Shannen Doherty

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Shannen Doherty

Shannen Doherty.jpg
Born: April 12, 1971 (1971-04-12) (age 47)
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Years active: 1982-present
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Nationality: American
Measurements: 36C-24-34
Bra/cup size: 36C (80C)
Height: 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Weight: 110 lb (50 kg)
Body type: Slim
Eye color: Green
Hair: Black

Shannen Maria Doherty, born April 12, 1971) is an American actress, producer, author and television director, known for her work as Heather Duke in Heathers (1989), as Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–1994) and its spinoff series 90210, and as Prue Halliwell in Charmed (1998–2001).

Early life and career beginnings

Doherty was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of Rosa Elizabeth (née Wright), a beauty parlor owner, and John Thomas Doherty, Jr., a mortgage consultant. She has an older brother (by four years) named Sean. Doherty has Irish Catholic ancestry on her father's side and English, Scottish, and Northern Irish ancestry on her mother's side.[1] She was raised in her mother's Southern Baptist religion.[2]

Doherty had guest spots on TV series including Voyagers! and Father Murphy. When a casting notice was released in Hollywood for a regular role on the popular Little House on the Prairie, she jumped at the opportunity and eventually won the role of Jenny Wilder at the age of 11, thanks in part to actor/producer Michael Landon seeing her guest spot on Father Murphy, which he also produced. Doherty stayed in the series until the show's cancellation in 1983.

In 1982, Shannen lent her voice talents to the animated film The Secret of NIMH. In 1985, Doherty starred as Maggie Malene in teen-comedy movie, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, alongside actresses Helen Hunt and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Doherty was cast as the oldest Witherspoon sibling, Kris, on the family drama Our House, which ran from 1986 to 1988, a role which garnered her several Young Artist Award nominations. She then went on to appear in an episode of Magnum, P.I., followed by an early episode of Airwolf for which she was nominated as 'Best Young Actress: Guest in a Series' at the 6th Youth in Film Awards in 1984. Doherty's first major motion picture role was in Heathers, released in 1989.


Early work: 1990—2001

Doherty garnered worldwide attention and fame for her breakout role as Brenda Walsh in the Aaron Spelling-produced TV series Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1990. In 1991 and 1992 her portrayal of Brenda earned her a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series.[3] In 2004, E! placed the character at number ten on their list of the 50 Most Wicked Women of Prime Time.[4] Doherty was removed after the fourth season in 1994 due to reported tension with costars. Her character was written off the show as moving to London to attend school at the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts.

While the character's absence was originally described as only being for a year, she never returned to the original series despite being mentioned from time to time during the show's remaining seasons (although she would reprise the role of Brenda later in the The CW's updated version of the show in 2008). She was replaced with former Saved by the Bell star Tiffani Thiessen, who played Valerie Malone. Her career afterward consisted primarily of made-for-TV movies, though she also had a lead role in Kevin Smith's 1995 film Mallrats. Shannen spent several years trying to achieve the same kind of fame and success that she did on Beverly Hills, 90210. It took a while but, finally in 1998, Spelling again cast her in another of his TV series, Charmed, in which she played lead character Prue Halliwell, the oldest of three sisters who discover they are witches. Doherty also directed a few episodes for the series during the second and third seasons. Doherty left the show in 2001, at the end of the third season, resulting in her character's death and the introduction of the replacement character Paige Matthews, who was portrayed by film actress Rose McGowan. Reportedly, the reason for her departure was because of again on/off set tensions between Doherty and co-star Alyssa Milano.[5] It was reported that her acrimonious departure from Charmed so angered Spelling that he banned her from any future Spelling productions, although this was never confirmed.

Doherty was also twice nominated for the Saturn Award, Best Genre TV Actress for her performance in Charmed, in 1999 and 2000 respectively.[6] In 2007, AOL named Prue Halliwell the 10th greatest witch in television history.[7]

Later work: 2002—present

In 2003, Doherty hosted the Sci Fi Channel candid camera show Scare Tactics during its initial season.[8] After her stint on Scare Tactics Doherty, in a return to her prime-time soap roots, starred as a regular on the short-lived TV series North Shore. She starred as Alexandra Hudson from 2004–2005. Later in 2005, Doherty was cast in the new TV comedy Love Inc. Although she filmed the original pilot, she was dropped from the show just months before its television debut.[citation needed]

Doherty later went on to produce and star in her own reality show, Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty, which premiered on the Oxygen network in 2006. In the show Doherty goes around doing "dirty work" for members of the public, including dumping boyfriends or telling people what their friends really think about them. The show was canceled after one season due to poor ratings. She also starred in the popular British sitcom Bo! in the USA, a brain child of Leigh Francis.[citation needed] In the show, she plays herself, being randomly harassed by Avid Merrion (Francis), who claims they are lovers. The show aired in October 2006 on the British Channel 4, and she appeared in several episodes.

During 2007, Doherty appeared in two television projects. She first appeared in "Kiss Me Deadly: A Jacob Keane Assignment" for the here! network, and followed up with a starring role in the holiday film Christmas Caper for ABC Family. That same year Doherty also set up a production company called "No Apologies", in which she planned to develop a TV drama for herself. Later in 2007, Doherty was ranked number 96 on Entertainment WeeklyTemplate:'s list of the 100 Greatest Television Icons. In 2008, Doherty was featured on the Swedish television show High Chaparall, appearing in the second episode of the show's fourth season.

Also in 2008, after 14 years since her last television appearance as Brenda Walsh, Doherty joined the cast of the Beverly Hills, 90210 spin off for The CW Television Network, for a reported $40,000–50,000 an episode.[9] She returned as a guest star, reprising her old role of Brenda Walsh in four of the new series' initial six episodes. Her character, now a successful theater actress and stage director, returned as the guest director of the high school musical. After her initial guest spot was completed, Doherty stated she was open to returning to the series later in the season[10] and eventually agreed to appear in three additional episodes with her most recent appearance airing in May 2009.[11][12] The writers were eager to have her share scenes with Jennie Garth, who also reprised her 90210 role of Kelly Taylor.[13] It was reported that Doherty and Garth's characters would both have a romantic interest in the character Ryan Matthews (Ryan Eggold),[14] reminiscent of their old rivalry for former bad boy character Dylan McKay (Luke Perry). Doherty and Garth later confirmed that the reports about the love triangle between their characters were false.[15]

In late 2008, Doherty was announced to co-star alongside Dylan McDermott in the indie film Burning Palms, a satire based on Los Angeles stereotypes told through five intertwining storylines.[16] That same year, Doherty played a lead role in the SciFi Channel adventure film The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon. The film premiered on the cable network on December 20, 2008.

On March 1, 2010, it was announced that Doherty would be a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars for the tenth season. The season premiered on Monday, March 22, 2010.[17] Doherty was paired with two-time champion Mark Ballas in his 6th season on the show,[18] but the pair was the first couple eliminated in the second week on March 30. The judges have said "Doherty wouldn't have left if we would have just done scores".[citation needed] She wanted to do Dancing with the Stars to make her ailing father proud.[19] Doherty returned for the finale. Doherty starred in FEARnet's animated web series Mari-Kari, which launched on June 3, 2010.[20] Mari and Kari are identical twins, but Kari is a ghost. Doherty voiced both Mari and Kari in this eight-episode show.[21]

WE tv announced on July 21, 2011, that she would star in a one-hour reality series that follows her and her fiance, Kurt Iswarienko, as they plan their wedding. The show, titled Shannen Says, premiered in April 10, 2012.[22] Also in 2012, Doherty became a spokesperson for Education Connection.[23]

Personal life

In January, 1993, California's United Bank took her to court for $36,000 they claimed she owed them after bouncing more than 70 checks.[24] Later in 1993, Doherty's ex-fiance, Dean Factor, obtained an order of protection against her after Doherty allegedly pulled a gun on him and "threatened to hire a few guys to beat me and to sodomize me".[25] Shannen Doherty was married to Ashley Hamilton, son of actor George Hamilton, from September 1993 to April 1994, when they divorced.[26]

In 2001, Doherty was sentenced to either 10 days in jail or 20 days of work-release duty, three years probation, and was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine for drunk driving charges.[27]

Her seven-month marriage to Rick Salomon was annulled in 2003.[28]

On October 15, 2011, Doherty married Kurt Iswarienko in Malibu.[29] Their wedding planning activities were the subject of the reality tv show Shannen Says.


She has appeared several times, nude, in Playboy magazine.[27] Her first appearance was in December 1993, followed by a spread in March 1994.[30] She posed for the magazine again in December 2003, and has been featured in a 10-page pictorial.[31][32]


  1. Doherty family at Family Tree Maker
  2. "Nobody's Pussycat" November 09, 1992, Vol. 38, No. 19, People Magazine
  3. Annual Young Artist Awards – Past Years. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  4. E!'s 50 Most Wicked Women of Prime Time. Retrieved on 2008-08-04.
  5. Shawna Malcom. The Witching Hour. TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved on 2008-09-07.
  6. IMDb: Shannen Doherty – Awards. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  7. AOL – Top TV Witches. AOL. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  8. Scare Tactics official site. SCI FI. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  9. Sources Confirm: Tori Pulls Out of 90210 Spinoff. E! Online. Retrieved on 2008-08-13.
  10. '90210' Scoop: Garth's Staying, Doherty's Leaving!'. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2008-10-07.
  11. "It's official: Shannen Doherty re-ups with '90210'", Los Angeles Times, 2008-10-13. Retrieved on 2008-10-18.
  12. Shannen Doherty Returning to 90210. Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  13. Exclusive: Tori Is Out, Shannen Is In for 90210 Remake!. E! Online – Watch with Kristin. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  14. Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on 'SVU,' 'Gossip Girl,' '90210,' 'Heroes,' 'Lost' and More!. Ask Ausiello. Retrieved on 2008-07-31.
  15. 90210's Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth: The EW Reunion. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2008-09-09.
  16. Shannen Doherty, Dylan McDermott Join Burning Palms (movie)|Burning Palms Ensemble Film" TV Guide. October 30, 2008. Retrieved on October 31, 2008
  17. Associate Press, New 'Dancing With the Stars' cast revealed, Yahoo! News, March 1, 2010
  18. Hal Boedeker (March 2, 2010). ‘Dancing With the Stars’: Shannen Doherty pairs with Mark Ballas; Kate Gosselin with Tony Dovolani. Orlando Sentinel.
  19. "Shannen Doherty Was "Beyond Emotional" See Ailing Father On DWTS",
  20. Heather Wixson (May 31, 2010). Shannen Doherty Talks Mari-Kari. Dread Central.
  21. Geoff Boucher. "Shannen Doherty and her evil dead twin? It's 'Mari-Kari,' and it might get bloody", Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2010.
  22. "Shannen Doherty Returns to Television in New, One-Hour Original WE tv Series" July 21, 2011, TV By the Numbers
  23. "Shannen Doherty Getting a College Degree", The National Ledger, 2011-09-05. Retrieved on 2011-11-15.
  24. "`90210' STAR FINDS HERSELF ON THE OUTEST OF OUT LISTS" March 1, 1993, Desert News
  25. "Shannen in Love" October 11, 1993, People
  26. "Stars Who Wed Too Young: Shannen Doherty and Ashley Hamilton", Us, n.d.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Shannen Doherty biography. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2008-08-04.
  28. "Stars Who Eloped! Shannen Doherty & Rick Salomon", Us, n.d.
  29. Dahvi Shira; Pernilla Cedenheim (October 15, 2011). Shannen Doherty Marries in Malibu. People. Retrieved on 2011-10-15.
  30. Shannen Doherty Biography. Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  31. "Shannen Doherty in December's Playboy's", EroPlanet, Yahoo! News, 2003-10-25. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.
  32. "Shannen Doherty Sizzles in Playboy's December Issue.", PR Newswire, 2003-10-22. Retrieved on 2008-09-16.

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