Danielle Christine Fishel (born May 5, 1981)[1] is an American actress and television personality best known for her role as Topanga Lawrence on the 1993 TV sitcom Boy Meets World. She reprises the role for the 2014 spinoff Girl Meets World. She is also known for being the host of Style Network's The Dish. Fishel also appears in National Lampoon's Dorm Daze and its sequel, and was a spokesperson for NutriSystem. She is also a resident reporter on PopSugar,[2] and their spin-off YouTube channel, PopSugar Girls Guide.[3]

Early life Edit

Fishel was born in Mesa, Arizona, the daughter of Jennifer,and Rick Fishel, a medical equipment sales executive.[4] She is of half Maltese descent.[5] The family was relocated to Yorba Linda, California when she wascjust three weeks old. She has one younger brother,

Career Edit

In 1991, the then-10-year-old Fishel was discovered in a community theater where she performed in two productions, The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan. She quickly moved on to do voice-overs and commercials, including several as a Barbie Girl for Mattel. Soon after, she appeared on two episodes of the hit show Full House, guest starring as a character named Jennifer. She also had a small role on Harry and the Hendersons, playing Jessica. Fishel's mother became her full-time manager.

In 1993, at the age of 12, Fishel began her well-known role as Topanga Lawrence on ABC's pilot series Boy Meets World. Originally written as a small part, Topanga became a recurring role. After a successful first year, Fishel became a show regular.[6] Fishel's character was a sparky, intelligent girl who was mature beyond her years; she replaced the nerdy Stuart Minkus as the brains of the class. The long-running show ended in 2000 after seven years.

Fishel was on the cover of Seventeen in December 1998. She took home a 1998 Young Star for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series.[7] In June 1999, she was one of "The 21 Hottest Stars Under 21" as presented by Teen People. Fishel was on the cover of GQ's hottest stars to watch in GQ's 1997 October issue. (GQ 1997 10) She appeared in the music video for "Until You Loved Me" by Canadian music group The Moffatts.

Since Boy Meets World ended, Fishel has appeared in several films, including National Lampoon's Dorm Daze. In 2006, she appeared in three made-for-DVD releases: National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2: College at Sea (appearing again as "Marla" from the first film), the action film Gamebox 1.0 (playing a dual role), and The Chosen One, an independent animated film in which she provides the voice of the lead female character.

In 2006, Fishel appeared as a guest on The Tyra Banks Show where she discussed her dramatic weight loss with the use of the Nutrisystems Diet.[8] Following her appearance on the show, Fishel became a spokesperson for NutriSystem. She also became a special correspondent for The Tyra Banks Show, starting in early February 2007.[9] By 2010 she had gained some of the weight back, and told People magazine she could not maintain her NutriSystem weight.[10]

In 2003, Fishel co-hosted Say What? Karaoke on MTV for one season. From August 2008 to March 2011 Fishel hosted The Dish for the Style Network, which satirized pop culture in a format similar to sister network E! Entertainment Television's The Soup. Fishel was also on Fuse TV as host of The Fuse 20, and was a guest star on the round table on an episode of Chelsea Lately. Beginning in 2012, Fishel became the host of MSN TV's Last Night on TV.

In 2013, Fishel starred in the controversial drama, Boiling Pot, which is based on true events of racism that occurred on college campuses across the country during the 2008 Presidential election. The film, written and directed by the Ashmawey brothers under AshmaweyFilms, also stars Academy Award-winner Louis Gossett Jr., Keith David, M. Emmet Walsh, and John Heard. Fishel plays an average college girl, naive regarding racism and unaware of its existence. She struggles to find acceptance from her parents for her non-white fiance and quickly gets tangled in racist events happening on campus. Boiling Pot is set to release in 2014.[11] In October 2013, she was featured in Clapping for the Wrong Reasons, a short film to promote Childish Gambino's second studio album, Because the Internet.

Fishel currently reprises her role of Topanga Lawrence in the Boy Meets World spin-off series, Girl Meets World. The series premiered on Disney Channel on June 27, 2014, and features Topanga and her Boy Meets World love interest Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) married in their adult years with two children. The series follows Cory and Topanga's daughter Riley (Rowan Blanchard) as she enters middle school and tries to navigate through life.

Personal life Edit

It has been reported that Fishel dated her Boy Meets World co-star Ben Savage.[8][9] However, in a 2013 interview with Maxim, Fishel revealed that this was only a rumor that she accidentally started during an appearance on The Tyra Banks Show—in fact, she and Savage only went on one dinner date as teenagers, and "by the time the dinner was over we realized mutually that we were more like family than lovers."[12]

She dated former 'N Sync member Lance Bass from 1999 to 2000, and he was her date to her high school prom.[13] In 2007, Fishel was arrested in Los Angeles County on a drunk driving warrant.[14]

At age 27,[15] Fishel began attending California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), graduating in 2013.[16] During her university studies, she became a math tutor, leading her to meet fellow student Tim Belusko.[15] After over three years of dating, she became engaged to Belusko in May 2012.[12] They married on October 19, 2013 in Los Angeles.[17]

Filmography Edit

Film Edit

Year Title Role 2000 Longshot Gloria
2003 National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze Marla
2004 Gamebox 1.0 Kate / Princess
2006 National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2 Marla
2007 The Chosen One Donna Goldstein (voice)
2013 Boiling Pot Valerie Davis

Television Edit

Year Title Role Notes 1992-1993 Full House Jennifer P. Episode: "I'm Not D.J.", "Silence Is Not Golden"
1993 Harry and the Hendersons Jessica Episode: "The Long Goodbyes: Part 2"
1993-2000 Boy Meets World Topanga Lawrence-Matthews 134 episodes
1996 Kirk Heather Episode: "Stuck on You"
1997 ABC TGIF Topanga Episode: "Frightful Halloween Bash"
2000 Rocket's Red Glare Sarah Miller TV movie
2001-2002 Nikki Stacy Episode: "Vaya Con Nikki", "Welcome to the Rest of Your Life"
2002 The Nightmare Room Counselor Episode: "Camp Nowhere: Part 1"
2003 Say What? Karaoke Herself/Host
2003 Yes, Dear Katie Episode: "Sorority Girl"
2006 The Tyra Banks Show Herself Episode: Danielle Fishel; Jordin Sparks
2008-2011 The Dish Herself/Host
2009 The Fuse 20 Herself/Host
2011 Parenthood Animal Lady
2014-present Girl Meets World Topanga Lawrence-Matthews

Awards Edit

Year Result Award Category Work
1995 Nominated[18] Young Artist Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress: TV Comedy Series Boy Meets World
1996 Nominated[19] Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Comedy: Supporting Young Actress

References Edit

  1. Jump up^ "Danielle Fishel: Biography". Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  2. Jump up^ "POPSUGAR Entertainment". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  3. Jump up^ "popsugargirlsguide". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  4. Jump up^ Danielle Fishel Biography (1981-). Accessed 2010-05-10.
  5. Jump up^ "Twitter". Retrieved 2013-02-05.
  6. Jump up^ Biography for Danielle Fishel. IMDb. Retrieved 2007-09-19.
  7. Jump up^ "Awards for Boy Meets World (1993)". Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b The Tyra Banks Show. Friday, October 6, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-06.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b 411 Movies Interview: Danielle Fishel of Boy Meets World and Game Box 1.0.(March 22, 2007). Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  10. Jump up^ Boy Meets World's Danielle Fishel 'I'm Okay with My Weightt'. (January 25, 2010)People. v73 n.3. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  11. Jump up^ Boiling Pot bubbles with racial tension. (January 2013) Daily Titan. Retrieved 2013-04-10
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b "Interview: April Cover Girl Danielle "Topanga" Fishel". Maxim. March 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  13. Jump up^ Valerie Nome (January 17, 2009). Danielle Fishel Talks Lance Bass, Love Life - Dustin Mullins 2004. OK! Magazine. Accessed 2010-05-10.
  14. Jump up^ "Former child star Fishel arrested". USA Today. December 23, 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  15. ^ Jump up to:a b "Boy Meets World's Danielle Fishel Is Engaged, Graduates College". Us Weekly. December 20, 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  16. Jump up^ Levy, Gabrielle (December 2012). "'Boy Meets World' star Danielle Fishel graduates college, gets engaged at 31". United Press International. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  17. Jump up^ Eggenberger, Nicole (October 19, 2013). "Danielle Fishel Marries Fiance Tim Belusko in Downtown L.A. Wedding". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  18. Jump up^ 17th Young Artist Awards (1995). Accessed 2012-06-06.
  19. Jump up^

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