Monday, November 8, 2010

Person of the Week: Yeardley Smith

Yeardley Smith
You may not immediately recognize her face, but if you’ve seen an episode of The Simpsons at some point over the last two decades, you’ll recognize her voice. Since Lisa Simpson’s beginnings as a character in short cartoon bumpers for The Tracey Ullman show in 1987, Yeardley Smith has been her voice. Originally, Miss Smith auditioned for the part of Bart Simpson. Her voice was deemed too high to play Bart—the part going to Nancy Cartright—however, Miss Smith’s comic timing and excellent delivery made her the perfect choice for Lisa. Little did she know, twenty-three years later, she’d still be speaking for the more level-headed and socially conscious member of the Simpson family of Springfield.

Of course, there’s more to Yeardley Smith than just her voice. Born in Paris, France, in 1964, Miss Smith moved to Washington, D.C., with her family when she was only two years old. After being graduated from drama school in 1982, Smith went to New York to pursue a career in acting, appearing with Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close in the Broadway production of The Real Thing. By 1985, she was working in films such as Heaven Help Us, The Legend of Billie Jean and Maximum Overdrive.

Lisa Simpson
Fox Television
Since working on The Simpsons, Smith has also pursued other projects including roles in television programs (Dharma and Greg, and Herman’s Head, for example) and other films such as City Slickers. Smith also launched a successful Off-Broadway, one-woman show entitled More which landed her very positive reviews. In 2009, she served as executive producer and star of the film Waiting for Ophelia.

Also a talented author and painter, Smith wrote and illustrated the children’s book, I, Lorelei which was published by Harper Collins in 2009. This multitalented woman has brought so much joy into our lives through her many endeavours. For this reason, Yeardley Smith is this week’s “Person of the Week.”

Don’t forget, there’s still time to submit your nominations for “Person of the Year.” Voting will begin in December.

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