It has been 20 years ago this week since Aaron Spelling unleashed this high school soap on the world, but if last month’s buzz surrounding 90210 Day is indication, it still has a firm place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And what about its stars? For simplicity’s sake, we’re only going to focus on the main characters from the West Beverly High years, or you could be reading all day.
Jason Priestley After playing Brandon Walsh for eight years, Jason decided to leave the show as a cast member in 1998, but stayed on as an executive producer until the end. He played the role of Jack Harper on Tru Calling from 2004 to 2005, and has also appeared on Love Monkey, the WB’s What I Like About You, Without a Trace, My Name Is Earl, and a Lifetime Original movie called Side Order of Life. His behind the camera work includes an episode from the final season of 7th Heaven, two episodes of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and the episode of the 90210 reboot that marked Tori Spelling’s return to the show.
On the personal side of things, after dating Shannen Doherty in 1990, and then living with the actress who played Emily Valentine for five years, Jason married 90210 make-up artist Ashlee Petersen in 1999. They divorced the following year. In 2005, he married another make-up artist — Naomi Lowde. They’re still together and have two young children, a daughter who is three and a 1-year-old son.
Jason has always been a fan of race car driving. In 2002, he was seriously injured during a practice run at the Kentucky Speedway when his car crashed into a wall going nearly 180 miles per hour. He made a full recovery.
Shannen Doherty Shannen departed 90210 at the end of the fourth season when Brenda Walsh moved to London to attend the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts. Mallrats aside, her career stalled out until Aaron Spelling offered her a starring role in his new series Charmed in 1998. After three successful seasons of playing Prue Halliwell, Shannen left the show in 2001 — allegedly because of tension with her co-star Alyssa Milano.
Since then, she has had a variety of forgettable projects, the most notable of which include hosting Scare Tactics and starring in her own reality show, Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty. Shannen appeared on the 10th season of Dancing with the Stars, but was eliminated in the second week. She has also made a handful of guest appearances on the 90210 reboot, reprising the role of Brenda Walsh, now all grown up and a successful theater actress/stage director.
Shannen’s personal life is a bit of a mess: She was briefly married to George Hamilton’s son Ashley in 1994. She had an on and off again relationship with actor/director/producer Rob Weiss that ultimately ended because Shannen was “too high maintenance.” And then in 2003, her marriage to Rick Solomon was annulled after his sex tape with Paris Hilton leaked on the Internet.
Jennie Garth Jennie appeared on the series as Kelly Taylor for the full 10 seasons. After the show ended, she starred in a handful of made-for-TV movies before landing a starring role in The WB’s What I Like About You as Valerie Tyler, which lasted for four seasons. In 2007, she appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and was paired with Derek Hough (they reached the semifinals).
The following year Jennie returned to the role of Kelly Taylor in The CW’s 90210 reboot, playing a guidance counselor at West Beverly High. Most recently Jennie starred in a web series on iVillage called “Garden Party” that’s sponsored by Hidden Valley Ranch and promotes healthy eating for kids. After divorcing her first husband, a musician named Daniel B. Clark, in 1996, she converted to Catholicism in order to marry actor Peter Facinelli in 2001. They have three daughters.
Luke Perry Luke (who originally auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders) played Dylan McKay from 1990 to 1995 before leaving to pursue more “mature” acting roles. He then returned to show as a “special guest star” from 1998 to 2000 for financial reasons. Since then, he has had a variety of TV acting roles: three short-lived series (Jeremiah, Windfall, and John from Cincinnati); voice-over work playing himself (The Simpsons, Johnny Bravo, and The Family Guy); and guest spots (Spin City, Will and Grace, What I Like About You, Oz, Law & Order: SVU, and Criminal Minds). He also starred in the Killers’ video for “Happy Birthday Guadalupe,” a 2001 Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and a London stage adaptation of When Harry Met Sally opposite Alyson Halligan.
Luke was married to Rachel Sharp from 1993 to 2003. They have two children, Jack and Sophie.
He has publicly stated that he has no plans to appear on the 90210 spin-off because of his loyalty to Aaron Spelling: “The difference between CW bringing something back and Aaron Spelling doing something back is significant. And I cannot do it without Aaron.”
Tori Spelling Tori stayed on 90210 for its entire run, before (rather unexpectedly) venturing into the world of indie film with roles in Trick and The House of Yes. From there, she veered back into more predictable territory as the star of two reality-based shows — So NoTORIous on VH1 and Oxygen Network’s Tori & Dean: Inn Love, which in its third season changed its name to Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. She has also appeared in two episodes of the 90210 reboot as Donna Martin.
Outside of her acting career, Tori has a line of jewelry on QVC and three published books: sTori Telling, Mommywood, and unchartered terriTORI.
Tori married Charlie Shanian, an actor and playwright, in 2004. They separated the following year when she met and fell in love with Dean McDermott on the set of TV movie Mind Over Murder. They married in a private ceremony in Fiji in 2006, and renewed their vows in a ceremony this year. They have two children, a boy and a girl.
Brian Austin Green Since 90210, Brian has had a handful of roles in film and TV, the majority of them forgettable. Most significantly he played Derek Reese on FOX’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for two seasons, until the show was canceled. While he recently signed on for a multiple episode story arc on Desperate Housewives, at this point he’s probably best known as Mr. Megan Fox. He has a son with actress Vanessa Marcil, who he met on the set of 90210.
Ian Ziering The most talked about thing Ian has done since playing Steve Sanders is a stint on Season 4 of Dancing with the Stars. It’s also worth noting that he threw his hat into the ring to succeed Bob Barker as the host of The Price Is Right. After divorcing Nikki Schieler Ziering in 2002, he married a nurse named Erin Kristine Ludwig this past May.
Gabrielle Carteris When 29-year-old Gabrielle was cast to play high school junior Andrea Zuckerman, she was the oldest actor in the bunch — and only six years younger than the actor who played Mr. Walsh. She left the show after five seasons, and decided to host her own television talk show, Gabrielle. It lasted only one season.
In 2003, Gabrielle appeared on the first season of VH1’s The Surreal Life. Three years later, she suffered an injury while filming a TV movie that left her face partially paralyzed for six months. Since recovering, she has done voice work for several video games and made guest appearances on shows ranging from Nip/Tuck to Drake & Josh to Criminal Minds.
She has been married to Charles Isaacs, a stock broker, for the past 18 years, and has two daughters, Kelsey and Mollie.
10 of Our Favorite Supporting Actors
If you watch the new 90210, then you know that Ann has returned to the role of Jackie Taylor for six episodes of the series so far.
Since playing Cindy Walsh, Carol has guest starred in a handful of other series: Providence, NYPD Blue, Crossing Jordan, JAG, Greek, and Medium.
Christine’s biggest role post-Emily Valentine was a 17-episode story arc on ER as Harper Tracy back in 1995. Since then she has appeared on a variety of TV shows, most recently, Saving Grace.
Like his onscreen counterpart, the man who played Jim Walsh is one busy guy, appearing on so many TV shows that we can’t name them all here. Most recently you may have spotted him in a two-episode run on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Jamie (the evil Ray Pruit!) has been a full-time firefighter/paramedic for the Los Angeles City Fire Department since 2004.
Joe E. Tata
After a guest spot in an episode of Charmed, Joe reprized his role as Nat Bussichio in the 90210 reboot for a three-episode run.
Even while he Dylan’s dad, Jack McKay, Josh was playing the role of Roman Brady on Days of Our Lives, where he can still be seen today.
Mark D. Espinoza
Since playing Andrea’s husband Jesse Vasquez, Mark has had a variety of roles, including a five-episode run on The Young and the Restless.
While she was only around for five seasons, Valerie Malone was always our favorite 90210 villainess. Today you can watch Tiffani play Elizabeth Burke on White Collar, a USA drama about the FBI.
You may have spotted the actor who played Noah Hunter in a guest spot on JAG, CSI:NY, or NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Other than that, he hasn’t been up to much, other than dyeing his hair.