After 30 years playing TV's most famous 8-year-old, the voice behind Lisa Simpson reflects on fame, thwarted career goals, and why she hid her "Simpsons" Emmy in a closet for almost a decade

Business Insider | 8/23/2019 | Richard Feloni, Jennifer Sigl
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Yeardley Smith has spent 30 years as the voice of Lisa in "The Simpsons."

She spoke about her career in an episode of Business Insider's podcast "This Is Success."

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Smith says she kept her voice-acting Emmy from 1992 in her closet for nine years because the role was never part of her career plan.

She explained how it's taken her three decades to realize you can't be truly successful if you cannot be proud of and appreciate your work, even when you expected to be doing something else.

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Yeardley Smith recently celebrated 30 years of being an eight-year-old.

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She's the actress behind Lisa, the precocious middle child in "The Simpsons," who has given the animated series some of its most heartfelt and memorable moments.

Smith has helped create one of pop culture's most recognizable characters. The role led to an Emmy win in 1992 and a successful career founded on the longest-running prime-time television show in American history, which will start its 31st season in September. But for many years, Smith says she couldn't allow herself to feel successful — especially since being a voice actor was never part of her life plan.

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In an episode of Business Insider's "This Is Success," Smith guided us through the ups and downs of her career, and how she's only recently found some semblance of inner peace and pride.

Smith explained how setting out to become Hollywood's next big thing led to a gig with an animated series on a network everyone told her was destined to fail, why she kept that Emmy hidden away in her closet for nine years, how she bared her soul in a one-woman show, and why she's been putting herself out there more, through her true-crime podcast "Small Town Dicks" and her whimsical social media videos.


It's taken Smith more...
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