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Shannen Doherty's Life in Photos — from 'Little House on the Prairie' to Breast Cancer Battle

Edduin Carvajal
Apr 04, 2021
06:20 A.M.
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Shannen Doherty, a triple threat in Hollywood – she’s an actress, producer, and TV director – has changed a lot since we first saw her in “Little House on the Prairie.”

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Born in April 1971, Shannen Doherty’s foray into the entertainment industry dates back to 1981 when she landed a small part in “Father Murphy.” At the time, Doherty was only ten years old.

Only one year later, the child actress shot to stardom for portraying Jenny Wilder in “Little House on the Prairie.” Michael Landon cast her after watching her in “Father Murphy.”

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YOUNG SHANNEN DOHERTY

During the 80s, Doherty kept herself very active in the business as she went to appear in “Airwolf,” “Our House,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and “Heathers.”

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Most of her performances as a child actress (“Airwolf,” “Our House,” “Little House on the Prairie”) were so outstanding that she was nominated to seven Young Artist Awards.

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While she was already a famous actress in the 80s, her career skyrocketed in the 90s when she was cast as Brenda Walsh in “Beverly Hills, 90210.” At the time, she was only 19 years old.

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SHANNEN DOHERTY IN “90210”

After being a significant cast member for four years, Shannen Doherty was dropped from the series. Her departure details were scarce for a while, but Tori Spelling once shared what happened.

Shannen Doherty and Ashley Hamilton in December 1993 | Photo: Getty Images

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Spelling, who portrayed Donna Martin on “90210,” revealed there was more than one reason why Doherty got fired, including a physical fight she had with Jennie Garth, also known as Kelly Taylor in the show.

Shannen Doherty poses for a portrait in January 2001 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

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Following that and some other incidents, Tori explained the situation to her dad, Aaron Spelling, a renowned film and TV producer, saying that Doherty needed to be removed from “90210.”

Shannen Doherty on the set of "Charmed" in 1999 | Photo: Getty Images

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Aaron agreed with his daughter and pulled the necessary strings to get Shannen Doherty removed from the show. According to Tori, Doherty was not a “horrible person” and even labeled her as one of the best friends she ever had.

[Shannen Doherty’s cancer] returned in 2020 and progressed to stage IV.

Shannen Doherty on March 11, 2009 in Hollywood, California | Photo: Getty Images

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Doherty and Garth’s rift is water under the bridge already. In fact, the latter once admitted that Doherty’s departure was shocking as there weren’t any goodbyes. She was just gone from the show.

Shannen Doherty on November 14, 2015 in Culver City, California | Photo: Getty Images

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Something similar happened to Doherty when she was cast as Prue Halliwell in “Charmed.” This time, her feud was with Alyssa Milano, and her character was killed off in the season three finale.

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SHANNEN DOHERTY’S BREAST CANCER

In the late 2000s and early 2010s, the actress landed parts in “North Shore,” “Mari-Kari,” and “Bukowski.” Unfortunately, her life changed in 2015 after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

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She filed a lawsuit that year, arguing that she could have avoided getting a mastectomy and undergoing chemotherapy if her health insurance coverage had been kept up to date. She also blamed her management company.

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Still, she had to take action against the disease, so she received several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and eventually underwent a single mastectomy, one of the most challenging parts of her treatment.

Shannen Doherty on September 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

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By July 2016, one year after revealing her cancer diagnosis, Doherty shaved her head and showed off her gorgeous bald look. She’d also wrap her head up with beautiful scarves.

Shannen Doherty on March 4, 2017 in Hollywood, California | Photo: Getty Images

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A month later, she shared that her cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. Doherty pointed out that the “unknown” was the scariest part as the rest – pain and living without a breast – were manageable.

Shannen Doherty on January 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

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REMISSION AND REOCCURRENCE

In April 2017, the actress announced that she was in remission. While she was happy, she knew that “reoccurrences happen all the time.” And her illness returned in 2020 and progressed to stage IV breast cancer.

Shannen Doherty on October 05, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California | Photo: Getty Images

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According to Elle, some of the cancer cells in her body managed to survive all treatments and went to her spine, and although the disease might keep spreading, treatment for metastatic breast cancer has advanced a lot in recent years.

At the moment, Shannen Doherty is in a relationship with Kurt Iswarienko, her husband of almost ten years. The last time we saw the actress on camera was in an episode of “Riverdale,” honoring the late Luke Perry.

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