Shannen Doherty: The Life, The Love, The Scandals

If you were watching television in the 1990s then you were seeing Shannen Doherty in most TV shows. Having been part of two of the most iconic series of the decade, she made a name for herself, but not for the best reasons. Doherty was part of several dramas among cast members and her bad-girl reputation has followed her ever since. So, what has her life been like, and how did she handle the scandals’ backlash? 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jeff Katz | Actress Shannen Doherty poses for a portrait January 2001.


While her career began with guest spots in television shows such as “Voyagers!” and “Father Murphy”, everything would change when she was cast for the popular show “Little House on the Prairie”. At the age of 11, Doherty became Jenny Wilder and she was part of the show until 1983.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Alberto E. Rodriguez | Actress Shannen Doherty arrives at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Race to Witch Mountain".

Two years later she moved onto the big screen and played the character Maggie Malene in the teen comedy “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, where she worked alongside the now-famous Helen Hunt and Sarah Jessica Parker. However, her career would further develop in the television world, eventually becoming one of the most recognizable faces of TV.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Francois Durand | Actress Shannen Doherty attends the Disneyland Magic Christmas Season Launch.


After having some other roles in both movies and television series, Doherty landed the role that would change her life. Playing Brenda Walsh in “Beverly Hills, 90210”, her talent was recognized with a nomination for Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Mikel Roberts / Sygma | Shannen Doherty in Beverly Hills, 90210.

While her performance was quite impressive, the character she was playing was written off the show in 1994. She then moved to London where she attended the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts. Becoming a well-known actress was her dream, but that didn’t stop her from doing other types of work.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Mikel Roberts / Sygma | Cast of Beverly Hills, 90210.


Once she graduated, Doherty mostly worked in television movies, but in 1998 it would all change. She was cast in the hit series “Charmed”, where she played the lead character, Prue Halliwell. Not only that, but she was also in charge of directing some episodes of the series during the second and third seasons.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Neilson Barnard | Shannen Doherty poses for a portrait in the Getty Images & People Magazine Portrait Studio at Hallmark Channel and American Humanes 2019 Hero Dog Awards.

In 2001, her character in the series died, and she left the show at the end of season 3. According to some reports, Doherty left the show due to some tension that was happening between the cast members, but especially between her and her co-star Alyssa Milano. We will get into this later on!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Worldvision | 1998 Shannen Doherty Stars In The New Series "Charmed".


Between 2002 and 2008, Doherty appeared in some not-so-successful television series, working also with British and Swedish productions. In 2007, she opened up a production company which she called With No Apologies, and later in that year, she was ranked #96 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 Greatest Television Icons.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Earl Gibson III | Actress Shannen Doherty attends Paramount Network Launch Party.

In 2008, the cast of “Beverly Hills, 90210” returned for a spin-off of the show, and Doherty returned as a guest-star playing her old role of Brenda Walsh. Two years later, the actress became a celebrity contestant on the show Dancing With the Stars, where she was paired with Mark Ballas, however, they were the first couple to be eliminated.

Image Credits: Getty Images / David Livingston | Actress Shannen Doherty attends the 2015 Baby2Baby Gala presented by MarulaOil & Kayne Capital Advisors Foundation.


Five years ago, Doherty made a collaboration with former Charmed co-star Holly Marie Combs for the show “Off the Map with Shannen & Holly”, where they travel across the southeastern United States, stopping in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.


While her career was quite successful, even though it had its ups and downs, the same can’t be said about her love life. Shannen was married three times, so hopefully, the third time's the charm. Let’s have a look at her marriages!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Neilson Barnard | Shannen Doherty poses for a portrait in the Getty Images & People Magazine Portrait Studio at Hallmark Channel and American Humanes 2019 Hero Dog Awards.


After just two weeks of dating, Shannen married Ashley Hamilton, who is the son of George Hamilton. The pair got married in October 1993, but divorced just a few months later, in April 1994. According to some reports, the reason for the divorce was that Shannen was threatening Ashley.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection | Shannen Doherty and Ashley Hamilton.


Similarly, after dating for five months, Shannen decided to tie the knot with Rick Salomon. The two got married in 2002, however, the marriage was annulled just after nine months. Doherty has admitted that “I haven't made the best choices in men,” explaining that “It was a really hard marriage. When it ended, it was a heart-crushing thing.”

Image Credits: Getty Images / Evan Agostini | Actress Shannen Doherty and guest Rick Salomon attend Entertainment Weekly's Winter Wonderland Sundance Bash.


Doherty’s third marriage seems to be going strong. She married photographer Kurt Iswarienko in October 2011, and the two are still happily together. Even though they went through some difficulties together, it seems that their bond has been getting stronger by the day!

Image Credits: Getty Images / DISCIULLO / Bauer-Griffin / GC Images | Shannen Doherty (R) with husband Kurt Iswarienko are seen on April 03, 2012.


While her love life seems to finally be on track, she has had some non-love related scandals in the past. In 1993, Doherty was taken to court by California’s United Bank, which claimed she had bounced over 70 checks, to a total of $36,000.

The legal issues didn’t stop there, as in 2001 she was sentenced due to other unlawful mistakes Thankfully, some years have passed and she seems to have been behaving, or at least, living life according to the law. However, these occurrences did leave her with a bad reputation, which impacted her professional life.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic | Shannen Doherty attends the sixth biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) telecast.


In 2010, Shannen Doherty commented to Parade that she understands how her behavior had a negative impact on her career. “I have a rep. Did I earn it? Yeah, I did. But, after a while you sort of try to shed that rep because you’re kind of a different person,” she said.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Stefanie Keenan | Shannen Doherty attends COS and Margaret Qualley celebrate L.A. Dance Project's L.A. Dances.

The Beverly Hills’ actress continued that “You’ve evolved and all of the bad things you’ve done in your life have brought you to a much better place.” Nevertheless, it is important to mention that her reputation was not only bad because of her encounters with the law - in fact, she was also booted twice from the show’s she was working on.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Vera Anderson / WireImage | Shannen Doherty at the "BH90210" Press Conference.


There are several rumors around that mention Shannen is not an easy person to work with, and that this is the main reason she hasn’t been able to get good roles, especially considering her experience. In 2015, her co-star Tori Spelling admitted that she asked her father (the producer of 90210) to fire Doherty from the cast.

Image Credits: Getty Images / FOX Image Collection | Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Tori Spelling, Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Brian Austin Green and Gabrielle Carteris.

Tori explained during the Lifetime special “Celebrity Lie Detector” that there were several incidents that led to her decision. One of which was the fight that happened between Doherty and Jennie Garth, which had to be broken up by the male members of the cast. However, this would not be the last time that Doherty would get herself fired.

Image Credits: Getty Images / FOX Image Collection | Shannen Doherty.


There have been many speculations about what happened that led to Doherty being fired from “Charmed”, but since then many stars have come forward to comment on it, and one of them was Alyssa Milano. The actress said that “I think it's hard when you put… two very different people together.”

Milano continued, “I'm very laid-back and passive… [Doherty's] got a lot of energy, she's very headstrong, she wants to get the job done.” According to speculations, Milano gave the show’s producers an ultimatum: either fire Doherty or she would leave the show. Milano’s popularity was growing, so it is possible that this was the reason behind Doherty getting the boot.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Gregg DeGuire / FilmMagic | Shannen Doherty arrives at the FOX Summer TCA 2019 All-Star Party.


In 2015, Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer. One year later, the actress announced she was still receiving treatment. After the surgery, she underwent more therapy. In 2019, the actress announced that her cancer was in remission, and has often spoken about how she handled this disease.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic | Actress Shannen Doherty attends Hollywood Unites For The 5th Biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C).


In early 2019, Doherty announced that “I’m in remission, but I’m still not done with this journey. Every five years [cancer-free] is another milestone. As brutal as it was, cancer was a gift. It opened me up, it taught me about myself, and it changed me as a human being forever.”

Image Credits: Getty Images / FOX Image Collection | Shannen Doherty in the BH90210 "Pitch" episode.

Shannen has also shared how her husband helped her through this, confessing that “A pivotal moment for me was when I was deathly ill from the chemo. They were worried because I couldn’t keep anything in. One time, I couldn’t lift my head, I couldn’t suck on an ice cube, I was done.”


She continued, “And Kurt was crying, saying, “Please don’t leave me.” I looked at him and thought, “I can’t do this to him.” So I dug deep, gathered everything up, and charged forward again. Kurt and I got through one of the worst things a couple can go through, and we came out stronger.”

According to the actress, both of them were changed by the illness, saying “For anybody to think that the only person altered by cancer is the person with cancer is incredibly wrong. Cancer alters the people in your life. And it’s shaped both of us. We look at life very differently now.”


"I try to treasure all the small moments that most people don't really see or take for granted," she said. "The small things are magnified for me. We have this endless well within us, and it's just about continuing to dig in that well for the strength to face adversity -- and so that we can also see all the beauty."

Image Credits: Getty Images / Neilson Barnard | Shannen Doherty poses for a portrait in the Getty Images & People Magazine Portrait Studio at Hallmark Channel and American Humanes 2019 Hero Dog Awards.

Sadly, in 2020, Shannen announced that her breast cancer had returned and had spread. The actress will have to undergo "therapy" again. Doherty has since opened up about how she is handling this news. In her opinion, it has a lot to do with karma.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Amanda Edwards / WireImage | Actress Shannen Doherty arrives at the Farrah Fawcett Foundation's "Tex-Mex Fiesta" event honoring Stand Up To Cancer.


"I was like, 'OK, do I have good karma? Do I have bad karma? Why would I have bad karma?' I started taking stock of my life and the things I'd done, and the things I hadn't done. How I was with people," the actress said.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Vivien Killilea / WireImage | Actress Shannen Doherty arrives at American Cancer Society's Giants of Science Los Angeles Gala.

"There are things I need to say to my mom. I want my husband to know what he's meant to me. But whenever it comes time for me to do it, it feels so final. It feels like you're signing off, and I'm not signing off. [...] I'm not ready for pasture. I've got a lot of life in me."

Image Credits: Getty Images / Kevork Djansezian | Shannen Doherty attends Hollywood Unites for the 5th Biennial Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C).

From a child actress to being a lead actress in some of the most popular television shows, passing through some downs and overcoming scandals, Shannen Doherty is now fighting for her life and seems to have the right attitude about it. Let us know what you think about this story and make sure to share it with your friends.

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