Elson as she appeared in 1988 on ALF
Andrea Hope Elson
March 6, 1969
Andrea Hope Elson (born March 6, 1969) is an American former actress. Beginning her professional career as a child actress and model, Elson is perhaps best known for her television roles; as Alice Tyler on the CBS science-fiction adventure series Whiz Kids and as Lynn Tanner on the NBC comedy series ALF, which garnered the teenage actress two Youth in Film Award nominations in 1986 and 1989.
Elson was born in New York City on March 6, 1969. She grew up in New York City with her parents and an older sister named Samantha (born circa 1966). While Elson was still a child, the family moved to San Diego, California for a period of four years before returning to Westchester County, New York.
Elson began her professional career as a child actress and model, appearing in a number of commercials and print advertorials. She also appeared in several community theatre productions as a child while living in San Diego.
In 1983, after relocating with her family to Los Angeles, Elson made her television debut at the age of 14 with a co-starring role on the CBS mystery-adventure series, Whiz Kids. On the series, Elson portrayed Alice Tyler, co-starring alongside Matthew Laborteaux, Todd Porter and Jeffrey Jacquet as a group of teenage detectives who solve crimes and bring perpetrators to justice with the help of a talking computer.
Although Whiz Kids lasted only one season, Elson's role as Alice established the 14-year-old and her teenage co-stars as prominent fixtures in the various teen magazines of the era, including 16 magazine, Bop and Teen Beat, among others. The role also led to Elson and the rest of the teenage Whiz Kids cast to make a crossover appearance on the 1983 episode of Simon & Simon entitled "Fly the Alibi Skies".
In 1986, Elson landed a co-starring role on the NBC science-fiction situation comedy ALF. On the series, Elson portrayed Lynn Tanner, the teenage daughter in a typical middle-class suburban family who adopt a friendly extraterrestrial, performed by puppeteer Paul Fusco. The series lasted four seasons and Elson's portrayal earned the teenage actress two Youth in Film Award nominations, before the series' cancellation in 1990.
After the cancellation of ALF, Elson continued to appear in a variety of television roles, guest starring on numerous popular television series of the time, including Who's the Boss?, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, ABC Afterschool Special, Married... with Children, Mad About You, Step by Step and The Young and the Restless, as well as appearing in the television films Class Cruise and Frankenstein: The College Years.
- Whiz Kids (1983–84)
- Simon & Simon (1984)
- Silver Spoons (1985)
- ALF (1986–1990)
- Class Cruise (1989)
- Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1990)
- Who's the Boss? (1990)
- They Came from Outer Space (1990)
- ABC Afterschool Special (1991)
- Frankenstein: The College Years (1991)
- Married People (1991)
- Married... with Children (1993)
- Mad About You (1994)
- Surgical Strike (1994) (Video Game)
- Step by Step (1996)
- Kirk (1996)
- Men Behaving Badly (1997)
- The Young and the Restless (1998)
|1986||Youth in Film Award
(now known as the Young Artist Award)
|Exceptional Young Actress in a New Television Comedy Series||ALF||Nominated|
|1989||Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Comedy Series||ALF||Nominated|
- "Those Wonderful Whiz Kids". Bop Magazine. No. December 1983. Laufer Media. p. 39.
- "Who's Who on 'Whiz Kids'". Teen Beat. No. February 1984. Ideal Publishing Corporation. pp. 11–13.
- Mike Boone (October 12, 2013). "'Whiz Kids' a little far-fetched, but it's worth accessing". The Montreal Gazette.
- "Meet Todd Porter, He's Whiz Kids' Ham". 16 Magazine. No. May 1984. 16 Magazine, Inc. p. 54.
- CBS (October 27, 1983). "Simon & Simon – Fly The Alibi Skies". Hulu. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- NBC (September 22, 1986). "ALF – A.L.F." Hulu. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- "Eighth Annual Youth in Film Awards 1985-1986". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on April 3, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- "Tenth Annual Youth in Film Awards 1987-1988". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- "Andrea Elson: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved January 16, 2013.