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Shannen Doherty Bio
Shannen Doherty (born April 12, 1971) is an American actress, producer, author, and television director. She is known for her roles as Brenda Walsh in Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–94), and as Prue Halliwell in Charmed (1998–2001).
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. In 2004, E! placed the character at number ten on their list of the 50 Most Wicked Women of Prime Time. 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. She was replaced by former Saved by the Bell star Tiffani Thiessen, who played Valerie Malone.
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 (in one notable scene, 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 TV 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 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 on-set and off-set tensions between Doherty and co-star Alyssa Milano. Doherty was also twice nominated, in 1999 and 2000, for the Saturn Award, Best Genre TV Actress, for her performance in Charmed. In 2007, AOL named Prue Halliwell the 10th greatest witch in television history.
Later work: 2002–present
In 2003, Doherty hosted the Sci Fi Channel candid camera show Scare Tactics during its initial season. 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 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 owing to poor ratings. She also starred in the popular British sitcom Bo! in the USA, a brain child of Leigh Francis. 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 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 for a reported $40,000–50,000 an episode. 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 and eventually agreed to appear in three additional episodes, with her most recent appearance airing in May 2009. The writers were eager to have her share scenes with Jennie Garth, who also reprised her 90210 role of Kelly Taylor. It was reported that Doherty and Garth’s characters would both have a romantic interest in the character Ryan Matthews (Ryan Eggold) 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.
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. 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. Doherty was paired with two-time champion Mark Ballas in his sixth season on the show, 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”. She wanted to do Dancing with the Stars to make her ailing father proud. Doherty returned for the finale.
Doherty starred in FEARnet‘s animated web series Mari-Kari, which launched on June 3, 2010. 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. 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. Later in 2012, Doherty became a spokesperson for Education Connection, 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. 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.