Tori Spelling

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Tori Spelling is an American actor known for portraying Donna Martin on FOX teen soap Beverly Hills, 90210.


Spelling is the as the oldest of two children. Her mother, Candy Spelling, is best known for her work as an author and Spelling's father, Aaron Spelling, was a Hollywood director known for producing the TV hits Charlie's Angels, Dynasty and Fantasy Island. As a result of her father's success, Tori was raised in the lap of luxury; her family lived in the largest single-family home in the state of California, a mansion featuring more than 100 rooms including a gift-wrapping room, doll museum and bowling alley. When she turned 6 her father hired an acting coach to give the young girl lessons twice a week. By 1989, the 16-year-old Spelling was attending Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California and transferred to the Westlake School for Girls from which she graduated in 1990.


Spelling's early immersion in the world of Hollywood gave her the acting bug at a young age. She made her first television appearances around that age, landing a part on her father's detective drama, Vega$, as well as his popular shows T.J. Hooker, starring Heather Locklear, and The Love Boat with Teri Hatcher. Spelling auditioned for her father's new teen drama, Beverly Hills, 90210, under the alias Tori Mitchell. Despite the new moniker, Tori was recognized during her audition for the role of Kelly Taylor. Spelling's connections, however, didn't get her the part; actress Jennie Garth landed the coveted role and Spelling was cast as Donna Martin.

Tori with her brother in the '80s

The show skyrocketed in popularity and thrust the cast into the spotlight. In addition to Spelling, actors Gabrielle Carteris, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Brian Austin Green, Luke Perry, Jason Priestley and Ian Ziering all became teen idols. Spelling stayed on the show for its entirety, appearing from 1990 until the show's tenth season in 2000. During her time on the show, Spelling received attention from the press for remaining a stalwart virgin until the show's seventh season. While other cast members made numerous promiscuous trysts, Spelling held out for love, due to Aaron Spelling's insistence.[1] By 1997, Spelling had also appeared in several made-for-TV movies, as well as several big screen hits, including the cult hit The House of Yes (1997) starring Parker Posey and the blockbuster thriller, Scream 2 (1997).

By the end of the Beverly Hills, 90210, Tori was ready to move on to bigger projects. In 2002, she made her stage debut in Maybe Baby, It's You at the Coronet Theater in L.A. The show earned Spelling critical acclaim. In 2006 Spelling produced her own show, the VH1 sitcom So NoTORIous, in which she starred as a fictional version of herself. After her father's death, she and her husband used her inheritance to set up a bed and breakfast in Fallbrook, California and began filming the experience for their reality show, Tori & Dean: Inn Love. By June 2008, Spelling and McDermott's show was in its third season under the new name Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. In the new season, Spelling and McDermott no longer run the inn, instead returning to Los Angeles to balance buying a new home, having a second child, and promoting Spelling's book tour for the autobiography sTori Telling. In addition to her successful series, Spelling made a cameo as Donna Martin on the remake of the Beverly Hills television show, entitled 90210. Aside from her acting career, Spelling also designs and markets her own line of fashion jewelry on HSN. She also continues to write. Her second book, Mommywood, was released on April 14, 2009.

Private life

In 2002 Spelling began dating Maybe Baby, It's You co-writer, Charlie Shanian. The couple married two years later. Spelling and Shanian's marriage proved to be short lived, however. While filming the TV movie Mind Over Murder, Spelling fell in love with her co-star, Dean McDermott. The actor, who has two children with his wife of 12 years, filed for divorce in September of 2005. A week later, Spelling broke up with Shanian. McDermott proposed to Spelling four months later, turning heads in Hollywood.

Tori married McDermott in Fiji in May 2006. Several months later, however, Spelling faced tragedy when her father suffered a serious stroke. Tori and her estranged mother were wedged even farther apart as her father's health declined. On June 23, 2006, Spelling's father died of complications from the stroke. According to Tori, she heard the news of her father's passing death through an e-mail to her Blackberry. The actress was devastated by the loss.

In 2007 the couple welcomed first child, Liam. In June of 2008, Spelling gave birth to daughter Stella.


  • 90210 (2009)
  • Smallville (2007-2009)
  • Rick & Steve The Happiest Gay Couple in All The World (2009)
  • Family Guy (2006)
  • So noTORIous (2006)
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000)
  • Saved by the Bell (1990-1991)


  • Tori's father Aaron Spelling was the producer of the 90210 series.
  • She made appearences on the NBC sitcom Saved by the Bell which Tiffani Theissen co-starred as Kelly Kapowski.

Notes and references


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