Allison Smith, who is starring in the CBS detective series Buddy Faro, may seem familiar to many viewers. That may be because she played Jennie, the daughter of Jane Curtin's character in Kate and Allie, which ran for six seasons on CBS.
Or perhaps you saw her back in the early '80s, when she played the title role in the Broadway production of Annie.
Suitably enough, reports CBS This Morning Contributor Eleanor Mondale, the character Smith plays on Buddy Faro is an energetic aspiring actress who plays sidekick to the debonaire Faro (played by Dennis Farina).
The youngest of six children, Smith took her act on the road early. At nine years old, she was plucked from a crowd of 1,000 kids to be the youngest ever to play Annie on Broadway. Just six weeks before that, she also had won a part in Evita.
"I just had this survival instinct, which is so funny because that's what Annie was all about," says the 28-year-old Smith. "So, the spirit of me and the spirit of little orphan Annie were the same."
The spunk and spirit Smith portrays on screen are very much a part of Smith's own personality. Her drive to succeed sparks her through those often sleep-deprived days of TV production.
"I suppose it was being a Broadway babyÂ… I do better with less sleep," says Smith, who says she would like to work again on Broadway someday. In the West Coast premiere of David Mamet's Oleanna, Smith took over the lead role of Carol from actress Kyra Sedgwick.
On television, Smith had a recurring role as Melissa Gilbert's sister on Sweet Justice, and also appeared on such programs as Touched By An Angel, Michael Hayes, Murder, She Wrote, Party of Five, Ned and Stacey, and Beverly Hills 90210.
Smith was in Spain and France for three months last year filming Los Años Bárbaros (The Barbarian Years), a movie based on a true story about the Franco revolution. Her other film credits include Switchback (1997), Â…At First Sight (1996), and A Reason To Believe (1995).
Her current series, Buddy Faro, is broadcast Fridays at 9 p.m. EST/PST on CBS.