Inside Tiffani Thiessen And Brady Smith’s Marriage

Onscreen, she may be Mrs. Zack Morris (and California’s first lady!), but in real life, Tiffani Thiessen’s heart belongs only to artist and actor Brady Smith. 

Thiessen’s breakout role as the ever-cheerful cheerleader Kelly Kapowski came when she was just 15, on the ’90s teen sitcom “Saved by the Bell.” She followed that up by playing the equally iconic Valerie Malone on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Since her early days at Bayside High, Thiessen has been busy, from roles in movies including “Son-in-Law” and “The Ladies Man” to co-starring on the USA hit “White Collar,” Netflix’s “Alexa & Katie,” and Peacock’s “Saved by the Bell” reboot. 

The veteran screen star has stepped into the celebrity chef and lifestyle space, too. “I’m 45 years old now, and I’m working harder than I did when I was in my twenties,” Thiessen told InStyle in 2019. Her life with Smith, whom she married in 2005, and their children is a big part of that, pieces of which she shares often with her fans. 

Tiffani Thiessen's husband, Brady Smith, is an artist, author, and actor

A leap of faith took Brady Smith to the West Coast. After graduating with an arts degree, Smith worked freelance gigs and was a professional painter in Houston, Texas. Unhappy with his early career, Smith decided to jump off that proverbial cliff in 2000 and pursue his creative passions. “I moved to LA. I didn’t know anyone there at all. So I decided to try the very, very easy career of acting!” he joked to Romper in 2019.

After years of crashing with friends and working random gigs, Smith finally landed an agent. Since then, he’s appeared in a wide range of shows and films, from “Parks and Recreation,” “NCIS,” “ER,” “Charmed,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” to the Charlize Theron film “Young Adult.” But it’s Smith’s artwork that really drives him. His illustrations are infused with bright colors and bubbly, action-packed graphics, a style he calls “Tex-Mex,” inspired by his upbringing in southern Texas. In 2021, Smith published the interactive activity/sketchbook “Random Acts of Drawness!” based on his popular Instagram series, and also wrote and illustrated the upcoming children’s book “I’m Getting a Shark!”

Here's how Brady Smith 'swept' Tiffani Thiessen off her feet

Sparks flew when Tiffani Thiessen met Brady Smith in 2004. According to People, Smith was filming an appearance on the WB series “What I Like About You,” and the show’s star, Jennie Garth, made the introductions. At the time, Thiessen said of Garth, her former 90210 co-star (and former close friend), “Jennie gets thanked every day.”

Smith and Thiessen felt a strong connection right from the start, but Smith later revealed that it was Thiessen who made the first move. “Obviously, I wanted to kiss her, but I wasn’t gonna be that dude that tries to kiss on the first date. But then she leaned in and laid one on me,” Smith told Yahoo Life in 2019, adding, “And I don’t even remember the drive home.” As for Thiessen, she simply couldn’t help herself, or as she recalled of the moment, “Baby, you just swept me off my feet.” 

Even cuter? Smith still has the piece of paper Thiessen gave him with her phone number on it. He keeps it tacked up in a special spot in his studio.

Brady Smith's literal storybook proposal to Tiffani Thiessen

A garden-set ceremony in sunny Montecito, California? Check. A French Provencal dinner with a reception to follow? Done. Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith tied the knot in the summer of 2005 and celebrated with friends, family, and many former co-stars, including Tori Spelling and Jason Priestley.

But before the fairy-tale wedding came the super-romantic proposal. “I made a book, and I called it ‘The Tiffani & Brady Chronicles,'” Smith told Yahoo Life, adding, “Each page was trips we’ve taken, stuff that we had done together, special sweet moments. And then the last page, I drew myself down on one knee proposing. And then when she got to that page, she looked up, and then I got down on one knee and proposed.”

Smith and Thiessen welcomed their first child, daughter Harper Renn, in 2010. Son Holt Fisher arrived in 2015, of which Thiessen shared on Instagram, “My heart could not be more full of love for these two. #weareblessed”

The couple that works together stays together

From “White Collar” to “Alexa & Katie,” you might’ve noticed Tiffani Thiessen’s husband, Brady Smith, popping up in a number of the actor and cookbook author’s projects. He also cameoed in her hilarious 2009 Funny Or Die video “Tiffani Thiessen Is Busy.” The viral clip spoofed Thiessen keeping “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon at arm’s length when he was trying to organize a “Saved by the Bell” reunion on his late-night show.

Blending her passions, cooking and TV, Thiessen started co-hosting MTV’s “Deliciousness” in 2020, leading the all-star panel of Angela Kinsey, Kel Mitchell, and Tim Chantarangsu as they take on the wildest food videos from around the internet. “It’s all food-based, which is my jam, and it’s super funny,” Thiessen told People. “It’s probably the most fun and the easiest job that I get to go to, and that I’ve ever had in my career — truly! It is such a blast.”

Smith, a big fan of “Ridiculousness,” from which “Deliciousness” was spun, convinced his wife to take the hosting gig. “When I got the call about looking into doing this show … you said to me, ‘You better do this new show or we’re getting divorced,'” Thiessen joked in a joint interview with ET. While Smith responded, “I would have never divorced you,” Thiessen added, “No, [but] you were like, ‘Oh my gosh, babe. You gotta do this show!'”

Tiffani Thiessen's husband has never seen an episode of Saved by the Bell

As Zack Morris would say, “Time out!” Brady Smith revealed to Access Hollywood in 2019 that he’s never seen an episode of Tiffani Thiessen’s seminal ’90s sitcom “Saved by the Bell.” “Is that a music video?” Smith said to shocked hosts Scott Evans and Kit Hoover as they showed a clip of the show’s legendary Hot Sundae girl band featuring the aerobicizing styles of Thiessen’s Kelly Kapowski, Elizabeth Berkley’s Jessie Spano, and Lark Voorhies’ Lisa Turtle.

Thiessen played Kapowski throughout the show’s five-season run on NBC from 1989 to 1992 and in multiple made-for-TV movies and the higher-ed spinoff, “Saved by the Bell: The College Years.” As the series has settled into its well-earned spot in pop culture lore, Thiessen has come to see her perky, girl-next-door character in a more nuanced light. “I think she may have been [a feminist] without knowing it,” Thiessen said (via Page Six) at the BlogHer Creators Summit in 2018. “I think truly out of all the characters, the feminist role was Elizabeth Berkley [who played Jessie, but] I think in [Kelly’s] mind it was different. She came from having a lot of brothers and sisters, which was all about sharing and having to be all about family, [and] didn’t have a lot of money, so she made her mark by the little that she had, and there’s something to be said for that.”

Tiffani Thiessen featured her husband and kids on her show Dinner at Tiffani's

At some point, Tiffani Thiessen began focusing on expanding her work in the celebrity cooking and lifestyle arena. For Thiessen, it’s been a natural, and fun, transition. “My career has changed. I’m still acting and all that, but I have a whole other side of my career that I have been able to create from the love of food that I have and build a whole separate career and whole other brand,” the author of the 2018 cookbook “Pull Up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours” said to Forbes in 2021. “Also, I think too being a mom, my priorities have changed. It’s harder for me to take a job that’s not in my town. I need to find ways to still make money but also be creative and fulfill in my own way.”

On Thiessen’s Cooking Channel show, “Dinner at Tiffani’s,” which ran from 2015 to 2017, the actor invited friends and former co-stars into her home kitchen for a good meal. Everyone from Matt Bomer and Tim Meadows to Daisy Fuentes and Zack Morris himself, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, stopped by, but it was Thiessen’s husband, Brady Smith, who appeared most often, as did the couple’s two kids. Thiessen told InStyle about daughter Harper, “She had me record her doing ‘Dinner at Harper’s’ … It was pretty funny.”

Art and creativity are a big part of Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith's family life

Art isn’t just Brady Smith’s day job; it’s something he engages in often with wife Tiffani Thiessen and their kids, Harper and Holt. “We do a lot of chalk art outside,” Thiessen told E!. “That’s a big one we do almost every day.”

Smith has kept a daily illustrated journal since his college days, capturing everyday moments for two decades. It started on a trip to Europe, Smith told the Texas Titans Podcast with Jason Wright, “I started doing these illustrated journals — my dad gave me one — right when I got on the plane. I had never kept a journal in my life. [My dad was like] ‘You’re gonna get bored. Draw something that’s funny. In 20 years, you’ll never remember what you’re doing right now.’ And I took that to heart, and I still do a daily journal to this day … for going on 19 years now.”

In 2019, Smith and Thiessen co-authored the Smith-illustrated children’s book “You’re Missing It!” about the importance of staying in the moment when it’s family time. “Our book is about a father who’s on the phone, and his son is just trying to get him to look up and just not miss the little things, the wonderful things in life,” Smith told Yahoo Life. Added Thiessen, “I think sometimes when you see those simple things through the eyes of kids, it’s kind of amazing.”

Life's (kind of) a farm for Brady Smith and Tiffani Thiessen

Though they work in the glitz and glam of Hollywood, Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith try to keep their family life in Los Angeles as outdoorsy and nature-filled as possible. In addition to the couple’s four dogs, they’ve also got eight chickens and a fish! The family eats dinner together every night, no phone or other electronic devices allowed. “We’re those people that love spending time together as a family. We love being outside with our kids,” Thiessen Yahoo Life. According to Smith, “By Hollywood standards, it’s actually pretty wonderfully boring.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Thiessen-Smith family took advantage of their cabin in the mountains outside LA. “It’s fun and refreshing, and gives us a much-needed break during quarantine!” Thiessen told Us Weekly last summer. “We [cook] a lot of things. We actually grow a lot of fruits and vegetables here, which has been really fun with the kids. We’ve made tomato tarts and grilled pizzas … We’re always constantly making something. It’s been a lot of fun to have them at home and involved in that.”

Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith keep it real when it comes to marriage and life with kids

Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith have been open about balancing work responsibilities and a happy family life. The couple doesn’t employ a nanny, and “[getting] on each other’s nerves” is “of course” a thing, Thiessen Us Weekly in 2020. But good communication, and humor in particular, is the couple’s anchor. “My husband and I have this wonderful relationship, and humor has a lot to do with it, [as does] communication — all those things I feel that are so, so important,” Thiessen told CinemaBlend. “I take those just being from my parents, who’ve been married for over 45 years. My grandparents were married for 67 years. It’s important.”

For Smith, his wife’s input is crucial, whether she’s into something he’s working on or not. “We always respect each other’s creative process and opinions,” Smith said to USA Today. “I think I drive my wife bonkers sometimes. I have to edit myself. I love my wife’s two cents on any creative project because she’s one smart cookie and I have to pull back a bit.” 

As for the pair’s most embarrassing kid moment? Thiessen and Smith didn’t hold back when taking Romper’s “How Well Do You Know Each Other?” quiz in 2019. Let’s just say it involves poop, a kids’ classroom, and Harper Smith calling out her very embarrassed dad.

Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith's marriage is a Hollywood anomaly

Fifteen years of marriage is a big accomplishment for anyone, but in Hollywood? That’s an occasion to celebrate. Tiffani Thiessen had the same idea in the summer of 2020. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, she surprised her husband, Brady Smith, on their fifteenth anniversary with a backyard version of their special day.

Thiessen shared a pic on Instagram of the loved-up couple celebrating the occasion, captioning the snap, “I recreated [an] ‘at home’ version of our wedding. From the table, to the flowers, to the decor and even the menu … It was a memorable night to say the least … and I think I blew my husband’s socks off. (Brownie Points!)”

All the uncertainties and challenges of 2020 had Thiessen focusing on upsides. “It’s caused my husband and I to slow down a little bit at times and really kind of come together as a family … It’s really pushed us even more so where it’s just us,” Thiessen told E!. “And there’s something really wonderful about that.”

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