Alison was a sensitive and bold woman who largely worked in the advertising business. During her unseen college years at the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in English, she developed a drinking problem that occasionally troubled her later in her life.
At the beginning of the series, when Alison needed a new roommate at Melrose Place, she eventually found one in Billy Campbell—who she'd initially turned down. After Billy came to Alison's aid one night when a man from her job made unwelcome advances, the new roommates began growing closer. However, when Billy began dating her job superior, Amanda Woodward, Alison expressed discomfort and stated that the situation made her feel awkward.
Alison eventually moved to Seattle with her boyfriend Keith Gray, but soon moved back after realizing that she preferred living in Los Angeles. She and Billy later began dating. When Keith returned for an extended visit, he was secretly a changed man who began stalking Alison from a distance. The truth eventually came out when he tried to rape her in his hotel room, though Alison managed to get away. Keith later returned to Seattle and fatally shot himself while apologizing over the phone. The experience left Alison quite jarred, but she began to recover with Billy's help.
Billy eventually proposed to her, and she accepted. Just before they could be married, however, she finally recalled the details of a memory that had been troubling her after seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Dan Miller. Upon realizing that she'd been molested by her father as a child, Alison fled the ceremony following a private confrontation with her dad. After leaving town to stay with her sister, both discovered that their father had come looking for them. Billy, however, soon appeared and fended the man off. Alison and Billy then planned to elope, but she later cancelled while citing her unfinished personal business. After confronting her father at a party, she publicly revealed his past crimes, denied his appeals for compassion, and left the scene.
Ups and downs
Alison's relationship with Billy entered an on-again, off-again phase in the times to come. Brooke Armstrong, a new employee at their workplace, later became interested in Billy and recognized Alison as a threat. When Amanda Woodward was sick, Alison took her place as president of D&D Advertising, until Amanda and Brooke set her up to take several falls and she was demoted. Brooke then manipulated Billy into thinking that Alison was no longer interested, and used her father's position in the company to have Alison transferred to Hong Kong. Alison accepted the transfer, but returned after discovering the extent of Brooke's actions. She ultimately failed to prevent Billy from marrying Brooke, and turned to alcohol afterwards. While drinking, she ignored a warning to evacuate her apartment; a mentally unstable Kimberly Shaw had planted explosives in Melrose Place. Following the explosion, Alison was temporarily rendered blind. After recovering her sight, she began dating and eventually married Brooke's father Hayley. However, Hayley died in a boat accident soon afterwards. It was also revealed that he had secretly divorced Alison. While grieving, she began growing close to Billy again—who eventually left Brooke due to several problems in their relationship.
Alison and Jake Hanson, her neighbor at Melrose Place, fell in love while she worked for Jake at Shooters. The two initially kept their relationship a secret, because they were friends with their exes, Jane and Billy. Eventually, their relationship was out in the open, and other members of the apartment complex became supportive. Jake wanted a serious future with Alison and had asked her to be a co-partner with him at Shooters. Alison eventually became pregnant with Jake's child. Jake took Alison on a trip for the holidays to a cabin, where Jake proposed marriage. Just before they could wed, however, Alison got cold feet. During a brief separation, Jake visited his ex-girlfriend, Colleen and their son David. He later returned to Alison and the two became a couple again. Alison miscarried Jake's baby and learned that she couldn't have children. Jake asked Alison to marry him again and told her that it didn't matter if they couldn't have their own children. Alison and Jake went on a honeymoon and eloped, getting married in a private wedding ceremony. Alison and Jake then applied to adopt a child of their own. When Alison and Jake were caught drinking, they were refused the opportunity to adopt. Alison began drinking again and decided to push Jake closer to Colleen because she felt she was keeping Jake from his dream of having children.
Departure and aftermath
Alison later left town, and was seen off by Billy. The two hugged and shared an affectionate kiss, acknowledging their longtime bond before saying goodbye. A year later, it was revealed that Alison had adjustment problems and was in a rehab center. Alison's departure from living at Melrose Place took her to Atlanta, Georgia and somewhat ironically Thorne-Smith resurfaced on Ally Mcbeal the following season as a new character named... Georgia!