Yeardley Smith Biography: In Her Own Words – Exclusive Video, News, Photos, Age
Yeardley Smith is an American actress, artist and writer. She is best known for voicing Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons.
YEARDLEY SMITH BIOGRAPHY: AGE, EARLY LIFE, FAMILY, EDUCATION
Yeardley Smith was born on July 3, 1964 (Yeardley Smith: Age 58) in Paris, France to Joseph Smith and Martha Mayor. The family moved to Washington D.C. in 1966 where Smith’s father worked as the first obituary writer for The Washington Post and her mother worked as a paper conservator for the Smithsonian Institute.
In an exclusive interview with uInterview, Smith revealed how she got started acting.
“There was a woman in my neighborhood in Washington, D.C. who used to put on, in the summer she would gather up all the kids, she had eight kids of her own, all the kids in the neighborhood and we would lip sync to songs like from Sound of Music or Fiddler on the Roof or Mary Poppins and dress us up in these costumes,” she explained. “And one of the other pieces of the Saturday night performance with all of the parents standing- we all of the garages were on this sort of web of alleyways in D.C., so parents would stand in the alley while all the other kids in the neighborhood would sit in this tiny garage on the floor.”
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“I remember also being chosen to be a living portrait of a painting by Mary Cassatt, The Girl in the Straw Hat and I remember she dressed me in a frock and a little straw hat,” Smith continued. “There was music like, I don’t know, Bach playing behind me and I remember there was a little curtain and before the curtain was pulled back I was standing behind it and my knees were knocking and I was so nervous and the curtain pulled back and I felt the light on my face and I stood as still as a statue because, of course, I’m a portrait, and my knees stopped knocking and I thought, ‘wow, I think I feel safe here. I feel at home here,’ and that was really when I thought I wanted to be an actor. And then what really sealed the deal is when I was eleven I played Dagmar in I Remember Mama in a middle school production of the play and with the first line out of my mouth I got a huge laugh and I went, ‘that’s the magic.'”
YEARDLEY SMITH BIOGRAPHY: CAREER
After graduating from drama school in 1982, Smith started her acting career. She joined the local Arena Stage theater group before moving to New York City in 1984 and performed in the Broadway play, The Real Thing.
Smith’s first film roles were in Heaven Help Us (1985) and The Legend of Billie Jean (1985), both of which bombed at the box office.
In 1986, Smith moved to L.A. for a promising audition for a TV film but was not cast. Smith struggled with her career after and returned to the theater with roles in Living on Salvation Street, Boys and Girls/Men and Women and How the Other Half Loves.
Smith feared that her acting career was over, but luckily the casting director for The Simpsons, Bonita Pietila, saw Smith in Living on Salvation Street and asked her to audition for Bart Simpson. Pietila said that her voice was too high for Bart and instead offered her the role of Lisa. Smith has voiced Lisa since 1987.
In an exclusive interview with uInterview, Smith revealed why she still loves voicing Lisa Simpson after all these years.
“I love Lisa Simpson,” she said. “I love her. Love her like she is a living, breathing, three-dimensional red-blooded little girl and it’s such a pleasure and an honor and a joy to be a part of her creation. I love it when they take her out of her comfort zone, I think she’s so funny, she’s so nimble and because she always tries so hard, you know, the downside of Lisa Simpson is that she’s a perfectionist, which of course I am as well – which in my 58 years of life finally learned is a zero-sum game but yet it’s a hard habit to break – and so when things go sideways for Lisa Simpson she doesn’t just throw in the towel she’s like, ‘Oh my God I will rise to the occasion what is the occasion what is what is my strategy, Oh my God.’”
“You know she’s so nimble, she just has such resilience and I feel like Lisa Simpson is pretty obvious, you know, what you see is what you get with her,” Smith continued. “I think perhaps what some people missed with this show, The Simpsons as a whole is at the end of the day this family really really loves each other, they love each other, and the dysfunction is just part of the chemistry, but they’re never going to abandon each other, even when they fight, even when they, you know, don’t get along, they don’t see eye to eye, at the end of the day they love each other and I actually think that’s sort of rare.”
For her role as Lisa Simpson, Smith won a Primetime Emmy in 1992 for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance.
Some of Smith’s other acting credits include movies like Toys (1992), As Good as it Gets (1997), The Simpsons Movie (2007), Tug (2009), Virginia (2010) and Miles (2016). Some of Smith’s TV acting credits include guest appearances in Square One Television, Murphy Brown, Empty Nest, Nash Bridges, The Big Bang Theory, The Mindy Project and Mom.
Smith was also part of the main cast for the show Herman’s Head from 1991-1994.
YEARDLEY SMITH BIOGRAPHY: WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE
The movie Who Are You People follows the story of 16-year-old Alex (Ema Horvath) as she searches for her biological father who her mother Sarah (Smith) kept secret. Alex learns more about her family’s past than she bargained for and must deal with these secrets herself.
In an exclusive interview with uInterview, Smith described why she took the role and what her character is like.
“Well the truth is I took the role because they asked me and, you know, I’m a pushover,” she laughed. “I really loved that Sarah, my character, that she’s very conservative, she’s very buttoned up. She’s quite religious, she likes things just so. Even the way she dresses, you know, she hasn’t really gone with the time, she hasn’t really adapted with the time. You sort of look at her and go, ‘what decade are you in?’ But despite all of those qualities, that seeming rigidity, she’s actually quite generous and flexible, you know.”
“She’s deeply invested in Devon [Sawa]‘s characters redemption and while she kind of makes him work for it every day,” Smith continued. “She is confident that he deserves a second chance even though this horrible thing happened years ago and then he sort of really s— the bed and didn’t help himself. Going forward, she’s like, ‘listen that doesn’t have to be your only story.’ And then, even as she’s sort of suspicious of Alex, which is Ema Horvath’s character, she comes to find great affection for her. So in that very last scene when Alex’s leaving and Sarah saying goodbye, I’m not one of those actors they can go, ‘Cry, Yardley, cry’ and I’m like ‘OK’ and it just happens, you know. I sort of have to get there, but all I had to do was imagine never seeing Ema again and I really was deeply saddened by that. So on the page, I think Sarah could seem kind of two-dimensional but it turned out she had a lot of layers and I was really delighted to play her.”
Watch the full interview here.
Yeardley Smith was born on July 3, 1964.
Yeardley Smith was born in Paris, France.
Yeardley Smith is 58 years old.
Yeardley Smith’s full name is Martha Maria Yeardley Smith.
Yes, Yeardley Smith is currently married to Daniel Grice. She was previously married to Christopher Grove and Daniel Erickson.
No, Yeardley Smith does not have children.
Yeardley Smith’s Instagram handle is: @yeardley_smith
Yeardley Smith’s Twitter handle is: @YeardleySmith
Yeardley Smith News
- VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: The Simpsons’ Yeardley Smith Reveals Why She Loves Voicing Lisa Simpson Still
- VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: The Simpsons’ Star Yeardley Smith On ‘Who Are You People’
- Ryan Murphy Recruits 49 Celebrities For Orlando Tribute
- Harry Shearer Returning To ‘The Simpsons’ After Announcing His Departure
- Hank Azaria To Host Live Show At Hollywood Bowl Celebrating 'The Simpsons' 25th Anniversary
- 'The Simpsons' May Be Facing Cancellation
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