about it. Because I didn’t know what I was going to say. I was like, ‘Good, Norm, you take over.’”
Smith dated her Melrose Place co-star Andrew Shue in the early 90s but later married geneticist Andrew Conrad. The couple was married from 2000-2001 before they split and later divorced.
The actress married Roger Fishman in January 2007, and the couple has one son, Jacob Emerson Fishman, to whom Smith gave birth at the age of 40.
Roger Fishman is the author of What I Know, president of the marketing firm the Zizo Group, and also helped launch Artists for Nature, a series that brings together musical talent from around the world.