Shannen Maria Doherty (/ˈd.ərti/; born April 12, 1971)[1] is an American actress, producer, author, and television director known for her work in Little House on the PrairieHeathersOur House90210 (TV series), and Charmed.


 [hide*1 Early life and career beginnings

Early life and career beginnings[edit]Edit

Shannen Maria Doherty[1] 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 eventually won the role of Jenny Wilder at the age of 11, thanks in part to actor/producer Michael Landon's seeing her guest spot on Father Murphy,[4]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 the teen movie comedy Girls Just Want to Have Funalongside 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.[5]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[edit]Edit

[1][2]Doherty with Jason Priestley at the Governor's Ball following the 43rd AnnualEmmy 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.[6] In 2004, E! placed the character at number ten on their list of the 50 Most Wicked Women of Prime Time.[7] Doherty was removed after the fourth season in 1994 because of 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 by 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. 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 characterPaige Matthews, who was portrayed by film actress Rose McGowan. Reportedly, the reason for her departure was again because of on-set and off-set tensions between Doherty and co-starAlyssa Milano.[8] 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, 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.[9]

Later work: 2002—present[edit]Edit

In 2003, Doherty hosted the Sci Fi Channel candid camera show Scare Tactics during its initial season.[10] 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, 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 owing to poor ratings. She also starred in the popular British sitcom Bo! in the USA, a brain child of Leigh Francis.[4] 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.[11] 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[12] and eventually agreed to appear in three additional episodes, with her most recent appearance airing in May 2009.[13][14] The writers were eager to have her share scenes with Jennie Garth, who also reprised her 90210 role of Kelly Taylor.[15] It was reported that Doherty and Garth's characters would both have a romantic interest in the character Ryan Matthews (Ryan Eggold)[16]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.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19] Doherty was paired with two-time champion Mark Ballas in his sixth season on the show,[20] 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.[21] Doherty returned for the finale. Doherty starred in FEARnet's animated web series Mari-Kari, which launched on June 3, 2010.[22] Mari and Kari are identical twins, but Kari is a ghost. Doherty voiced both Mari and Kari in the eight-episode show.[23]

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.[24] Later in 2012, Doherty became a spokesperson for Education Connection.[25]

In 2013, she appeared in an episode of The New Normal and reprised her character Brenda Walsh from Beverly Hills, 90210, which aired in the UK on E4 on March 21, 2013.

Personal life[edit]Edit

In January 1993, California's United Bank took Doherty to court for $36,000 they claimed she owed them after bouncing more than 70 checks. On October 11, 1993, Shannen Doherty was married to Ashley Hamilton, son of actor George Hamilton; they divorced in April 1994.[26] 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.[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]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Night Shift Bluebird
The Secret of NIMH Teresa (voice)
1985 Girls Just Want to Have Fun Maggie Malene
The Other Lover Alison Fielding
1987 Alf Loves a Mystery The Lady in Red
1989 Heathers Heather Duke
1991 Forever Young Party Girl
1992 Freeze Frame Lindsay Scott
Obsessed Lorie Brindel
1994 A Burning Passion: The Margaret Mitchell Story Margaret Mitchell
1994 Almost Dead Doctor Katherine Roshak
Blindfold: Acts of Obsession Madeleine Dalton
Jailbreakers Angel Norton
1995 Mallrats Rene Mosier
1996 Gone in the Night Cynthia "Cindi" Dowaliby
1997 Friends 'Til The End Heather Romely
Sleeping with the Devil Rebecca Dubrovich
The Ticket CeeCee Reicker
Nowhere Valley Chick #2 Cameo with Rose McGowan
1999 Striking Poses Gage Renee Sullivan/Julie Summerfield/Margaret Mudge Direct-to-video
2000 Satan's School for Girls Beth Hammersmith/Karen Oxford
2001 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Herself Cameo
Another Day Kate
2002 Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay Lexi Wilcox
The Rendering Sarah Reynolds
2003 View of Terror Celeste Timmerman
2005 Category 7: The End of the World Scientist Faith Clavell
2007 Christmas Caper Kate Dove
2008 Kiss Me Deadly Marta Also known as The Delphi Effect
The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon Susan Jordan Syfy TV movie
2009 Encounter with Danger Lori Also known as Resistance
2010 Burning Palms Dr. Shelly
Growing the Big One Emma Silver Hallmark Channel TV movie
2012 Witchslayer Gretl Gretl Syfy TV movie

Also known as WitchslayerGretl, and Gretl: Witch Hunter

2013 Mark of the Cobra Donna Starring opposite Ray Liotta
Bukowski Katharina Bukowski Filming
Year Title Role Notes
1981 Father Murphy Drusilla Shannon Nominated—Young Artist Award
1982 The Phoenix Little Girl
1982 Voyagers! Betty Parris
1982–83 Little House on the Prairie Jenny Wilder 18 episodes

Nominated–Young Artist Award (1983 and 1984)

1983 Little House: Look Back to Yesterday Jenny Wilder
Magnum, P.I. Ima Platt
1984 Airwolf Phoebe Danner Nominated—Young Artist Award
Little House: Bless All The Dear Children Jenny Wilder
Little House: The Last Farewell Jenny Wilder
The New Leave It to Beaver Laurie 1 episode
1985 Highway to Heaven Shelley Fowler
Robert Kennedy & His Times Kathleen Kennedy
1986–88 Our House Kris Witherspoon Nominated—Young Artist Award (1987 and 1988)
1986 Out Laws Young Girl
1989 21 Jump Street Janine
1990 Life Goes On Ginny Green
1990–94 Beverly Hills, 90210 Brenda Walsh Series regular (Seasons 1–4); 111 episodes

Young Artist Award (1993) Nominated—Young Artist Award (1991 and 1992) Nominated—TV Land Awards (2007)

1992 The Secret of Lost Creek Jennie Fogel
"Real Love" by Slaughter Video Vixen Music video
1998–2001 Charmed Prue Halliwell Lead role (Seasons 1–3); 67 episodes

Nominated—Saturn Award (1999, 2000)

2004–05 North Shore Alexandra Hudson 11 episodes
2005 Love, Inc. Denise Johnson "Pilot"
2008–09 90210 Brenda Walsh Special guest star (Season 1); 8 episodes
2010 Mari-Kari Mari/Kari (voice)
2012 The New Normal Herself Episode 10: "The XY Factor"
Reality television
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Scare Tactics Host
2006 Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty Host
2010 Dancing with the Stars Competitor Eliminated March 30
2011 Les Anges de la Télé Réalité 3 : I Love New York Special Guest Star NRJ 12 French reality series
2012 Shannen Says Herself WE tv reality series
Year Title Role Episode title/Notes
2011 Suite 7 Adrianne Company
Series director Captive Audience
Year Title/Band name Episode/Song title Season/Episode number/Notes
2000 Charmed "Be Careful What You Witch For" Season 2, episode 22
2001 "The Good, the Bad and the Cursed" Season 3, episode 14
"All Hell Breaks Loose" Season 3, episode 22
2012 Radical Something "Naked in Venice" Starring Holly Marie Combs
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Another Day co-executive producer
2006 Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty executive producer
2006 Better Off: Insecurity Check executive producer
Year Title Episode title/Note Role
2006 Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty "Dancing by Myself" creator
2006 Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty "You Need My Helpline: Chemistry Test" creator
2010 Badass: A Hard-Earned Guide to Living Life with Style and (Right) Attitude author
Year Title Role Notes
2010 A Room of My Own nun with Ralph Macchio and Mario Cantone
Year Title Episode title Season/Episode number
2001 Charmed "Coyote Piper" Season 3, episode 9

Magazine art director
Year Magazine Job description
2009 Pasadena Magazine In charge of choosing cover designs and photospreads
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