Danielle Christine Fishel (born May 5, 1981) is an American actress best known for her role as Topanga Lawrence on the 1990s TV sitcom Boy Meets World. Currently, she is the host of The Dish. She also appeared in National Lampoon's Dorm Daze and its sequel and was a spokesperson for NutriSystem.
Fishel was born in Mesa, Arizona, the daughter of Jennifer, a personal manager, and Rick Fishel, a medical equipment sales executive. The family relocated to Yorba Linda, California when she was three weeks old. She has one younger brother, Christopher Fishel. She graduated from Calabasas High School class of 1999.
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, Lawrence became a recurring role. After a successful first year, Fishel became a show regular. Fishel's character, Topanga Lawrence, was a sparky, intelligent girl who was mature beyond her years; she replaced the nerdy Stuart Minkus as the brains of the class.
Throughout the series, a central plot was the relationship between her and main character, Cory Matthews. Their sweetheart romance took them through high school, dealing with stereotypical "after-school special" themes such as peer pressure, teen sex, infidelity, and breakups. Topanga proposed to Cory at graduation and the show followed them to college. The characters married. The long-running show ended in 2000 after seven years, with Cory and Topanga going to New York to pursue careers.
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. In June 1999, she was one of "The 21 Hottest Stars Under 21" as presented by Teen People.
Full article ▸