Born in San Franciso, California on November 8, 1967, Courtney Thorne Smith has had quite a career shift over the past five years.
Originally famous for her role as Allison, the good girl with bad taste in men, on Melrose Place (1992-1997), Courtney has been playing the sweet and rather conservative wife of bad boy Jim Belushi on ABC's According To Jim since 2001. In fact, the show celebrated its 100th episode in 2005.
Between her long run on Melrose Place and her current run on According To Jim, the actress appeared on Ally McBeal as Georgia Thomas.
Courtney caused the media to buzz during her Melrose Place days when she had a high profile relationship with her leading man Andrew Shue (Billy). She also dated hunky actor Drew Pillsoury who guest starred on the popular series.
Her appearances on Ally McBeal were also somewhat controversial at the time because of media focus on the shrinking weight of the lead actresses.
Since she joined the cast of ABC's very popular According To Jim the beauty, who also has also enjoyed success as a writer (Self, Allure Magazine), has been keeping a low profile over the past few years. Courtney is rarely seen on the various Red Carpets or other celebrity packed media events other than for specific ABC or According To Jim appearances.
Maybe Courtney is in the shadows because she has taken a sharp turn by playing a housewife and mother after two steamy soap roles. Or maybe Courtney is happy to be out of the blinding limelight of media buzz.
The fact that Courtney has been flying under the radar for the past few years is not all that surprising. She was quoted as saying: "one of the strangest things about being an actor is that people you don't know feel that they are allowed to comment on your hair, body, clothes, relationships"
Famous for her sleek and silky blonde All American girl looks, Courtney has let her super shiny tresses edge below her shoulders over the past two years in keeping with current hair trends. In 2005 she had a collarbone length edgy layered bob. For the 2005-2006 TV Season her has has grown a few inches below her shoulders. At the present time Courtney is currently wearing a soft messy fringe that she brushes slightly to one side with a few strands
Courtney didn't always have long lush strands. She created quite a stir in 2000 when she appeared at a media event with a super short chop. Although the beautiful blonde actress looked stunning, it was quite a departure from her standard below-the-shoulder looks that she sported during her sizzling run on Melrose Place.
Many longtime fans did not love her chunky, choppy super short crops. They felt that it was not flattering at all.
In all fairness, the actress always looks soft and sensuous when her strands are shoulder length or longer. Depending on how she wears her strands, Courtney (called Court by friends) has a face shape that is a cross between square and heart shaped.
She has a prominent forehead and jaw with a slightly pointed chin. When she wears her tresses below her chin or to her shoulders it gives her face a more balanced look. She also looks smashing with bangs which bring attention to her famous blue eyes.
Courtney Thorne-Smith plays a very different role as Jim Belushi's wife, Cheryl, on According To Jim. Morphing from a blonde siren on Melrose Place to a sexy but savvy lawyer on Ally McBeal to a blonde mom and wife on Jim has been quite a journey. Regardless of the changes in her career over the past 10 years, Courtney is happy with her role as Cheryl and wouldn't trade it in.
Although the roles are vastly different, in the past year Courtney has let he hair grow and in many ways she has a style very similar to her days on Melrose Place.
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- Revised Publication Date: 05/22/10
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