Yeardley Smith is a name that can be found in Hollywood since the beginning of the 80s. However, you can pass her by and not know that she is the voice of Lisa Simpsons in the very popular animated TV show The Simpsons, which has become the most successful and longest-running animated TV series ever.
Yeardley is particularly grateful for her role in Simpsons, as it allows her to be popular and yet live like a normal person, as many people do not seem to recognize her.
“It’s wonderful to be in the midst of all this hype around the show, and people enjoy the show so much and are completely a fly on the wall; people never recognize me by my voice alone,” she once said. She said to Guardian in 2009, “It’s the best job ever. I’m just grateful for the freedom the Simpsons have given me in my life.”
Smith, an exceptional speaker, received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for Lisa in 1992. Read on to learn how she got to the top, how much she earned from her actions, and details about her personal life.
Yeardley Smith Bio
Smith was born on 3 July 1964 as Martha Maria Yeardley Smith in Paris, France. When she was just two years old, her family moved from Paris to Washington DC.
Her father Joseph Smith had worked at United Press International in Paris and when he arrived in the USA he became the first official obituary editor of the Washington Post. He passed in 2006.
As a child, Yeardley was often teased for her distinctive voice. “I’ve sounded pretty much the same since I was six. Maybe my voice is a little deeper now,” she once said.
She played for the first time in 6th grade and continued to play in a series of school plays. Despite her unusual voice, Smith never wanted to be a voice actor, only an actress.
Smith attended acting school and became a professional actress after graduating in 1982. As an apprentice, she joined a local theater group Arena Stage. After performing with them on a number of plays in Washington, Smith moved to New York City to advance her career.
In New York, she played in the Broadway production of The Real Thing. She made her acting debut in 1985 in the movie “Heaven Help Us”. Smith had thought that her next film role in The Legend of Billie Jean would be her big breakthrough, but she failed.
After suffering a few more flops that made her doubt her future in acting, Smith moved to Los Angeles in 1986 to improve her chances. In LA she began to play in the theater productions of Living on Salvation Street, for which she was paid $14 per performance.
It was on production that she was discovered by Simpson producer Bonnie Pietila, who needed casts for a series of animated short films about the Simpson family on The Tracey Ullman Show. Yeardley read for the role of Bart Simpsons, but she was given the role of Lisa because her voice was too high.
Apart from the Simpsons, Smith had only a few other voice roles, including We, ‘re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993) and a few commercials.
Her films include: City Slickers (1991), Toys (1992) Just Write (1997) As Good as It Gets (1997), Back by Midnight (2002), The Chaperone (2011). Smith had recurring roles in the shows “Herman’s Head” and “Dharma & Greg” and a variety of guest roles, including Revenge.
Yeardley Smith Facts
Smith taught herself how to paint by copying other artists as she filmed the first season of Hermna’s Head. She is also an author and has published a children’s book entitled “I, Lorelei” (2009). Her name is pronounced “Yard-lee”.
She was an executive producer of the independent romantic comedy Waiting For Ophelia, which had its world premiere at the Phoenix Film Festival.
She is one of the two Simpson voice characters who regularly play a role. Others are to pronounce up to 10 roles.
In 2004, Smith performed a one-woman off-broadway show entitled More, in which she treated her regrets about appearing as a trailer park girl in 1989 in the film “Ginger Ale Afternoon”. She also discussed her fight with bulimia as a teenager and said it would make her high and give her a great sense of victory. She also talked about her lonely childhood and her plastic surgeries. In 2011 she launched a Women’s Show Line Marchez Vous.
Yeardley Smith The Simpsons Salary, Net Worth
Smith’s highest-paid role as Lisa in The Simpsons. She received a salary of $30.00 per episode from 1987 to 1998. From 1998 to 2004 it rose to $125,000 per episode and from 2004 to 2008 to $250,000 per episode. Smith earned $400,000 per episode from 2008 to 2011. However, she was forced to make a 25% pay cut after Fox threatened to cancel the series if production costs were not reduced. It now earns $300,000 per episode.
This salary makes Smith one of Hollywood’s highest-paid voice actors. Adding her Simpsons paycheck with her other efforts puts her net worth at an estimated $65 million, according to Celebrity Net worth.
Yeardley Smith Family
Yeardley Smith once described her family as “upper crust and reserved”. Her parents were divorced later. Smith’s mother Martha Mayor was a paper restorer for the Freer and Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian Institute.
Smith was twice married and divorced, and there was no record of her having children.
She first married Christopher Grove, an English-Canadian actor, in 1990. The marriage lasted only two years when she filed for divorce in 1992. In 2002 she married Daniel Erickson. They divorced 6 years later in 2008. In both cases, Smith mentioned incompatible differences.
Follow her on Twitter.
Quick Facts About Yeardley Smith
|Date of Birth:||3 June 1964|
|Age:||55 years old|
|Height:||5 Feet 3 Inch|
|Birth Place/City||Paris, France|
|Working For||The Simpson|
|Net Worth||$65 million|
|Hair Color||Light Brown|
|Famous for||The Simpsons|
|Married to||Daniel Erickson (2002-2008), Christopher Grove (1990-1992)|
|Awards||Primetime Emmy Award|
|Movies||Heaven Help Us, The Legend of Billie jean, Listen to Me, Toys, Ginger Ale Afternoon and Three 0’Clock High|
|Books||I and Lorelei|