If you were in love with Tiffani Thiessen, or shall we say Kelly Kapowski, raise your hand. Okay, great, all of us. This may blow your mind now, but when Thiessen rose to fame on NBC’s Saved by the Bell, she was just 15 years old. Yes, someone who was the age of a high school student was actually playing a high school student. Crazy, we know. Usually 20 or even 30 somethings are cast in high school student roles, but not Thiessen. She couldn't drink or even drive, but she was a television star. While her youth may have played a factor in the way she enchanted audiences, Thiessen is now 42 years old and looks just as good as ever. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Kelly Kapowski still looks smokin’ hot.
Thiessen is best known for her role as Kelly and, unfortunately, never managed to find the same level success in her roles since. Thiessen, however, has found great success just being herself on Dinner at Tiffani’s, which airs on the Cooking Channel. The fact that she's found a way to transition from her teenage cheerleader role into marriage, motherhood, and a new career path is a testament to her. Most actresses would be pigeonholed into Kelly Kapowski forever. I mean, Kelly Kapowski casts a large, large shadow. This was a character so hot that Zach Morris had a cardboard cutout of her.
Kelly Kapowski or not, Tiffani Thiessen will be hot forever. It's just a plain fact. If you're doubtful, there are 15 photos below that totally prove our case.
15. Typical Kelly Kapowski
This is a shot taken for Saved by the Bell, so Thiessen could have been anywhere from 15 to 19 years old in this photo. Most girls go through some kind of an awkward stage around this point in their life, but not Thiessen. Girlfriend was just born hot. Yes, she’s even hot with her '90s hair. The clothes they have Thiessen rocking are wonderfully '90s as well. The jeans look about 2 sizes too big for her, and are being held up by an oversized belt. It doesn't get more '90s than that. If this picture doesn’t bring back nostalgia for the simpler times, we don’t know what will.
Thiessen’s Kelly Kapowski was almost too perfect to be true. She was the most popular girl in school and the head cheerleader. She was also on the volleyball, swim, and softball teams. She was a good student. Oh, and she was the hottest high school student ever. It left some pretty high expectations for what high school girls were supposed to be like.
14. The Cutest Hot Tub Ever
We can all agree that no one has ever looked so adorable in a hot tub, right? In this photo, Thiessen looks beautiful sans makeup and rocking a pink bikini. She also looks a bit older than her Saved by the Bell days, which makes us feel much more comfortable commenting on how hot she is. We almost wish we never found out that she was 15 years old on Saved by the Bell.
Following Saved by the Bell, which ran from 1989 – 1992, Thiessen appeared on Saved by the Bell: The College Years, which only ran for one season from 1993 – 1994. The original crew was all back for The College Years, with the exception of Elizabeth Berkley who played Jessie Spano. Jessie was written out, as she went to Columbia University. Columbia is great and all, but it's much more fun to consider the fact that Jessie may have been in rehab for her caffeine pill addiction.
8 Growing Into Her Looks
Becoming a television star at a young age means being famous at a young age, which means growing up in front of cameras. Growing up with pictures constantly being taken of you is never easy, just ask Kylie Jenner, Amanda Bynes, or anyone else who was thrust into fame at a young age. There are pictures of every awkward phase, every fashion misstep, every scandalous event. Apparently, Thiessen is the exception to this rule.
Thiessen grew up flawlessly. Her round face lost its baby fat, giving her stronger cheekbones. Her skin and eyes stayed as bright and fresh as ever. In the above photo, her face is noticeably slimmer and she still looks gorgeous. Her hair is a hue darker, which makes her light eyes pop even more so than they did on Saved by the Bell. The light blue strapless top also compliments her features and her physique wonderfully. Like we said, Tiffani Thiessen is and will be always be hot. If we could all grow into our looks as effortlessly as Thiessen, that would be great.
12. Trying To Break Free Of Kelly Kapowski
When you are introduced to the world at a younger age, it can be difficult to make people take you seriously as an adult performer. It often requires a person to work extra hard in order to shed their youthful image. Basically every single Disney star has struggled with this transition. Christina Aguilera had to become XTina and wear leather chaps. Britney Spears had to dance with a python. Miley Cyrus had to twerk. Vanessa Hudgens had to star in Spring Breakers. We can only assume that Thiessen's shorter hairstyle and racy photoshoot were an attempt to further herself from Kelly Kapowski.
Thiessen's role as Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills, 90210 also helped her distance herself from Kelly Kapowski. Her new television character was someone who lied, was sexually active, participated in affairs, and dabbled with drugs. This was a far, far cry from good girl Kelly Kapowski.
7 The Weirdest, Hottest Bikini Of All Time
We may not fully understand this bikini, but we’re also not complaining. The black bikini top ties around, and around, and around her body. This seems like overkill since one tie in the back usually does the trick, but it's also really hot. Pairing this with teeny, white bottoms is an odd choice. It seems more like they couldn’t find the matching pair. Perhaps the costume designer forgot to pack...? We would speculate all day. Whatever the case, we’re just going to go with it, because Tiffani Thiessen looks smokin’ hot.
Thiessen finally grew into her womanly body. The days of knobby knees and chubby cheeks on Saved by the Bell were gone. Yes, Kelly Kapowski was hot, but Tiffani Thiessen was proving to be even hotter. Just when you could think, "eh, she’ll probably peak in high school," about all those gorgeous, perfect high school girls who wouldn't go to prom with you, Tiffani Thiessen goes and proves you wrong. Sorry, guys. Thiessen doesn't peak.
10. A Not-So-Great Hairstyle, But Still Hot
It’s said that blondes have more fun, but not in Thiessen's case. Oddly enough, Thiessen doesn’t look that great with blonde hair. We still have to hand it to her for trying out something new. Experimentation is fun. Even Kim K, known for her long, dark hair, went bleach blonde at one point.
Thiessen certainly looks better with her normal, darker hue. The contrast of her dark hair against her light eyes really illuminates her face. Unfortunately, with blonde hair, her eyes get less attention. The cut and style of her hair in this photo also aren't helping. However, we will say that Thiessen doesn’t look awful with blonde hair. In fact, she still looks pretty hot. We just perfect her natural, darker hair color.
Also, way to rock a cheetah print bra and only button one button. It nearly made us all forget about the blonde hair.
6 FYI, Tiffani Has Some Curves
Tiffani Thiessen has some curves, you guys. In a mega hot photoshoot, Thiessen rocked a matching navy blue lacy underwear set. She really brought the sex appeal and broke completely free of that innocent girl-next-door thing she had going on. You would be hard-pressed to find a guy who would be willing to get out of that bed.
After a whopping 136 episodes on Beverly Hills, 90210, Thiessen bounced around a bit. She had a short stint on Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place (the launchpad for Ryan Reynolds) for 8 episodes and Just Shoot Me! for 3 episodes. After having starred on Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210, Tiffani Thiessen was a household name. However, it was this popularity that worked against her. She was a ‘90s star, known for her good looks and starring on shows that appeal to a younger audience. It was hard to overcome everyone's notions about her and land another long-standing role.
5 Who Looks This Good Going To The Post Office?
When most people go to the post office, they don’t look like this. Their hair will be messy. Their face will not be perfectly made-up. They simply don’t look this good. Tiffani Thiessen, on the other hand, looks good even when she’s going to the post office of all places. It’s honestly a little weird, and maybe supernatural, how good she looks on her way to the post office. We’ll just have to assume that she had a hot lunch date following this errand.
Speaking of supernatural things, when Shannon Doherty left Charmed, Thiessen was the first choice to replace her on the show. This is fitting since Thiessen's role on Beverly Hills, 90210 was following Doherty’s departure as well. Thiessen turned down the role on Charmed, hoping an NBC pilot she had filmed would be picked up. Unfortunately, her gamble didn't pay off.The pilot was not picked up and the Charmed role went to Rose McGowan, who appeared on the show for 112 episodes.
Well, you win some, you lose some, Thiessen. And hey, you’re always a winner when you look like this at the post office.
7. Proof That She May Have Made Yoga Pants Happen
Did Tiffani Thiessen make yoga pants happen? Those are definitely yoga pants and she's rocking them way back in the '90s. Perhaps, we owe the whole yoga pants trend to Tiffani Thiessen. That's one more thing to be thankful to Thiessen for.
This is a much younger picture of Thiessen. We thought we’d throw it right in the middle here to remind you that she’s literally been beautiful forever, or more precisely, since 1987. It was that year that Thiessen was crowned Miss Junior America, at just 13 years old. The next year, Thiessen won Teen magazine’s Great Model Search and was rewarded by gracing the cover. She just kept on winning. In 1989, Cover Girl magazine named her “Model of the Year.” This was all before she was even on Saved by the Bell. Tiffani Thiessen has a face that was just meant to be famous.
4 Alright, This Is The Hottest Picture Ever
Yeah, so this may be one of the hottest photos ever taken. We’ll just leave that at that.
In 2002, Thiessen had seemingly more luck with a television role. She scored a starring role on Fastlane, a series about two undercover cops in LA. Finally, a new show for her to star in. Though it won an Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination, that was not enough to keep the show alive. It was cancelled after only one season. This, once again, took Tiffani Thiessen from our TV screens. What the hell, Hollywood?
Thiessen then went on to appear on Good Morning, Miami, another short-lived show, for 11 episodes. In 2007, Thiessen appeared on What About Brian for 5 episodes. She popped from one show to the next, never finding something that stuck the same way Beverly Hills, 90210 or Saved by the Bell did. With such amazing luck early in her career, it seemed that Thiessen was paying her dues later.
5. She's Still A Beach Babe 20 Years Later
Thiessen could rock a bathing suit in the ‘90s and she can still rock a bathing suit now. This photo of Thiessen was snapped while she was vacationing in 2014. At this point, she was 40 years old and had given birth to her daughter, Harper. Since this bathing suit photo, Thiessen gave birth once again, to her son Holt in 2015 - but trust us, she still looks as good as this photo. Her body seems to bounce back from pregnancy with no issue.
Thiessen had both children with husband, Brady Smith, who she married in 2005. Brady Smith is also an actor, who has made appearances in several shows: ER, Charmed, Judging Amy, White Collar and others.
While her body looks as good as ever, one most notable difference in these photos is Thiessen’s skin. She doesn’t rock the bronzed skin that was so popular in the ‘90s. Now, she ops for a spray tan to save herself from skin damage.
3 Who Looks Like THIS After A Triathlon?!
This must be an actual joke. Tiffani Thiessen looks like this after participating in a triathlon. Most people look like they are dying, but Thiessen looks amazing, fresh, and bright. Actually, she looks totally adorable.
Thiessen participated in the 2011 Nautica Malibu Triathlon only 15 months after giving birth to her daughter. Like we said, Thiessen bounces back from pregnancy like it’s no biggie. Zach Morris, aka Mark Paul Gosselaar, also participated in the event that supported Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Pediatric Cancer Research Program.
But, again, who looks like this after a triathlon? If this is how good Thiessen looks without makeup on and after a tremendous amount of physical activity, we feel confident in saying that she will always, always, always be hot. Tiffani Thiessen after a triathlon > most celebrities on the red carpet.
3. Tiffani Is The Cutest Pregnant Woman Ever
Since we’ve shown you that Tiffani Thiessen can bounce back from a pregnancy like it’s no body’s business, we figured we’d show you what an adorable pregnant lady Thiessen is. She has the type of miraculous body that only carries in her stomach. If Thiessen were facing the camera directly, you probably wouldn’t even notice her baby bump. She also has that whole pregnancy glow going for her.
Before meeting Brady Smith, Thiessen dated Brian Austin Green in 1992. The fact that Green’s been with Thiessen and Megan Fox should make every guy jealous. In 1999, Thiessen was dating David Strickland, an actor most known for his role on Suddenly Susan. Strickland committed suicide, leaving Thiessen devastated for some time. Following this tragedy, Thiessen was engaged to actor Richard Ruccolo, who she met on the set of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, from 2001 to 2003. Obviously, things didn’t work out with Ruccolo, and Thiessen married Brady in 2005.
2 How Have All Of These People Aged So Well?
We may be talking about the fact that Tiffani Thiessen will be hot forever, but the truth of the matter is that the cast of Saved by the Bell will all be hot forever.
Have you seen Mario Lopez? He looks even better now than he did on the show! His body is ripped and his face looks virtually the same. It’s actually a little bit frightening how little Lopez has aged in the days since Saved by the Bell. Luckily for all the ladies out there, he’s been the co-host of Extra since 2007 so you can catch him on your television.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar still has his boyish good looks. He recently scored a major role on Fox’s Pitch, but due to so-so ratings, the fate of the show is up in the air. Elizabeth Berkley also looks just about the same, if not better. She grew into her model-like looks. Throughout Saved by the Bell, her character often complained about her height, but that same height is what makes Berkley look so hot in real life. She’s long and statuesque. There is really no way she can walk down the street without people thinking she’s a model.
What was in the water on the set of Saved by the Bell?
1 Aging Like A Goddess
When it comes down to it, Tiffani Thiessen is aging like a pro. She doesn’t look exactly like she did on Saved by the Bell, but she has matured into a stunning woman. Her career has also managed to mature along with her. Thiessen finally found a role that fit her on White Collar, in which she played Elizabeth Burke for 81 episodes between 2009 – 2014. To date, that’s the last acting role Thiessen has appeared in on television or film. Her biggest project now is Dinner At Tiffani’s on Cooking Channel, which is airing its third season this year. Sure it may have taken Thiessen some time to find her footing after her huge roles on Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210, but we’re happy she has. Thiessen should always be on our TVs in one way or another.
When it comes down to it, Thiessen is just one of those beautiful people who will always look good. She looked good at 15 years old and she looks good at 42 years old. She looks good when she’s done running a friggin’ triathlon. She looks good with nearly nothing on. Moral of the story is that Thiessen was, is, and will always be hot. It’s just a fact.
If this article made you nostalgic for the hotties of your youth, check out 15 Hottest Female Television Stars Of The ’90s.
Sources: Dailymail, IMDB, Wikipedia