Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News.
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
social
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Shannen Doherty

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Famous For:
Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Our House, Heathers
Networth:
$10 Million
Currently Known For:
Actress, Producer, and TV Director
Famous Years:
1980s - 2000s
Birthdate:
April 12, 1971
Shannen Doherty


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  famous for:
Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Our House, Heathers

  networth:
$10 Million

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“Your life changes. Everything has to be done perfectly, and I didn’t follow that. I lived my life as if I wasn’t in the public eye. I thought, ‘I’m young. I have the right to experience new things, and if I want to go to a bar and get drunk, that’s my prerogative.” Surrounded by scandal thanks to her wild behavior in the spotlight, Shannen Doherty is often portrayed as a villain and diva after her early departure from hit series like Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-1994) and Charmed (1998-2001). As she continues to repair her reputation today, let’s take a closer look at Doherty’s rise to fame, her career, and her recent battle with breast cancer.

1970s to Stardom

Shannen Maria Doherty came into this world on April 12, 1971, in Memphis, Tennessee where her mother ran a beauty parlor, Vera’s Retreat, and her father worked as a mortgage consultant. Raised in a conservative Southern Baptist home alongside her brother, Doherty was first introduced to acting at the age of eight when a friend invited her to watch the auditions for a children’s production of Snow White at the local church. Instead of watching, Doherty auditioned and won a leading role in the production. Her performance attracted the local press, but it wasn’t enough to convince her parents to let her pursue her acting dreams.

After two years of begging her parents, Doherty signed on with an agent and landed her first voiceover job in the animated feature, The Secret of N.I.M.H. (1982). She booked several commercial jobs and made her television debut in an episode of Father Murphy (1981). Over the next few years, she appeared in films like Night Shift (1982) and Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985) as well as in television series like The Phoenix (1982), Voyagers! (1982), Magnum, P.I. (1983), Airwolf (1984), and The New Leave It to Beaver (1985). One of her biggest roles during this time came in 1982 when she was cast as Jenny Wilder on Little House on the Prairie (1982-1983). She reprised her role in television films Little House: Look Back to Yesterday (1983), Little House: The Last Farewell (1984), and Little House: Bless All the Dear Children (1984).

Doherty’s rise to fame officially started in 1988 when she made her feature film debut in Heathers. She then caught the attention of Aaron Spelling who cast her as Brenda Walsh in his new television series, Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-1994). Over the next four seasons, Doherty became one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars as she earned a Young Artist Award nomination. She explored her newfound fame with risqué behavior after she posed nude for Playboy magazine in December 1993 and again in March 1994. Around this time, she abruptly left Beverly Hills, 90210 and spent the next several years appearing in made-for-television films like Blindfold: Acts of Obsession (1994), A Burning Passion: The Margaret Mitchell Story (1994), Gone in the Night (1996), and Sleeping with the Devil (1997). She also starred in Kevin Smith’s 1995 classic, Mallrats.

Despite her departure from Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1994, Doherty remained on good terms with Spelling who cast her as Prue Halliwell in his other hit series, Charmed (1998-2001). Doherty once again became a fan favorite on the show and was nominated for two Saturn Awards for her performance. However, the high praise did little to dissuade her from abruptly leaving the series at the end of the third season in 2001. By then, rumors ran wild that Doherty’s departure was caused by tensions behind the scenes with her costar, Alyssa Milano.

After leaving Charmed, Doherty returned to her niche in made-for-television film and also landing a recurring role on North Shore (2004-2005). Then, in 2008, she surprised her fans when she reprised her role as Brenda Walsh in the spinoff series, 90210 (2008-2009). Once again, however, Doherty’s reputation and plenty of juicy gossip preceded her. “I have a rep. Did I earn it? Yeah, I did,” she said. “But after a while, you sort of try to shed that rep because you’re kind of a different person. You’ve evolved and all of the bad things you’ve done in your life have brought you to a much better place.”

Rebuilding Her Reputation

Since reprising her role on 90210 in 2008, Doherty competed on Dancing with the Stars (2010) and launched her own series, Shannen Says (2012). She executive produced and starred in Off the Map with Shannen & Holly (2015) and snagged a recurring role in Heathers (2018). Most recently, she launched the spinoff, BH90210 (2019), and paid tribute to her former costar, Luke Perry, in an episode of Riverdale (2019). Her upcoming film projects include Undateable John, How to Make a Deal with the Devil, and Bukowski.

Apart from rebuilding her reputation in Hollywood, the 48-year-old Doherty has faced several obstacles of her own, the biggest of which came in 2015 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Learning that the cancer spread to her lymph nodes, Doherty started treatment to shrink the tumor with the hopes of having a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy. When doctors discovered multiple tumors and ruled out a lumpectomy, Doherty underwent a single mastectomy in May 2016. Surgery revealed that the cancer was far more advanced, so Doherty underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy after surgery. In April 2017, Doherty confirmed that her cancer was in remission.

With a new lease on life, Doherty returned to work as an actress, producer, and television director despite the backlash of her early career. “Being a part of TV history is an honor, but it also comes with some massive backlash. There have been many stories floating around about me,” she said. “The only thing I’m a control freak over is my health. Trying to stay healthy and positive…” As people criticized her career, Doherty fought back saying, “I realized this morning that I have a fear of doing what I love because of headlines like this. Not only because there is zero truth to it but because it lessens me and my journey, battle, experience with cancer. Why should I be scared to work? …I have been through hell and back… I am a woman with my own story. Please stop trying to tell your wildly inaccurate, exaggerated story of me. I promise you don’t know me.”

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