Brian Thomas Smith played the less-than-smart boyfriend of Penny on Big Bang Theory, but the actor got his start on the reality series The Amazing Race, competing with his brother.
Brian Thomas Smith was born on May 13, 1977, in St. Louis, Missouri, and attended Central Missouri Central University before relocating to Los Angeles. The actor is of English, Welsh, Irish, German, Cherokee, and Ashkenazi-Jewish descent.
Smith took Laura Downing’s “Introduction to Acting” class, where she encouraged him to audition for the spring play. After landing the part, Smith changed his minor to theater and continued to perform in mainstage and single-act productions.
The actor bartended until he moved to Los Angeles in 2000. Throughout his career, Smith has worked alongside many of his Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers in various film and television projects.
The Amazing Race
Smith appeared on the seventh season of The Amazing Race with his younger brother, Greg. In 2005, the pair competed on the CBS reality game show and ended the competition in sixth place. The brothers and the cameraman were in a car accident in the sixth leg of the race, pushing them to last place. Despite catching up to the team in front of them, they would not continue in the competition.
Two and a Half Men
One of Smith’s first acting credits was in a single episode of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. The actor played Emmett in the 2006 episode Ergo, the Booty Call. The television series starred Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Angus T. Jones and ran for 12 seasons. Fans of the show will remember Sheen’s highly-publicized exit from the show, eventually being replaced by Ashton Kutcher.
A Good Knight’s Quest
In 2010, Smith appeared in eight episodes of A Good Knight’s Quest, playing Agent One. The television series revolves around a video game princess crossing into the real world and ultimately thrusting a nerdy gamer into a legendary adventure.
The Big Bang Theory
Smith starred as Zack Johnson in 11 episodes of the hit CBS series The Big Bang Theory. Zack was the goofy but kind boyfriend of Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and dated off and on. The couple spontaneously married in Vegas, thinking it wasn’t real; they would later annul the marriage.
Zack and his sister worked for the company that designs the menus for the Cheesecake Factory, where Penny works, and that is how the couple met. However, on the night of their first date, Penny ends up with her ex-boyfriend Leonard (Johnny Galecki) because she couldn’t deal with Zack’s lack of intelligence.
Fans of the show liked Zack’s character and, despite his dufus manner, found him sympathetic and kinder than some of Penny’s other boyfriends.
What did he do after Big Bang Theory?
Smith wrote, produced, and starred in the viral internet series The Flip Side on YouTube. The series began in 2012 and documented what happens when social norms are seen from the flip side. Smith appeared in 16 episodes of the online series between 2012-2013.
The actor would write, produce, and star in another YouTube series, Awkward Mornings. The online series discusses the awkward mornings had by many after a night out on the town. The videos are based on actual events but played by actors.
Smith played Judd (Busy Work) in the 2015 comedy-drama film Danny Collins, directed by Dan Fogelman. The film is inspired by the true-life story of folk singer Steve Tilston and stars Al Pacino, Annette Benning, Jennifer Garner, and Bobby Cannavale.
In 2012, Smith appeared in four episodes of the television series Suit Up, playing Bjorn Hansen. The show follows renowned crisis manager Jim Dunnigan, who must rescue the image at Glory University after a scandal hits the athletic department.
What is Brian Thomas Smith doing now?
Smith is still active as an actor. He had a recurring role on the sitcom United States of AI, playing Freddy, the Canadian boyfriend of Vanessa (Kelli Goss). The show follows an interpreter from Afghanistan who relocates to Ohio with a friend who is a United States Marine Corps veteran. He would appear in the show alongside notable The Big Bang Theory alum, John Ross Bowie.
Smith and Sean Astin will star in the upcoming Christmas movie Holiday Twist. While their roles have not been released, they will appear with actress Kelly Stables, whose character is described as a “Grinchy workaholic CEO.”
Fans of the actor can give and receive personal messages through Cameo. You can tell him exactly what to say, and he will deliver the message quickly.
The actor married Maggie Gonzales-Smith on October 8, 2016, in Big Bear, CA, and the couple has two children, Ollin (08/12/2000) and Rally (05/07/2022). The actor frequently posts on Instagram, where fans can see family photos and previews of upcoming projects.