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Shannen Doherty: Beverly Hills, 90210 star dies aged 53 | Ents & Arts News

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Shannen Doherty, the star of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Charmed, has died at the age of 53.

The American star was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.

In December 2016, she posted a photograph of her first day of radio therapy, describing the treatment as “frightening”.

In February 2020, she revealed the cancer had returned and was at stage four – the most advanced.

Last year, she had a brain tumour removed and revealed the disease had spread to her bones.

“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of actress Shannen Doherty,” Doherty’s publicist Leslie Sloane told Sky News.

“On Saturday, July 13, she lost her battle with cancer after many years of fighting the disease.

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Watch Shannen Doherty in Beverly Hills, 90210

“The devoted daughter, sister, aunt and friend was surrounded by her loved ones as well as her dog, Bowie.”

Doherty, who appeared in the 1989 teen comedy Heathers, became widely known for her portrayal of Brenda in 90210, which began the following year.

Brenda was a student from Minnesota who struggled to fit in with her classmates in the wealthy LA postcode.

Doherty left the show – which continued until 2000 – during its fourth season in 1994.

Shannen Doherty with her Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Jason Priestley in 1991. Pic: Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch/IPX via AP
Image:
Shannen Doherty with her Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Jason Priestley in 1991. Pic: Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch/IPX via AP

In 1998, Aaron Spelling, who produced 90210, cast Doherty in Charmed, a supernatural series in which she played Prue Halliwell, the oldest of three sisters with magical abilities.

Despite being a hit, behind-the-scenes turmoil was reported.

People magazine described Doherty as the “iconic ‘bad girl’ of the 90s”, saying she had a reputation for partying, turning up late on set and feuding with both her bosses and fellow actors.

In 1997, Doherty was sentenced to anger-management counselling by a Beverly Hills Municipal Court judge after she allegedly smashed a beer bottle onto a man’s windscreen during an argument.

In 2001, she pleaded no contest after being arrested for drink driving and was ordered to serve five days in a work-release programme.

Last year, in a podcast called Let’s Be Clear with Shannen Doherty, she said she took “full responsibility for her actions”.

She would “get a little carried away” at nightclubs in her early 20s, she added.

Doherty at a Stand Up To Cancer fundraising event in Los Angeles in 2016. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Doherty at a Stand Up To Cancer fundraising event in Los Angeles in 2016. Pic: Reuters

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Doherty also said she would tell Spelling and others when she thought a script needed work.

“I was raised to have an opinion, and that my opinion should be valued, so I just kept on pressing up against that machine, up against men who didn’t really want to hear my opinion,” she said on the podcast.

But she also “learned the simple art of diplomacy” and realised there “might be a nicer way to say some things”, she added.

Spelling, who died in 2006, said they had a “few bumps along the road, but golly, who doesn’t?”

He added: “Everything Shannen did was blown out of proportion by the rag sheets.”

She reprised her role as Brenda for reboots of 90210 in 2008 and 2019.

Doherty was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1971. She began acting as a child, moving to Los Angeles with her family when she was seven.

At the age of 11, she played Jenny Wilder in the final season of Little House On The Prairie.

Acting was “completely my decision”, she said in 1994. “My parents never pushed me into anything. They support me. It really wouldn’t matter if I was a professional soccer player – they’d still be as supportive and loving.”

She was married three times, most recently to photographer Kurt Iswarienko, from whom she filed for divorce last year.



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