Memphis, Tennessee native Shannen Doherty has made a name for herself over the years in the popular long-running television shows “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Charmed,” and in the classic movies “Heathers” and “Mallrats.” Her extensive work onscreen and in film has spanned almost three decades, after receiving her first role at the age of ten in the series, “Father Murphy.”
Doherty’s mother, an owner of a beauty salon, and father, a mortgage consultant, moved her and older brother Sean to Los Angeles when Doherty was only seven years old, and she caught the acting bug. Shortly after, Doherty earned a recurring role as Jenny Wilder on the popular eighties hit, “Little House on the Prairie” when she was noticed by producer Michael Landon.
Doherty went on to star in the family drama, “Our House,” garnering several Young Artist Award nominations. She also was cast in the 1988 film, “Heathers,” opposite Winona Ryder, and in the 1985 hit, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” with a then-almost-unknown Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt. Her big break came in 1990, however, when she was cast alongside Jason Priestly as his character’s twin, Brenda Walsh, in Aaron Spelling’s hit teen drama series, “Beverly Hills, 90210,” which enjoyed a ten-year run. Doherty left the show in 1994, but not before it earned her two Young Artist Award nominations for Best Young Actress in a Television Series. She recently revised her role as Brenda in the CW television network’s spin-off version of the show, “90210,” alongside former castmate Jennie Garth and was also part of the 10th season of the ABC hit reality series, “Dancing With The Stars.”
In 1998, Spelling cast Doherty in another hit series, “Charmed,” as Prue Halliwell, the oldest sister of three who discover they are witches. Doherty was nominated for two Saturn Awards for the role, and directed numerous episodes. Between those two series projects, Doherty starred in several made-for-TV movies, including “Jailbreakers,” “Friends ‘Til the End” and “Sleeping with the Devil.” From 2004 to 2005, Doherty also had a recurring role on the short-lived series, “North Shore.”
In recent years, Doherty has hosted the Sci Fi Channel’s candid camera show, “Scare Tactics,” and her own reality show, “Breaking Up with Shannen Doherty.” She is next set to star in the 2010 independent film, “Burning Palms,” alongside Dylan McDermott, which is a satire based on Los Angeles stereotypes.
Doherty lives in Malibu, California with two dogs, and owns a horse ranch in Ventura County.