Shannen Doherty Biography

Shannen Doherty is an American actress best known for her role in ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun.’ Check out this biography to know about her childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about her life.

Quick Facts

Birthday: April 12, 1971

Nationality: American

Famous: Actresses American Women

Age: 48 Years, 48 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Aries

Also Known As: Shannen Maria Doherty

Born in: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Famous as: Actress

Height: 5'3" (160 cm), 5'3" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Kurt Iswarienko (m. 2011), Ashley Hamilton (m. 1993–1994), Rick Salomon (m. 2002–2003)

father: John Thomas Doherty Jr.

mother: Rosa Elizabeth Doherty

siblings: Sean Doherty

U.S. State: Tennessee

City: Memphis, Tennessee

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Shannen Doherty is an American actress who rose to fame with her role in the movie ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt in 1985. She is also a television director as well as a producer and an author. She started her career as a child artist at very early age and has since then worked on a number of films and numerous television shows. She is known for her works in ‘Heathers’, ‘Our House’, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’, ‘Charmed’ and ‘North Shore’. A well-established actress now, she had a very tumultuous career and personal life back in the 1990s. She created a ‘bad girl’ image of herself during the shooting of 'Beverly Hills, 90210'. Many reports surfaced during that time accusing Shannen of indulging in physical fights and heated feuds with her co-stars. Shannen was also involved in some legal issues due to a physical altercation with a woman and another with California's United Bank. However, she managed to stabilize her life with time. Coming to her personal life, she is deeply committed when it comes to animal activism. She is an avid activist for animal rights and has participated in numerous campaigns to spread awareness against animal cruelty. Being a very outspoken character, she has never hidden her affiliation of being a Republican in an industry where the majority of her co-workers are Democrats.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Shannen Doherty was born as Shannen Maria Doherty on April 12, 1971, in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father Tom Doherty was a mortgage consultant, and her mother Rosa owned a beauty parlor. She has an older brother, Sean Doherty. Shannen’s ancestry includes Irish, English, French, and Scottish heritage from both sides of her parents’ families. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was just seven as her father started a family business on transportation.
  • She was a meritorious student during her school days. Shannen worked very hard and always scored top grades but remained very private and only interacted with her close friends.
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  • Shannen Doherty started her career in 1981 at the age of ten when she appeared as a guest character 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 appreciated by the audience. She was nominated in the category of ‘Best Young Actress: Guest on a Drama Series’ at the Youth in Film Awards in 1982.
  • The same year she debuted as a voice artist in the animated film ‘The Secret of NIMH’, voicing the character ‘Teresa Brisby’. The film was a directional product of Don Bluth and 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. Starting with ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ in 1990, Shannen made her mark on the television industry. She played the role of ‘Brenda Walsh’ and achieved much popularity.
  • In 1998, she featured in the series ‘Charmed’ as ‘Prue Halliwell’, the oldest of the three sisters who were witches. She left the show after the end of the third season due to the death of her character; however, 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 from the Saturn Awards for the ‘Best Actress in Television’ category as well.
  • In 2006, Shannen started her own reality show ‘Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty,’ a failed project as her so-called ‘dirty works’ on the show were not appreciated by the fans. The project was stopped after just one season.
  • In 2010, Shannen tried a very different genre in her career; she appeared on the show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ pairing with dancer Mark Ballas. But her fortunes did not favor her and the couple was the first to be eliminated from the show.
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Major Works
  • Shannen Doherty was featured on the ‘Playboy’ magazine twice in 1993 and 1994, both times posing nude. She was again featured in December 2003 with a 10-page long pictorial.
  • 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 ‘Youth In Film Awards’ nominations in the categories of ‘Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Series’ and ‘Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series’ in 1990 and 1991 respectively. She left the show after the conclusion of the fourth season as the character was written off.
Awards & Achievements
  • Shannen Doherty was nominated at the ‘Youth In Film Awards’ for ‘Best Young Actress: Guest on a Series’ category acknowledging her contribution to ‘Father Murphy’ in 1982.
  • She was nominated twice by the ‘Youth In Film Awards’ for her role in ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’.
  • She was twice nominated for the ‘Saturn Awards’ for her role in ‘Charmed’ in 1999 and 2000.
Personal Life
  • Shannen Doherty married Ashley Hamilton, son of actor George Hamilton, on October 11, 1993. But the couple divorced the very next year. Later 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 in October 2011 in Malibu, California.
  • Doherty suffered from breast cancer and announced her health issues in March 2015. She went for chemotherapy and radiotherapy following surgery and announced in April 2017 that her cancer was in remission.
Net Worth
  • As of 2017 Shannen Doherty has a net worth of US $10 million.
  • An avid animal activist, Shannen Doherty has four horses and three dogs.

1. Heathers (1988)


2. Mallrats (1995)

  (Comedy, Romance)

3. Night Shift (1982)


4. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)


5. Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)

  (Comedy, Crime)

6. Nowhere (1997)

  (Sci-Fi, Comedy, Drama)

7. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)

  (Romance, Comedy, Music)

8. Burning Palms (2010)

  (Comedy, Thriller)

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Last Updated
- October 24, 2017
Shannen Doherty

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