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Shannen Doherty
File:Shannen Doherty.jpg
Doherty in 2008
Shannen Maria Doherty

(1971-04-12) April 12, 1971 (age 53)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
OccupationsActress, director, producer
Years active1981–present
Known forBeverly Hills, 90210 (1990-1994)
Charmed (1998-2001)
  • Ashley Hamilton
    (m. 1993⁠–⁠1994)
  • Rick Salomon
    (m. 2002⁠–⁠2003)
  • Kurt Iswarienko
    (m. after 2011)

Shannen Maria Doherty (English pronunciation: ; born April 12, 1971)[1] is an American actress, producer, author, and television director. She is known for her roles as Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–1994) and as Prue Halliwell in Charmed (1998–2001).

Early life and career beginnings[]

Doherty was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of Rosa, a beauty parlor owner, and Tom Doherty, a mortgage consultant.[1] Doherty has Irish Catholic ancestry on her father's side and English, Scottish, and Scots-Irish ancestry on her mother's side.[2] She was raised in her mother's Southern Baptist denomination.[3]

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 at the age of 11 eventually won the recurring role of Jenny Wilder,[4] thanks in part to actor/producer Michael Landon's seeing her guest spot on Father Murphy,[5] which he also produced. Doherty stayed in the series until the show's cancellation in 1983.

In 1982, Doherty lent her voice to the animated film The Secret of NIMH. In 1985, Doherty starred as Maggie Malene in the teen movie comedy 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.[6] She then went on to appear in an episode of Magnum, P.I. ("A Sense of Debt"), 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[]

File:Doherty and Priestley.jpg

Doherty with Jason Priestley at the Governor's Ball following the 43rd Annual Emmy Awards, August 1991

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.[7] In 2004, E! placed the character at number 10 on their list of the 50 Most Wicked Women of Prime Time.[8] Doherty left the show after the fourth season in 1994. Her character was written off the show as moving to London to attend school at the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts.

Doherty's career afterward consisted primarily of made-for-TV movies, though she also had a lead role in Kevin Smith's 1995 film Mallrats, featuring one notable scene in which Willam (Ethan Suplee) looks at her and asks "Brenda?" to which she shouts "Dick!" a joke repeated in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. In 1998, Spelling again cast her in another of his television series, Charmed, in which she played lead character Prue Halliwell, the oldest of three sisters who 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. Reportedly, the reason for her departure was because of on-set and off-set tensions between Doherty and co-star Alyssa Milano.[9] Doherty was also twice nominated, in 1999 and 2000, for the Saturn Award, Best Genre TV Actress, for her performance in Charmed.[6] In 2007, AOL named Prue Halliwell the 10th greatest witch in television history.[10]

Later work: 2002–present[]

In 2003, Doherty hosted the Sci Fi Channel candid camera show Scare Tactics during its initial season.[11] 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 to 2005. Later in 2005, she was in the pilot for a comedy titled Love Inc..

Doherty later went on to produce and star in her own reality show, Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty, which premiered on the Oxygen channel 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 owing to poor ratings. She also starred in the popular British sitcom Bo! in the USA, a brain child of Leigh Francis.[5] 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 TV 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 for which she planned to develop a TV drama for herself. Later in 2007, Doherty was ranked number 96 on Entertainment Weekly'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, 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.[12] 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[13] and eventually agreed to appear in three additional episodes, with her most recent appearance airing in May 2009.[14][15] The writers were eager to have her share scenes with Jennie Garth, who also reprised her 90210 role of Kelly Taylor.[16] It was reported that Doherty and Garth's characters would both have a romantic interest in the character Ryan Matthews (Ryan Eggold)[17] 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.[18]

In late 2008, Doherty was announced to co-star alongside Dylan McDermott in the independent film Burning Palms, a satire based on Los Angeles stereotypes told through five intertwining storylines.[19] 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.[20] Doherty was paired with two-time champion Mark Ballas in his sixth season on the show,[21] 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.[22] Doherty returned for the finale.

Doherty starred in FEARnet's animated web series Mari-Kari, which launched on June 3, 2010.[23] Mari and Kari are identical twins, but Kari is already dead and is a ghost. Doherty voiced both Mari and Kari in the eight-episode show.[24] 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.[25] Later in 2012, Doherty became a spokesperson for Education Connection,[26] and appeared in an episode of The New Normal as her character Brenda Walsh from Beverly Hills, 90210.

On July 24, 2014, it was announced that Doherty and her former Charmed co-star Holly Marie Combs would be starring in their own road trip reality show called Off the Map with Shannen & Holly, which premiered on Great American Country on January 2, 2015.[27][28] The six-episode series follows the pair traveling across southeastern United States, with stops in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.[29] Viewers were able to vote on activities Doherty and Combs would partake in at each destination on Great American Country's official website.[29]

Personal life[]

In January 1993, California's United Bank took Doherty to court for $36,000 claiming she had bounced more than 70 checks.[30] On October 11, 1993, Shannen Doherty was married to Ashley Hamilton, son of actor George Hamilton; they divorced in April 1994.[31]

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

In 2002, Doherty married Rick Salomon, but the marriage was annulled after nine months.[32] On October 15, 2011, Doherty married Kurt Iswarienko, a photographer, in Malibu.[33]

Doherty has appeared nude in Playboy magazine. Her first appearance was in December 1993 followed by a spread in March 1994.[34] She posed for the magazine again in December 2003 and has been featured in a 10-page pictorial.[35][36]

Doherty is a registered Republican. According to Complex Magazine, she said: "I realize that the majority of people in the entertainment business happen to be Democrats. I have no problem with that. And they should have no problem with the fact that I'm a Republican."[37]

Doherty announced in 1999 that she was diagnosed with Crohn's disease.[38]

An avid animal rights activist, Doherty is a supporter of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and while performing the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 she challenged founder Paul Watson and global supporters of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.[39]

Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2015, which spread to her lymphatic system in 2016.[40] On August 1, 2016, she told Entertainment Tonight she had a mastectomy in May and planned to finish chemotherapy then start radiotherapy.[41]


Main article: Shannen Doherty filmography

Awards and nominations[]

Year Association Category Title of work Result Ref.
1982 Youth In Film Awards Best Young Actress in a Drama Series Little House on the Prairie Nominated
Best Young Actress: Guest on a Series Father Murphy Nominated
1983 Best Young Actress in a Drama Series Little House on the Prairie Nominated
1984 Best Young Actress: Guest on a Series Airwolf Nominated
1986 Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress in a New Television Comedy or Drama Series Our House Nominated
1987 Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Drama Series Nominated
1990 Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Series Beverly Hills, 90210 Nominated
1991 Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series Nominated
1999 Saturn Awards Best Actress on Television Charmed Nominated [42]
2000 Nominated [42]
2001 Wand Awards Best Fight (Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty) Nominated [42]
2007 AOL TV Top TV Witches (Prue Halliwell) 9th [43][44]
2008 10th [45]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Shannen Doherty Biography (1971-)". Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  2. Doherty family at Family Tree Maker
  3. "Nobody's Pussycat" November 09, 1992, Vol. 38, No. 19, People Magazine
  4. Remember When Shannen Doherty Was On ‘Little House On The Prairie’?, The Huffington Post, 08/28/2013[dead link]
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Shannen Doherty- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "IMDb: Shannen Doherty – Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  7. "Annual Young Artist Awards – Past Years". Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  8. "E!'s 50 Most Wicked Women of Prime Time". Retrieved 2008-08-04.[dead link]
  9. Shawna Malcom. "The Witching Hour". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
  10. "AOL – Top TV Witches". AOL. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  11. "Scare Tactics official site". Sci Fi. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  12. "Sources Confirm: Tori Pulls Out of 90210 Spinoff". E! Online. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  13. "'90210' Scoop: Garth's Staying, Doherty's Leaving!'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  14. "It's official: Shannen Doherty re-ups with '90210'". Los Angeles Times. 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
  15. "Shannen Doherty Returning to 90210". Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  16. "Exclusive: Tori Is Out, Shannen Is In for 90210 Remake!". E! Online – Watch with Kristin. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  17. "Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on 'SVU,' 'Gossip Girl,' '90210,' 'Heroes,' 'Lost' and More!". Ask Ausiello. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  18. "90210's Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth: The EW Reunion". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  19. Shannen Doherty, Dylan McDermott Join Burning Palms (movie)|Burning Palms Ensemble Film" TV Guide. October 30, 2008. Retrieved on October 31, 2008
  20. Associate Press, New 'Dancing With the Stars' cast revealed, Yahoo! News, March 1, 2010
  21. Hal Boedeker (March 2, 2010). "'Dancing With the Stars': Shannen Doherty pairs with Mark Ballas; Kate Gosselin with Tony Dovolani". Orlando Sentinel.
  22. "Shannen Doherty Was "Beyond Emotional" See Ailing Father On DWTS".
  23. Heather Wixson (May 31, 2010). "Shannen Doherty Talks Mari-Kari". Dread Central.
  24. Geoff Boucher (May 20, 2010). "Shannen Doherty and her evil dead twin? It's Mari-Kari, and it might get bloody". Los Angeles Times.
  25. "Shannen Doherty Returns to Television in New, One-Hour Original WE tv Series" July 21, 2011, TV By the Numbers
  26. "Shannen Doherty Getting a College Degree". The National Ledger. 2011-09-05. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  27. "Shannen Doherty & Holly Marie Combs Go 'Off The Map' On Great American Country". PMC. July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  28. Spining, Molly (December 29, 2014). "'Off the Map with Shannen & Holly' Premieres on January 2". Great American Country. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Gennis, Sadie (July 25, 2014). "Charmed's Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs Reunite for Reality Show". TV Guide. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  30. Lundin, Diana E. (February 14, 1993). "The Brenda Backlash: Who's More Disliked: Shannen Doherty Or The `90210' Character She Plays?". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 26, 2015.
  31. "Stars Who Wed Too Young: Shannen Doherty and Ashley Hamilton", Us, n.d.
  32. "Photo Special: Top 10 Celebrity Annulments > 7 of 11: Shannen & Rick". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  33. Dahvi Shira; Pernilla Cedenheim (October 15, 2011). "Shannen Doherty Marries in Malibu". People. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
  34. "Shannen Doherty Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on September 20, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-16. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  35. "Shannen Doherty in December's Playboy's". EroPlanet. 2003-10-25. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-16. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  36. "Shannen Doherty Sizzles in Playboy's December Issue". PR Newswire. 2003-10-22. Archived from the original on December 3, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-16. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  37. Hoare, Peter (Aug 27, 2012). "The 20 Hottest Celebrity Republicans". Complex.
  38. Pallarito, Karen. "11 Celebrities With Crohn's Disease: Shannen Doherty". Health Media Ventures, Inc. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  39. Doherty challenges Paul Watson to ice bucket challenge,; retrieved August 22, 2014.
  40. Shannon Doherty diagnosed with breast cancer,; accessed August 20, 2015.
  41. "EXCLUSIVE: Shannen Doherty Reveals Her Breast Cancer Has Spread: 'The Unknown Is the Scariest Part'", by Antoinette Bueno,
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 "Charmed – Series – Awards". TV Tango. Archived from the original on September 6, 2014.
  43. "Best TV Witches". AOL TV. Archived from the original on June 23, 2007.
  44. Sample, Kristin (October 22, 2007). "Top TV Witches". AOL TV. Archived from the original on September 6, 2014.
  45. Greenberger, Robert (October 31, 2008). "AOL Picks TV's Best Witches". Comic Mix. Archived from the original on September 6, 2014.

External links[]