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Holly Marie Combs Bio
Holly Marie Combs (born December 3, 1973) is an American actress and television producer. She is known for her roles as Kimberly Brock in the CBS series Picket Fences (1992–96), Piper Halliwell in The WB series Charmed (1998–2006), and Ella Montgomery in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars.
When she was 14 years old, Combs landed her first major role in Sweet Hearts Dance (1988), a comedy drama film directed by Robert Greenwald. She played Debs Boon, the daughter of Wiley Boon (played by Don Johnson) and Sandra Boon (played by Susan Sarandon). Her next major role was in Oliver Stone‘s Born on the Fourth of July (1989), a film adaptation of the best selling autobiography of the same name by Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic. Combs portrayed Jenny in the film, which also starred Tom Cruise. Her other roles included Helena in the 1989 anthology film New York Stories, and Kim Fields in Hal Hartley‘s Simple Men (1992). Also in 1992, Combs made an appearance in Temístocles López‘s Chain of Desire as Diana, and in the slasher film Dr. Giggles, in which she played Jennifer Campbell, the 19-year-old daughter of Tom Campbell (played by Cliff De Young) and girlfriend of Max Anderson (played by Glenn Quinn).
Combs’ first major breakthrough as an actress came at the age of 18, in the CBS television series Picket Fences. She portrayed Kimberly Brock, the daughter of Sheriff Jimmy Brock (played by Tom Skerritt) and Dr. Jill Brock (played by Kathy Baker), for the show’s four seasons (1992–96). Combs auditioned for the role in New York. The casting agent told her that she wasn’t right for the part because she “didn’t have a big enough heart.” Combs retorted, “If you’re looking for someone with a big heart, what the hell are you doing in New York?”. She was later called back and offered the job. Combs won a Young Artist Award for her performance on the show. During 1996, Combs starred as Sophie DiMatteo in Sins of Silence, a drama/horror television film directed by Sam Pillsbury. The following year, Combs portrayed real-life convicted murderess Diane Zamora in the television film Love’s Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder, and appeared in the fact-based drama film Daughters as Alex Morell, one of the two daughters of a murdered heiress.
In 1998, Combs landed a lead role in The WB television series Charmed, in which she portrayed Piper Halliwell, the middle of three sisters who are witches. Following Shannen Doherty‘s departure after season three (2000–01), Combs’ character became the eldest sister for the remaining five seasons of the show. Combs became a producer for Charmed from season five onwards. The series ended its run on May 21, 2006. In 2008, AOL named Combs’ character Piper the third greatest witch in television history. Combs is the only cast member to appear in the unaired pilot and every episode of the series.
During Charmed, Combs made a cameo appearance in Steven Soderbergh‘s Ocean’s Eleven (2001), and starred opposite Charisma Carpenter in the romantic comedy film See Jane Date (2003), portraying the role of “a struggling actress whose career benefits from an affair with an A-list actor.” In 2007, she starred in the Lifetime television film Panic Button as Kathy Alden, a wife and mother of a single child whose family moves to a “beautiful and supposedly secure gated community after she’s the victim of a violent house break-in.” The following year, Combs signed a contract with Lifetime to produce and star in a series Mistresses, based on the British series of the same name. However, that version of the show never made it to air. (ABC later made a version featuring Combs’ former Charmed co-star Alyssa Milano.) In 2010, Combs was cast in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars as Ella Montgomery, the mother of one of the main characters, Aria Montgomery (played by Lucy Hale). Combs was a series regular for the first three seasons, but beginning in season four, became credited as a special guest star.
On July 24, 2014, it was announced that Combs and Doherty 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. The six-episode series follows the pair traveling across southeastern United States, with stops in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Viewers were able to vote on activities Doherty and Combs would partake in at each destination on Great American Country’s official website.