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Martha Maria Yeardley Smith (pronounced YARD-lee) (born July 3, 1964), is a French-born American actress, writer and artist, who is best known for her role of being the voice of Lisa Simpson, on the animated television series The Simpsons.

She actually auditioned for the role of Bart Simpson because the producers thought she had a funny voice. So they made her role for Bart, but her voice sounded like a girl. She tried over and over again until one of the producers told her there was a little sister, and auditioned for the part and got it, and that is how Lisa Simpson came to have a unique voice.


Smith was born in Paris, France, and raised in Washington, D.C., USA. She became a professional actress after she graduated Drama School in 1982. She is the daughter (and namesake) of Joseph Yeardley "Joe" Smith (March 8, 1932–July 17, 2005), The Washington Post's first official obituary editor (1977–1988), who continued working full-time for The Post until 1996. Her mother, Martha Mayor, was a gallery worker. Her parents then later divorced.

In addition to performing as the voice of Lisa Simpson and other occasional characters on The Simpsons, Smith also appeared on some sitcoms, playing Louise Fitzer in Herman's Head (1991-1994) and Marlene in Dharma and Greg (1997-2002) and guest-starred on other shows, playing characters such as Penny in Dead Like Me (2004), Mrs. Teslow in Disney Channel's Phil of the Future (2005), Jane Rice-Burroughs in the "Mathnet" segment of the Children's Television Workshop show Square One (1987), and Sandy in The Big Bang Theory (2010). Smith co-starred on Herman's Head with Simpsons actor Hank Azaria. One notable line of hers on the show referred to her voice acting when she angrily answers a call with "I do not sound like that Lisa Simpson character on TV!"

Some of her film credits include Putter in The Legend of Billie Jean (1985), Connie in Maximum Overdrive (1986), Nancy in City Slickers (1991), and Jackie Simpson in As Good as It Gets (1997).

Smith admitted on The Jane Pauley Show that she had struggled with bulimia for 25 years. Coincidentally, her character Lisa Simpson suffered through an eating disorder in the episode "Sleeping with the Enemy". She is currently performing in a one-woman show called More, where she exposes her eating disorder. Yeardley has been cured of bulimia as of 2005.



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Commentaries (2003-present)

Yeardley Smith's Characters


External links

Cast and Crew
Dan Castellaneta | Julie Kavner | Nancy Cartwright | Yeardley Smith | Hank Azaria | Harry Shearer
Also Starring
Pamela Hayden | Tress MacNeille | Maggie Roswell | Russi Taylor | Karl Wiedergott | Christopher Collins | Doris Grau | Jo Ann Harris | Marcia Mitzman Gaven
Special Guest Voices
Kelsey Grammer | Maurice LaMarche | Joe Mantegna | Marcia Wallace | Greg Berg | Albert Brooks | Phil Hartman | Jan Hooks | Jane Kaczmarek | Jon Lovitz | Frank Welker