Full Name: Shannen Maria Doherty
Birth Date: April 21, 1972
Birth Place: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Height: 5' 3"
Quote: "Even when I'm called in for an audition or anything, and even when I have to meet other actors/tresses, or be in front of the camera, I get goosebumps."
It was difficult to say whether Shannen Doherty was best known for her acting or her off camera antics. As Brenda Walsh, twin sister to Brandon and the resident Midwestern girl putting down roots in Beverly Hills, Doherty made her mark on pop cultural history with her four-year stint on Fox's iconic TV hit, “Beverly Hills, 90210” (1990-2000). At the same time she played virginal Brenda, Doherty began attracting media attention – both tabloid and mainstream – for her perceived temperamental behavior off screen. This reputation, whether real or undeserved, continued to follow her through the years, affecting several TV shows along the way.
Shannen Maria Doherty was born in Memphis, TN on April 12, 1971 to Tom, a banker, and Rosa, owner of a beauty parlor. In 1978, the Doherty family moved to Los Angeles where Tom started a West Coast branch of the family transportation business. Like many young girls plopped down in Hollywood, Doherty decided to pursue acting. Unlike many of these same girls, Doherty had acting chops and an undeniable charisma on screen. She made her debut at the tender age of 10 with a role on the series “Father Murphy” (NBC, 1981-1983).
As luck would have it, actor Michael Landon spotted Doherty on “Father Murphy” and suitably impressed, cast her as Jenny Wilder in the final season of “Little House on the Prairie” (ABC, 1974-1983). Doherty would go on to appear in several made-for-TV “Little House” movies in the years that followed. She also continued making the TV rounds with appearances on such '80s hit shows as “Air Wolf” (ABC, 1984-86) and “Magnum, P.I.” (CBS, 1980-88), before rejoining Landon on an episode of “Highway to Heaven” (NBC, 1984-89).
By the time the ever-employable Doherty was cast in the series “Our House” (1986-1988), she had appeared on the big-screen in “Night Shift” (1982) and “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” (1985) with a pre-pubescent Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt. It was in 1989, however, when a grown up Doherty made her first big mark on pop culture, co-starring opposite Winona Ryder in the teen cult film “Heathers” (1989). The masterful satire – which some consider the best comedy of the decade, certainly the best dark comedy – put Doherty on the map as one of the legendary “Heathers” of Westerberg High School.
Doherty one-upped herself a year later when, at the age of 19, she secured the part of Brenda Walsh on Aaron Spelling’s new teen drama, “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Audiences fell in love with the naïve Midwestern girl who fell for the local Beverly Hills bad boy, Dylan McKay, while all the while, learning to navigate the bitchy waters of West Beverly Hills High. After four years on “90210” – and amidst many reports of onset hostilities with her co-stars and crew as well as reports of tardiness on set – Doherty left the show. Writers explained the absence by sending Brenda off to college in her home state of Minnesota. Both pre and post-“90210,” Doherty became the girl everyone loved to hate, with her personal life playing out like an amped up version of “90210” itself. When not flashing paparazzi the bird or being accused of trashing rental properties, Doherty found time for love – being engaged and separated to Dean Factor (heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune) by 1991; engaged and separated to Chris Foufas by 1992; and finally married to Ashley Hamilton (son of the perennially tan George Hamilton) two weeks after meeting him. Not surprisingly, they divorced after less than a year. Following a brief relationship with actor Judd Nelson, she started dating director Rob Weiss before breaking up, got engaged, and breaking up again. To add to the infamy, Doherty appeared partially nude in Playboy in 1993 and graced the cover of Hugh Hefner’s gentlemen’s magazine in1994.
In a bid to keep her acting career alive amidst the bad PR blitz, Doherty starred in “Almost Dead” (1994) and Kevin Smith’s “Mallrats” (1995). Such was her appeal as a lead, that despite her questionable on-set reputation, she was cast as Prue Halliwell on the WB's successful series, “Charmed” (working with Aaron Spelling once again) in 1998. The show, about three sexy sisterly witches who protect the innocent, co-starred “Who’s the Boss” star Alyssa Milano and the then unknown Holly Marie Combs. Doherty flourished on the show, eventually directing three episodes before she was once-again axed from a hit show – allegedly due to on-set cattiness between her and Alyssa Milano. This time, Doherty had the final laugh – she owned a piece of the show even after being fired.
Back on her own after losing yet another high profile TV gig, Doherty reunited with Kevin Smith in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (2000), before appearing in a few TV movies, most notably “Another Day” (USA, 2001) and “Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay” (USA, 2002). She also appeared in the straight-to-video flick, “The Rendering” (2002).
In 2003, Doherty returned to TV as a regular by hosting season one and part of season two of “Scare Tactics” (Sci-Fi Channel), before leaving to pursue other endeavors (although some wondered if she was axed from this show as well). In the fall of 2004, Doherty later returned to series TV on Fox’s “North Shore” (204-05), arriving amidst minor controversy when the show’s star, Brooke Burns, expressed her displeasure at Doherty’s casting. Tabloids gleefully reported on-set tensions due to Burns’ perception that Doherty had had an affair with her (Burns’) then husband, actor Julian McMahon years before. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) for all involved, the Hawaii-based show was canceled after only one season. Also in 2004, Doherty reunited with ex-husband Rick Salomon (infamous for his homemade video/porn, “One Night in Paris” – the notorious Paris Hilton sex tape) after being separated for a year.
A year later, Doherty landed the role of Denise Johnson on the UPN sitcom “Love, Inc.” However, Doherty was later axed from this show, too. Reports circulated that the notorious actress may have landed the perfect job – that of host of a reality show in which Doherty would be dispatched to break up with people’s significant others – ambush style.
Shannen Doherty Filmography
Category 7: The End of the World (2005) (TV) .... Faith Clavell
"Love, Inc." .... Denise Johnson (1 episode, 2005)
- Pilot (2005) TV Episode (uncredited) .... Denise Johnson
"North Shore" .... Alexandra Hudson (2004-2005)
Nightlight (2003) (TV) .... Celeste
... aka View of Terror (Canada: English title: cable TV title) (USA)
... aka Une vue terrifiante (Canada: French title)
Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay (2002) (TV) .... Lexi Wilcox
... aka Empire de Mary Kay, L' (Canada: French title)
... aka The Battle of Mary Kay (UK)
The Rendering (2002) .... Sarah Reynolds
... aka Portrait macabre (Canada: French title)
... aka Portrait of a Murder (USA: TV title)
Another Day (2001) (TV) .... Kate
... aka Passion impossible (Canada: French title)
"Gary & Mike" (voice) .... Breeze (1 episode, 2001)
Satan's School for Girls (2000) (TV) .... Beth Hammersmith/Karen Oxford
Striking Poses (1999) .... Gage Sullivan
"Charmed" .... Prue Halliwell (1998-2001)
The Ticket (1997) (TV) .... CeeCee Reicker
Nowhere (1997) .... Valley Chick 2
Sleeping with the Devil (1997) (TV) .... Rebecca Dubrovich
Friends 'Til the End (1997) (TV) .... Heather Romley
Gone in the Night (1996) (TV) .... Cindi Dowaliby
Mallrats (1995) .... Rene Mosier
A Burning Passion: The Margaret Mitchell Story (1994) (TV) .... Margaret
Jailbreakers (1994) (TV) .... Angel Norton
Blindfold: Acts of Obsession (1994) (TV) .... Madeleine Dalton
... aka Blindfold
Almost Dead (1994) .... Doctor Katherine Roshak
"Saturday Night Live" .... Host (1 episode, 1993)
... aka SNL (USA: informal title)
... aka SNL 25 (USA: alternative title)
- Episode 19.2 (1993) TV Episode .... Host
Obsessed (1992) (TV) .... Lorie Brindel
"The Secret of Lost Creek" (1992) TV Series .... Jennie Fogel
Freeze Frame (1992) (TV) .... Lindsay Scott
... aka The Homeroom News
Forever Young (1991) (TV) .... Party Girl
"Beverly Hills, 90210" .... Brenda Walsh (1990-1994)
"Life Goes On" .... Ginny Green (1 episode, 1990)
"21 Jump Street" .... Janine (1 episode, 1989)
Heathers (1989) .... Heather Duke
"Our House" (1986) TV Series .... Kris Witherspoon (unknown episodes, 1986-1988)
"Outlaws" .... Young Girl (1 episode, 1986)
Outlaws (1986) (TV) .... Young Girl
"Highway to Heaven" .... Shelley Fowler (1 episode, 1985)
The Other Lover (1985) (TV) .... Alson Fielding
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985) .... Maggie Malene
"Robert Kennedy & His Times" (1985) (mini) TV Series .... Kathleen Kennedy
Little House: Bless All the Dear Children (1984) (TV) .... Jenny Wilder
Little House: The Last Farewell (1984) (TV) .... Jenny Wilder
"Airwolf" .... Phoebe Danner (1 episode, 1984)
... aka Lobo del aire (USA: Spanish title)
Little House: Look Back to Yesterday (1983) (TV) .... Jenny Wilder
"Magnum, P.I." .... Ima Platt (1 episode, 1983)
"Little House on the Prairie" .... Jenny Wilder (1982-1984)
... aka Little House: A New Beginning (USA: last season title)
"Voyagers!" .... Betty Parris (1 episode, 1982)
Night Shift (1982) .... Bluebird
The Secret of NIMH (1982) (voice) .... Teresa
... aka Mrs. Brisby and the Rats of NIMH
"The Phoenix" .... Little Girl (1 episode, 1982)
"Father Murphy" .... Drusilla Shannon (2 episodes, 1981)
Shannen Doherty Links
TeraBabes: Shannen Doherty
Babe Invasion: Shannen Doherty
Blazin Beauties: Shannen Doherty
Moono.com: Shannen Doherty
Shannen Doherty at GirlsKickButt.com
Shannen Doherty at Famous Beauties
Shannen Doherty at All Nude Celebrities
VIP Beauties: Shannen Doherty
Star Fool: Shannen Doherty
Bomis: Shannen Doherty
Babe Listings: Shannen Doherty