Shannen Doherty is an American actress who rose to fame with the movie ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ (1985) where she appeared alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt. She is also a television director as well as producer and author. She started acting at a very young age and has since worked in a number of films and television shows. She is known for her works in ‘Heathers,’ ‘Our House,’ ‘Beverly Hills, 90210,’ ‘Charmed,’ and ‘North Shore.’ Though she is a well-established actress now, she had a very tumultuous career and personal life back in the 1990s. She created a ‘bad girl’ image for herself while working on the sets of 'Beverly Hills, 90210.' Many reports which surfaced during that time accused Shannen of indulging in physical fights and heated feuds with her co-stars. Shannen was also involved in some legal issues due to a brawl with a woman and some disputes with California's ‘United Bank.’ Nevertheless, with time, she learned to stay away from controversies. As far as her personal life is concerned, she is an ardent animal rights activist and has participated in numerous campaigns to raise awareness on animal cruelty. Being a very outspoken person, she has never hidden the fact that she is a Republican in an industry where majority of her co-workers are Democrats.
Childhood & Early Life
Shannen Doherty was born Shannen Maria Doherty on April 12, 1971, in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Her father Tom Doherty was a mortgage consultant, and her mother Rosa owned a beauty parlor. She has an older brother named Sean Doherty. Shannen is of Irish, English, French, and Scottish descent. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was just seven as her father started a family business.
She was a meritorious student during her school days. She worked very hard and scored top grades, but remained very private and interacted only with her close friends.
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Shannen Doherty started acting in 1981 at the age of ten when she played a cameo role in the television show ‘Father Murphy.’ She played the role of ‘Drusilla Shannon’ in both parts of the episode ‘By the Bear That Bit Me.’ Her role in this show brought her a lot of praise from the critics and was also appreciated by the audience. She was nominated under the category of ‘Best Young Actress Guest on a Series’ at the ‘Young Artist Award’ in 1983.
The same year, she debuted as a voice artist in the animated film ‘The Secret of NIMH,’ voicing the character ‘Teresa Brisby.’ The film, which was directed by Don Bluth, became a commercial success.
In the 1990s, fortune turned in her favor as her acting career touched new heights, and she landed some of the most important roles in her career. By appearing in ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ in 1990, Shannen made her mark in the television industry. She played the role of ‘Brenda Walsh’ and achieved popularity.
In 1998, she featured in the series ‘Charmed’ as ‘Prue Halliwell,’ the oldest of three sisters. She left the show after the end of the third season as her character was killed; but it was reported that she left due to the many on and off-set feuds with her co-stars. She had also directed some of the episodes during the second and third seasons. She had earned two nominations for ‘Saturn Awards’ under the ‘Best Genre TV Actress’ category.
In 2006, Shannen started her own reality show titled ‘Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty.’ The project failed as her so-called ‘dirty works’ on the show were not appreciated by the fans. The project was discontinued after just one season.
In 2010, Shannen tried her hand at dancing; she appeared on the show ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ pairing with dancer Mark Ballas. But fortune did not favor her as the pair was the first to be eliminated from the show.
She directed two music videos for the band ‘Radical Something’ in 2012 and 2014.
In the 2016 sports drama film ‘Back in the Day,’ she starred alongside Alec Baldwin, Danny Glover, and Michael Madsen.
She was seen in the TV series ‘Heathers’ in 2018. In 2019, she guest-starred in ‘Riverdale’ as part of a Luke Perry tribute.
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Shannen Doherty was featured in the ‘Playboy’ magazine twice in 1993 and 1994. She posed nude on both the occasions. She was once again featured in the magazine in December 2003.
She earned a lot of appreciation for her role in ‘Beverly Hills, 90210,’ a show hugely popular among the audience. She played the role of ‘Brenda Walsh’ which brought her two ‘Young Artist Award’ nominations under the categories of ‘Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Series’ and ‘Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series’ in 1991 and 1992 respectively. She left the show after the conclusion of the fourth season.
Awards & Achievements
In 1983, Shannen Doherty was nominated for the ‘Young Artist Award’ under the ‘Best Young Actress Guest on a Series’ category for her performance in ‘Father Murphy.’
She was nominated twice for the ‘Young Artist Award’ for her role in ‘Beverly Hills, 90210.’
She was nominated twice for the ‘Saturn Award’ for her role in ‘Charmed’ in 1999 and 2000.
Shannen Doherty married Ashley Hamilton, son of actor George Hamilton, on October 11, 1993. But the couple divorced the very next year. In 2002, she married Rick Salomon, but this marriage also didn’t last long as it was annulled after just nine months.
Currently, Shannen is married to photographer Kurt Iswarienko. The couple got married on 15 October 2011, in Malibu, California.
Doherty suffered from breast cancer which she spoke about in March 2015. She went for chemotherapy and radiotherapy following surgery. She announced in April 2017 that her cancer was in remission. On February 4, 2020, she announced that her cancer had returned in 2019.
As of 2020, Shannen Doherty has an estimated net worth of over US $12 million.
An avid animal rights activist, Shannen Doherty has four horses and three dogs.