Danielle Fishel stole the hearts of America in her breakout role as Topanga in the 90s sitcom Boy Meets World, but what as she been up to since then?
Fishel was born in Mesa, Arizona in 1981 but later moved to California with her parents. She began acting at the age of 10 when she performed in stage productions of The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan. She took to performing after those roles and even landed a gig voice acting for Barbie commercials.
Her first on screen credit was for the beloved 90s show Full House. She played Jennifer P. in two episodes. Her character was one of two named Jennifer, a duo of cool girls at Stephanie Tanner’s school she was trying to impress.
Boy Meets World
Not long after her two episode stint on Full House she was cast as her most recognizable role of Topanga in Boy Meets World. Topanga was a classmate of Corey Matthews (the show’s main character portrayed by Ben Savage) and later his main love interest.
The first few seasons Topanga was depicted as a strange kid in their class, she had two former hippies for parents and was close with the overachieving Minkus.
Though their relationship was rocky at times, Corey and Topanga married and eventually moved to New York with Eric Matthews and Shawn Hunters (Corey’s brother and best friend).
The story behind Fishel’s character’s name is debated, but all accounts agree she was named after Topanga Canyon in California, a well known hippie estableshmant. It makes perfect sense given Topanga’s hippie parents.
What did she do after Boy Meets World?
In the early 2000s Fishel was featured in several coming of age college comedies such as National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze series where she played Maria. Though the film series is not critically acclaimed, it does hold some cult value with early 2000’s teenagers.
Girl Meets World
Both Fishel and Savage reprised their roles in the 2014 Disney Channel reboot Girl Meets World. The show centered around their child Riley and her best friend Maya. The show only lasted three seasons, but it was acclaimed for it’s emotional subject matter during it’s run.
What is Danielle Fishel doing now?
Danielle last acting credit came in 2019 for the animated series Star vs. the Forces of Evil. Although she has taken a hiatus from acting, Danielle has focused her attention behind the camera, directing.
Her first director credit came during the filming of Girl Meets World where she directed four episodes.
She went on to direct episodes on other Disney Channel shows. Her latest directing project is a film titled Classmates about two college freshmen who swap their identities after a mix up with the software.
Classmates will be coming to Tubi sometime in 2023. Fishel created the film alongside her husband Jensen Karp, who wrote the film.
Fishel has a project in the works with executive producer of Boy Meets World, Mark Blutman. It’s a middle school show titled I’m With Her about two influencers who team up to make informative and entertaining content.
Fishel said the goal of the show is to get children talking about a lot of the issues they face every day: “It’s a critical time as kids are faced with all sorts of hot button topics like social injustice, gun control, gender equality, race, politics, LGBTQ issues, a pandemic and Mark and I both share the passion and belief that these kids need to be talked to now more than ever…”
Pod Meets World
Alongside Boy Meet World’s Will Friedle and Rider Strong, Fishel also hosts a podcast titled “Pod Meets World,” where the cast rewatch episodes from the show and share their thoughts on episodes as well as give listeners behind the scenes stories and answer questions from fans.
During the first episode of the podcast, Fishel addresses co-star Ben Savage’s absence from the show. They approached him with the idea in 2018 and he said “It’s not really my thing.” Savage has been busy with other film and television projects.
Although Ben Savage isn’t apart of the podcast, he did reunited with Danielle in a 2021 ad for Panera.
Danielle has also created a hair product line called Be Free, which is crafted without using harsh chemicals and is ‘cruelty-free, vegan, made in the USA, eco-friendly, accessible, inclusive and empowering’.
Savage and Fishel have remained close friends ever since they met on the set of Boy Meets World. They recently opened up to fans and told them they even went on a date together to see if their friendship could turn romantic, but they quickly learned they were better off as friends.
Ben Savage wasn’t the only potential lover Fishel met on the set of the show. NSYNC member Lance Bass met her on set when the boy band appeared in an episode.
Bass told fellow member Justin Timberlake he had a crush on Fishel and Timberlake got her phone number for him.
They dated for a year and Bass even took Fishel to her senior prom. He broke up with her two weeks later, at the time he said it was due to the long distance.
In 2006 Bass came out as gay to the public. Fishel and Bass are close friends now, and even developing a movie about their romance.
Now, Fishel is happily married to Jensen Karp, a musician and radio host. He is recognizable from the infamous Cinnamon Toast Crunch incident that went viral on Twitter where Karp claimed to have found cinnamon coated shrimp tails in a bag of the cereal.
Fishel and Karp married in 2018, and now have two sons together.