Real Life Love Story: Lisa Simpson Marries Detective Dan

Beloved Hollywood cartoon maiden Yeardley Smith married her ex-cop fiancee in a surprise “The Bodyguard”-type romance

When Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson on The Simpsons, was asked to travel to Springfield, Oregon to help unveil a Simpsons mural in 2014, she initially didn’t want to go. But when Fox execs mentioned that she would be given a security detail (she has dealt with stalkers before) she became more amenable.

“The joke is that I really will do anything for my show but I didn’t really want to do it,” Smith told The Hollywood Reporter. “I eventually said I would go and they came back a few days later and said they would assign a plain-clothed detective from the Springfield Police Department. That was Dan.”

Smith and former Springfield—Oregon—Police Department Detective Dan Grice were married at their Los Angeles home on June 11.

How’d that happen?

At Springfield P.D. in the weeks leading up to the mural unveiling—which would celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary in one of the many U.S. cities to share the name of The Simpsons‘ hometown—none of the cops were interested in taking the special assignment to protect Smith. Eventually, Detective Dan Grice, eligible bachelor, volunteered, figuring he’d give his married-with-children co-workers the weekend off.

When Detective Dan met Smith at the airport, he noticed immediately that she was wearing “beautiful” shoes, which as it turns out, were Italian-made and from her own line. “I was wearing these pretty baller leather booties with appliques and cutouts,” Smith recalls. “They’re quite beautiful.”

After remaining alert as Smith signed autographs for fans, Detective Dan led her to an unmarked car. Smith sat up front. “I didn’t want to be a snotty, entitled celebrity,” she recalled. And besides, she had begun to notice things about Dan.

“There was just something about Dan’s quiet confidence,” Smith told THR. “He was so in charge without being overbearing… He was not overly impressed by me and I really admired his sense of self-assurance.”

During the 20-minute ride, she expertly got all the important deets on the detective. “I found out if he was married, divorced, had any children or a girlfriend. The answer was no, no, no, no.” Score!

The next day, the mural unveiling went swimmingly. On the way to the airport, Smith rode up front again, and Detective Dan waited with her at the gate, as all gentlemen do. Possibly to impress her, he told her that in another life, he was a professional baseball player. One thing led to the other, and she gave him her phone number. “I thanked him for waiting at the gate and told him that I thought he was really interesting. He texted back, ‘I think you’re really interesting, too.'”

Long story short, she invited him to Los Angeles… yadda, yadda, yadda… They commuted back and forth between Oregon and L.A. for over two years. They were engaged in 2018, and Detective Dan moved to L.A., where Smith’s job on The Simpsons is located.

L.A. was a bit of an adjustment for Detective Dan, but he had Smith as a guide. “The thing I had going for me when I moved here was that I had her as a lead blocker for learning how to handle Hollywood,” he said.

And the wedding? “It was amazing. It was my favorite wedding yet,” said Smith, who has been married twice before.

Not only does the couple have true love for life, but they also have a true crime podcast called Small Town Dicks, which they co-host with Dan’s twin brother, Detective Dave.

Interestingly, Detective Dan noted that when he first saw Smith’s photo before taking the assignment, he didn’t know that she was the voice of Lisa Simpson, but he “knew exactly who she was because I remember her from The Legend of Billie Jean and Maximum Overdrive.”

Now, that’s love.

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.