Childhood & Early Life
Holly Marie Combs was born on December 3, 1973, in San Diego, California. She is of Irish descent. Her mother is Lauralei Combs (nee Berckhem) and was only a teenager when she gave birth to Holly. Even her father was just seventeen at the time of Combs’ birth. Her parents got married despite young age.
Since her parents were extremely young when she was born, they decided to split up as they could not make the marriage work. When Combs was learning to walk, she fell and her head hit on a table which resulted into a ‘split’ right above her right eyebrow.
When she was young, she changed many homes with her mother. She moved near a beach in San Diego which was a private place. At the age of 7, the mother-daughter duo moved to New York City where she lived for most of her growing years.
When she was 12, her mother married her stepfather. Combs went to Beekman Hill Elementary in New York City, and then to the Professional Children’s School. When she was in Sydney, Australia for Supanova, she revealed that she was a certified Scuba Diver since the age of 13.
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Holly Marie Combs started her career from the age of 14 when she landed a role in ‘Sweet Hearts Dance’ (1988) which was a comedy drama film directed by Robert Greenwald. In the movie, she played the role of Debs Boon who is the daughter of Wiley Boon (a character played by Don Johnson) and Sandra Boon (a character played by Susan Sarandon).
Her next notable role was in ‘Born on the Fourth of July’ (1989) which was a film adaptation of bestselling autobiography of the same name by Ron Kovic who was a Vietnam War veteran. Here, she was seen in the role of Jenny and the movie also starred Tom Cruise.
Her other memorable performances were in movie ‘New York Stories’ (1989), ‘Simple Men’ (1992), ‘Chain of Desire’ (1992) and ‘Dr. Giggles’ (1992)
As an actress Combs got the opportunity to show off her acting skills through the CBS television series ‘Picket Fences’ which she signed at the age of 18. She played the role of Kimberly Brock, daughter of Sheriff Jimmy Brock for first four seasons of the show. The series ran from 1992 to 1996
In 1996, she also starred in ‘Sins of Silence’ which was a drama/horror TV film directed by Sam Pillsbury. Here, she played the role of Sophie Dimatteo.
In 1997, she was seen in another television film ‘Love’s Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder’ where she played a real-life convicted murderer, Diane Zamora. She was also seen in drama film ‘Daughters’ as Alex Morell who was one of the two daughters of a murdered heiress.
In 1998, Holly Marie Combs got a major role in the TV series ‘Charmed’ where she portrayed Piper Halliwell, second sister out of the three sisters who are witches. After Shannen Doherty’s departure from the show in season three, Combs’ character was the eldest sister for the rest of the show. Combs also donned the job of producing the show after the fifth season. She was the only cast member in the series who had appeared in every episode, even the unaired pilot episode.
In 2001, she made a cameo appearance in Steven Soderbergh’s movie ‘Ocean’s Eleven’.
In 2003, she was seen opposite Charisma Carpenter in the romantic comedy film ‘See Jane Date’. In this movie, she played the character of ‘struggling actress whose career benefits from an affair with an A-list actor’.
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In 2007, she starred in television film ‘Point of Entry’ (also titled ‘Panic Button’). In the movie, she was seen as Kathy Alden who is a wife and mother of a single child whose family moves to another place after a violent house break-in.
In 2008, Combs became a producer of a show by signing a contract with Lifetime to produce and star in series ‘Mistresses’. The show was based on British TV series of the same name. But the show was never telecast.
In 2010, she was signed for the series ‘Pretty Little Liars’ where she played the character of Ella Montgomery, mother of one of the main characters. For the first three seasons she was a regular cast, but after the third season, she became a special guest in the show. When ‘Pretty Little Liars’ came to end in seventh season, Combs returned for the show’s finale on June 27, 2017.
On January 2, 2015, Holly Marie Combs and Shannen Doherty starred in their own reality show ‘Off the Map with Shannen & Holly’. The show premiered on Great American Country. It was a six-episode series where the duo travelled across southeastern United States, visiting places like Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
In 2016, she starred in television film ‘Love’s Complicated’ where she played the lead role of Leah Townsend.
Holly Marie Combs has acted in many movies, TV series, and TV films. But her work was well-appreciated in the TV series ‘Picket Fences’ which aired from 1992-1997. She played the lead role of Kimberly Brock in the TV series and was nominated for many awards for her Best Performance. In 1993, she won an award for television series ‘Picket Fences’.
In 1998, Combs landed lead role in ‘Charmed’ where she played the role of a witch. Her performance was appreciated and she was nominated for awards. In addition to this, she was also in the list of The Huffington Post’s ‘Top 10 Greatest Witches of All Time’ and also in E! Online’s list of ‘Top 10 Most Bitchin’ Witches’.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1993, Holly Marie Combs got married to actor Bryan Travis Smith. But in 1997 the couple got divorced.
On February 14, 2004, she and her former ‘Charmed’ key-grip David Donoho got married. The couple have three kids: Finley Arthur Donoho (born in 2004), Riley Edward Donoho (born in 2006), and Kelley James Donoho (born in 2009). In 2011, the couple filed for divorce.
On September 3, 2017, Combs made an announcement on Instagram about her engagement to her boyfriend Mike.
In 1999, Holly Marie Combs was a bridesmaid at wedding of Alyssa Milano who is another well-known actress and former singer.
In 2002, Combs was ranked 62nd in FHM’s 100 sexiest women countdown.
In 2003, she was ranked 78th in Stuff magazines 103 sexiest women countdown.