Danielle Fishel

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Danielle Fishel
Danielle Fishel photo (cropped).jpg
Fishel at the 2016 Emmy Awards
Danielle Christine Fishel

(1981-05-05) May 5, 1981 (age 40)
Alma materCalifornia State University, Fullerton
OccupationActress • director • model • television personality
Years active1992–present
Tim Belusko
(m. 2013; div. 2016)

(m. 2018)

Danielle Christine Fishel (born May 5, 1981[1]) is an American actress, director, model, and television personality. She began her career in theater, appearing in community productions of The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan. She made her debut as an actress shortly after, making guest appearances in shows such as Full House and Harry and the Hendersons. In 1993, Fishel was cast for the role as Topanga Lawrence-Matthews on the teen sitcom Boy Meets World, which ran on ABC, and reprised the role for its successor Girl Meets World on Disney Channel, which aired from 2014 to 2017.

Fishel was the host of Style Network's The Dish, and appears in National Lampoon's Dorm Daze, as well as its sequel. She was a spokeswoman for Nutrisystem, and is also a resident reporter on PopSugar, and on their spin-off YouTube channel, PopSugar Girls Guide.[2]

Early life[edit]

Fishel was born in Mesa, Arizona, the daughter of Jennifer, a personal manager, and Rick Fishel, former President of Masimo Corporation.[3] She is of half Maltese descent.[4]


1991–1998: Career beginnings and debut[edit]

In 1991, at the age of 10, 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-Matthews 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. 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 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. 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. She appeared in the music video for "Until You Loved Me" by Canadian music group The Moffatts.

2003–2011: Films and television presenting[edit]

Following Boy Meets World, Fishel began to work heavily in television, and in 2003 co-hosted Say What? Karaoke on MTV for one season. Fishel also 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 (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.[5] Following her appearance on the show, Fishel became a spokeswoman for Nutrisystem. She also became a special correspondent for The Tyra Banks Show, starting in early February 2007.[6] By 2010 she had gained some of the weight back, and told People magazine she could not maintain her Nutrisystem weight.[7]

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!'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. In 2012, Fishel became the host of MSN TV's Last Night on TV.

2013–present: Current work[edit]

In 2013, though not released until 2015 Fishel starred in the drama Boiling Pot, which is based on true events of racism that occurred on college campuses across the country during the 2008 Presidential election.[8] The film also stars 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. 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.

In 2014, Fishel reprised her role of Topanga Lawrence-Matthews in the Boy Meets World spin-off series, Girl Meets World.[9] 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) and her friend, Maya (Sabrina Carpenter) as she enters middle school and tries to navigate through life. The series ended on January 20, 2017 with Topanga declining a job offer that would have moved the family to London and out of New York.[10]

In an episode that aired January 9, 2018, she competed against actor Jonathan Lipnicki on TBS's Drop the Mic.[11]

Personal life[edit]

At age 27,[12] Fishel began attending California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), graduating in 2013.[13] During her university studies, she became a math tutor, leading her to meet fellow student Tim Belusko.[12] After over three years of dating, she became engaged to Belusko in May 2012.[14] They married on October 19, 2013 in Los Angeles.[15] Savage and Home Improvement cast member Jonathan Taylor Thomas were said to be in attendance at her Los Angeles wedding.[16] In May 2016, it was reported that she had filed for divorce in 2015. The divorce was final in March 2016.[17]

On July 4, 2017, towards the end of episode #303 of his podcast Get Up On This, Jensen Karp announced that he is now dating Fishel. On March 22, 2018, Fishel and Karp got engaged.[18] They married on November 4, 2018.[19][20] Fishel announced in January 2019 that she and Karp were expecting their first child in July 2019.[21] On July 1, 2019, Fishel and Karp announced that Fishel gave birth to a boy on June 24, 2019, almost one month early, via Instagram post.[22]



Year Title Role Notes
1992, 1993 Full House Jennifer P. Episodes: "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 Recurring role: season 1; main role: seasons 2–7
1996 Kirk Heather Episode: "Stuck on You"
1997 ABC TGIF Topanga Episode: "Frightful Halloween Bash"
2000 Rocket's Red Glare Sarah Miller Movie
2001, 2002 Nikki Stacy Episodes: "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"
2008–2011 The Dish Herself Host
2009 The Fuse 20 Herself Host
2012 The Soup Lizdsay Taylorhan / Herself Episode: "The Soup Salutes WWE Pile Driving Clips in Your Face"
2014–2017 Girl Meets World Topanga Lawrence-Matthews Main role; also director (4 episodes), writer (1 episode)
2015–2016 Gravity Falls Pyronica Voice role; three-part finale: "Weirdmageddon"
2018 Drop the Mic Herself Episode: "Danielle Fishel vs. Jonathan Lipnicki / Shania Twain vs. Meghan Trainor"
2019 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Librarian Voice role; episode: "Kelly's World"[23]


Year Title Role Notes
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 role
2013 Clapping for the Wrong Reasons Herself Short film
2015 Boiling Pot Valerie Davis


Year Title Notes
2016–2017 Girl Meets World 4 episodes
2019–2020 Sydney to the Max 7 episodes
2019–2021 Raven's Home 5 episodes
2019–2020 Coop & Cami Ask the World 2 episodes
2020 Just Roll with It Episode: "Aliens Among Us"


Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
1996 Young Artist Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress: TV Comedy Series Boy Meets World Nominated [24]
1997 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Comedy: Supporting Young Actress Boy Meets World Nominated [25]
1998 YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series Boy Meets World Won [26][better source needed]
2000 YoungStar Awards Best Young Actress/Performance in a Comedy TV Series Boy Meets World Nominated [27][better source needed]


  1. ^ "Danielle Fishel: Biography". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  2. ^ POPSUGAR Girls' Guide's channel on YouTube
  3. ^ Lauren Dubinsky (May 16, 2017). "Masimo and Midmark partner to improve the acquisition of vital sign data".
  4. ^ @daniellefishel (November 28, 2012). "@briannaberlen thank you! I'm 50% Maltese and 50% everything else" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ The Tyra Banks Show. Friday, October 6, 2006. Warnerbros.com. Retrieved November 6, 2006.
  6. ^ "411 Movies Interview: Danielle Fishel of Boy Meets World and Game Box 1.0". Archived from the original on July 12, 2015.
  7. ^ "Boy Meets World's Danielle Fishel 'I'm Okay with My Weight'".
  8. ^ Biese, Alex (November 1, 2015). "Keith David on 'Boiling Pot' and more". Asbury Park Press. USA Today.
  9. ^ Nuzhat Naoreen (June 17, 2013). "Girl Meets World Gets the Green Light from Disney". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  10. ^ Piester, Lauren (January 20, 2017). "Girl Meets World Series Finale: How Did It All End for Riley and Maya?". E! News. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  11. ^ Blackwelder, Carson (January 12, 2018). "Topanga From 'Boy Meets World' And The 'Jerry Maguire' Kid Face Off On 'Drop The Mic'". APlus. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Boy Meets World's Danielle Fishel Is Engaged, Graduates College". Us Weekly. December 20, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
  13. ^ Levy, Gabrielle (December 2012). "'Boy Meets World' star Danielle Fishel graduates college, gets engaged at 31". United Press International. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
  14. ^ "Interview: April Cover Girl Danielle "Topanga" Fishel". Maxim. March 5, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
  15. ^ Eggenberger, Nicole (October 19, 2013). "Danielle Fishel Marries Fiance Tim Belusko in Downtown L.A. Wedding". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  16. ^ "Danielle Fishel Marries Tim Belusko: See Photos of Her Wedding Dress - Us Weekly". usmagazine.com. October 22, 2013.
  17. ^ Nahas, Aili (May 10, 2016). "Danielle Fishel and Tim Belusko Are Divorced". People.
  18. ^ "Danielle Fishel Engaged to Drop the Mic Producer Jensen Karp". Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  19. ^ Fishel Karp, Danielle (November 5, 2018). "Mr. & Mrs. Karp. Established 11/04/2018. 📸: @jillianbob 💁🏼♀️: @_hairbylaurie 💄: @julie4makeup Coordinator: @union3events @lisagaskarth..."". Instagram. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  20. ^ Jaime, Natalya (November 5, 2018). "Danielle Fishel Marries Writer-Producer Jensen Karp". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  21. ^ Fishel Karp, Danielle [@@daniellefishel] (January 2, 2019). "I'm eating for 2. I'm napping w/ wild abandon. Baby shoes. Baby clothes. I'm shopping. I'm nesting. I'm madly in love w/ my husband. I cry at commercials. I'm a walking cliché. I'm confident. I feel inadequate. I'm nervous. I'm excited. He's due in July. We can't wait. #BabyKarp pic.twitter.com/w4qHs4DGbj" (Tweet). Retrieved January 2, 2019 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (July 1, 2019). "'Boy Meets World' Star Danielle Fishel and Husband Jensen Karp Welcome Baby Boy a Month Early". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Valence Media. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  23. ^ Swift, Andy (February 7, 2019). "Disney's Star vs. the Forces of Evil Ending With Season 4". TVLine.
  24. ^ 17th Young Artist Awards Archived March 4, 2011, at WebCite (1995). youngartistawards.com. Accessed June 6, 2012.
  25. ^ 18th Young Artist Awards Archived March 4, 2011, at WebCite (1996). youngartistawards.com. Accessed June 6, 2012.
  26. ^ "YoungStar Awards (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  27. ^ "YoungStar Awards (2000)". IMDb. Retrieved October 23, 2019.

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