Courtney Thorne-Smith (born November 8, 1967) is an American actress. She is best known for her portraying of Alison Parker on Melrose Place, Georgia Thomas on Ally McBeal, and Cheryl in According to Jim.
She was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in Menlo Park, a suburb south of the city. Her father, Walter Smith, was a computer market researcher and her mother was a therapist. They divorced when she was 7, and she lived with both at different stages. She attended Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, California, and graduated from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California, in 1985. She also performed with the Ensemble Theater Company in Mill Valley while attending high school.
Thorne-Smith made her first film appearance in the 1986 feature film drama Lucas alongside Winona Ryder, Corey Haim, and Charlie Sheen. She was also involved in a number of movies in the late 1980s, such as Summer School (1987), Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise (1987), Side Out (1990), and Chairman of the Board (1998).