Photo: Tiffani Thiessen Stuns on the Red Carpet
Tiffani Thiessen would look pretty good at her high school reunions. Both of them.
The "White Collar" actress, who of course will forever be remembered by Gen X-ers as cheerleader Kelly Kapowski on "Saved by the Bell," got some people to sit up and pay attention at a storytelling event recently. The Valley Professional/Bayside High School alum was there to listen to the likes of Octavia Spencer, Nathan Lane, and her co-star Matt Bomer tell personal tales at "The Moth's Storytelling Tour: A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power." USA Network teamed up with the Moth, a New York-based organization that just this week received a MacArthur Foundation grant, for the national tour. Besides live readings, the not-for-profit Moth hosts the weekly Moth Radio Hour and broadcasts in 250 stations about 10 times a year. The tour so far has showcased the likes of Meghan McCain, Pam Grier, and Army Lt. Dan Choi who publicly protested "don't ask, don't tell."
Since 2009, the 38-year-old Thiessen has been playing Elizabeth Burke, married to Bomer's character Peter Burke, on the USA cable show. And just like a good wife, Thiessen -- with other co-workers -- was at the West Hollywood event to support Bomer's recent public acknowledgment of his same-sex partner, Simon Halls, and their three kids. "I adore Matt. I adore his family," Thiessen said at the event. "I think he's beautiful and I think his family is beautiful."
Thiessen herself, of course, is known for being -- OK, besides beautiful -- a dedicated family woman herself. Her grandparents were together 67 years, and her parents have been married since 1963. After one broken engagement to former "Two Guys and a Girl" co-star Richard Ruccolo, Thiessen has been a wife to actor/artist Brady Smith and mom to their toddler, Harper. "I’m in more of a supporting role, which is nice right now, as a mom," she told Parade magazine recently. "And being older, I appreciate it more. I don’t think you understand what a job really is when you’re a teenager."
The focus means that, despite "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon's efforts, the former Miss Junior America isn't interested in any "Saved by the Bell" reunion. "It’s not something I want or need to do, and a few of us feel the same way," Thiessen said in that same interview. "We’re all doing our own thing. Jimmy’s never called me personally, only his producers. He might be a little harder to turn down."
That shouldn't be a surprise: Thiessen also passed on a "Beverly Hills 90210" rehash back in 2003, although she did share a nice Italian double date with her hubby, former castmate Jason Priestley, and Priestley's then-pregnant wife. Thiessen has steadily worked in made-for-TV movies, guest spots on sitcoms, and had a few roles in series that didn't last long.
Her one cinematic moment was in the Woody Allen film, "Hollywood Ending" (2002) and she did pull a directorial debut with a short called "Just Pray," which made the festival rounds in 2005. Now she's sticking to her third regular gig: Season 3 of "White Collar," which airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on USA, made its winter premiere January 17.