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Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) and David Silver (Brian Austin Green) finally say their vows, and on-and-off couple Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) and Dylan McKay (Luke Perry) reunite, as the curtain closes on the teen drama series Beverly Hills, 90210 after 10 seasons. The final episode of the show, which premiered on October 4, 1990, on the Fox Television network, airs on May 17, 2000.
Beverly Hills, 90210 was created by Darren Star and produced by Aaron Spelling, known for his roster of hit TV shows, including The Mod Squad, Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Dynasty, Starsky and Hutch and T.J. Hooker, among many others. At the outset, the show focused mostly on the culture shock that twin siblings Brandon and Brenda (Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty) experience when they move with their parents from Minneapolis to swanky Beverly Hills. The first few seasons of the series followed the Walsh twins and their classmates—notably played by Garth, Perry, Spelling, Green, Gabrielle Carteris, and Ian Ziering—through their time at West Beverly Hills High School (the fact that many of the actors were noticeably older than high school age was well noted in press coverage of the show). The third season saw many of them go off to college at California University, and by the eighth season the gang (much changed after many cast departures and additions) was making its way into adult life.
90210 became the first in a string of Fox programs that were geared towards teenagers and young adults, combining glamour and style trends with a moralistic spin on teen-focused “issues.” Seemingly, no subject was taboo, and in its 10 seasons the show featured plotlines revolving around alcohol and drug abuse, learning disabilities, teenage pregnancy, date rape, gay rights, domestic violence, suicide and AIDS. Fueled by a young, diverse audience, 90210 proved to be consistently popular in the ratings for most of its run, reaching as high as No. 24.
Frequent cast changes occurred throughout the course of the show, most notably the departure of Doherty, who left at the end of the fourth season amid rumored tensions on the set. Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, who played Brandon’s bad-girl cousin for four seasons, replaced Doherty. Perry departed near the beginning of the sixth season but returned in the ninth as a “Special Guest Star.” In 1992, 90210 spawned a spin-off, Melrose Place, which was aimed at a slightly older audience; though it got off to a disappointing start, it eventually became another hit, producing in turn its own short-lived spin-off, Models, Inc. In the 10th season, ratings for Beverly Hills, 90210 dropped to an average of only 10 million viewers per week, a decline from previous seasons. Fox finally pulled the plug in early 2000, and the final episode aired that May. Melrose Place had bowed out the previous year.
In the fall of 2008, an updated version of Spelling’s now-classic series, titled simply 90210, debuted on the CW network. The show focused on a family from Kansas—parents with two teenage children—who move to Beverly Hills to keep tabs on the father’s alcoholic mother, a former TV star. Garth and Doherty both signed on to reprise their roles of Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh. The series ran until 2013. Another reboot, BH90210, featuring much of the Beverly Hills, 90210 original cast, ran for one season in 2019.
Final episode of Beverly Hills 90210 airs - May 17, 2000 - HISTORY.comTSgt Joe C.
Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) and David Silver (Brian Austin Green) finally say their vows, and on-and-off couple Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) and Dylan McKay (Luke Perry) reunites, as the curtain closes on the teen drama series Beverly Hills, 90210 after 10 seasons. The final episode of the show, which premiered on October 4, 1990, on the Fox Television network, airs on this day in 2000.
Beverly Hills, 90210 was created by Darren Star and produced by Aaron Spelling, known for his roster of hit TV shows, including The Mod Squad, Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Dynasty, Starsky and Hutch and T.J. Hooker, among many others. At the outset, the show focused mostly on the culture shock that twin siblings Brandon and Brenda (Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty) experience when they move with their parents from Minneapolis to swanky Beverly Hills. The first few seasons of the series followed the Walsh twins and their classmates—notably played by Garth, Perry, Spelling, Green, Gabrielle Carteris, and Ian Ziering—through their time at West Beverly Hills High School (the fact that many of the actors were noticeably older than high school age was well noted in press coverage of the show). The third season saw many of them go off to college at California University, and by the eighth season the gang (much changed after many cast departures and additions) was making their way into adult life.
90210 became the first in a string of Fox programs that were geared towards teenagers and young adults, combining glamour and style trends with a moralistic spin on teen-focused “issues.” Seemingly, no subject was taboo, and in its 10 seasons the show featured plotlines revolving around alcohol and drug abuse, learning disabilities, teenage pregnancy, date rape, gay rights, domestic violence, suicide and AIDS. Fueled by a young, diverse audience, 90210 proved to be consistently popular in the ratings for most of its run, reaching as high as No. 24.
Frequent cast changes occurred throughout the course of the show, most notably the departure of Doherty, who left at the end of the fourth season amid rumored tensions on the set. Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, who played Brandon’s bad-girl cousin for four seasons, replaced Doherty. Perry departed near the beginning of the sixth season but returned in the ninth as a “Special Guest Star.” In 1992, 90210 spawned a spin-off, Melrose Place, which was aimed at a slightly older audience though it got off to a disappointing start, it eventually became another hit, producing in turn its own short-lived spin-off, Models, Inc. In the 10th season, ratings for Beverly Hills, 90210 dropped to an average of only 10 million viewers per week, a decline from previous seasons. Fox finally pulled the plug in early 2000, and the final episode aired that May. Melrose Place had bowed out the previous year.
In the fall of 2008, an updated version of Spelling’s now-classic series, titled simply 90210, debuted on the CW network. The show focused on a family from Kansas—parents with two teenage children—who move to Beverly Hills to keep tabs on the father’s alcoholic mother, a former TV star. Garth and Doherty both signed on to reprise their roles of Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh, now a guidance counselor and a guest musical director, respectively, at West Beverly Hills High School.
Behind The Scenes [ edit | edit source ]
- Duration: 22 min.
- Released by: Worldvision Home Video
- Release date (VHS): May 26, 1993
- Release date (DVD): November 5, 2013
Katie Wagner of «MTV», «VH-1» and «E!» fame gives you indepth, up-close-and-personal interviews with the stars Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Luke Perry, Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling in a 22-minute «speical» written by Nina Tuo and directed by Jason Priestley.
The Beverly Hillbillies: What Happened in the Last Episode “Jethro Returns”
In 1962, a truly strange TV show hit the airwaves, The Beverly Hillbillies. The sitcom revolves around a poor mountaineer, Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen), who discovers oil on his backwoods property. Now a multi-millionaire, he’s encouraged to move to Beverly Hills with his spunky mother-in-law, “Granny” (Irene Ryan), beautiful daughter Elly May (Donna Douglas), and dim-witted nephew Jethro (Max Baer). They try to understand their strange new surroundings and are aided by selfish banker Milburn Drysdale (Raymond Bailey) and his bookish secretary, Miss Jane Hathaway (Nancy Kulp).
It may be hard to imagine it now but in its day, The Beverly Hillbillies was a massive hit. Though hated by most critics, several episodes of the series are among the most-watched TV episodes in history, having drawn as much as 44% of the viewing households. A 1964 episode titled “The Giant Jackrabbit” is still the most-watched half-hour program of all time.
When the show was cancelled in 1971 after nine seasons, the sitcom was still popular. However, the networks and advertisers had started to pay attention to demographics and the Hillibillies audience wasn’t as desirable. The network also cancelled Green Acres, Mayberry R.F.D., and Hee Haw. As Green Acre’s Pat Buttram said, “It was the year CBS killed everything with a tree in it.”
As a result of the abrupt cancellation, the Beverly Hillbillies cast and the crew weren’t able to film any kind of finish for the series. The sitcom ended with a rather typical installment.
In the preceding episodes, Jethro learns that a “homely” childhood sweetheart, Louella Aden (Hannah Aden), is coming to town. He believes that she wants to marry him and goes into hiding. Unknown to him, she’s now a knock-out and is arriving to just get into show business.
Miss Jane falls in love with a handsome birdwatcher named Robert Audubon. It turns out that he’s actually an out-of-work actor named Dick Bremerkamp (Petticoat Junction’s Mike Minor) who’s just using her to get to Elly May and her family’s fortune. Granny is thrilled when Robert starts wooing Elly because he tells her that he’s Robert A. Crockett, a descendant of Davy Crockett. Robert tells Mr. Drysdale that he’s a member of the wealthy Getty family and the banker immediately likes him as well.
As the last episode begins, Granny is jumping the gun and planning Elly’s marriage to Robert. Jed is doing repairs to the mansion’s foundation. They go inside the house for a jack rabbit breakfast and Jed leaves his bucket of mortar outside. Inside, Granny tells Jed that she’s figured out a way to get Jethro to come out of hiding. She’s stopped leaving the bucket of viddles out front as she had been doing. They hear the car pull up, but it quickly pulls away. They go outside and realize the bucket of mortar is gone and suspect Jethro will think it was a bucket of grits.
At the bank, Elly and Jane confront Drysdale over his treatment of Elly’s monkey. The greedy banker’s made him carry a sandwich board around town, advertising the bank. Elly threatens to tell her Pa so Drysdale makes the chimp the advertising manager for the bank.
Back at the mansion, Police Officer Massey (played by the show’s longtime music composer, Curt Massey) brings a bearded and very sick Jethro home. While Jethro suffers, Granny gets caught up telling the cop about the beauty of Tennessee. Eventually she gets around to helping the boy and takes him away. Jed offers the cop some lunch but, having seen the effects of Granny’s grits, the officer makes a speedy getaway.
Jed calls Miss Jane to ask her to tell Elly that Jethro is home safe. Miss Jane tells him that Robert is out giving Elly her second driving lesson. We see the lesson and Elly’s still a terrible driver and barely pays attention.
At home, Granny pulls the mortar out of Jethro’s stomach and, within minutes, he’s hungry again. Granny scares Jethro away again by talking about wedding plans. He thinks they’re for him. But, before Jethro goes, he tells her to keep leaving food out for him. “But this time no grits! Please!”
At the bank, Miss Jane has just finished typing up a poem for her sweetheart, Robert. Elly returns from her driving lesson and asks if she could copy the poem to practice her typing. She tells Miss Jane that Robert’s at the mansion, giving Granny an old confederate flag that his great, great grandfather carried into battle.
Drysdale sees Elly typing the poem and believes that Elly loves the wealthy Robert Getty. The banker goes to the mansion to tell Robert and privately encourages him to take Elly immediately to Las Vegas to get married. Drysdale even gives him money so that he can leave immediately. Drysdale returns to the bank very happy and gloats to Miss Jane about the big financial merger he’s orchestrated.
On their way to Vegas, Robert reveals his plans and Elly’s outraged, believing that Robert is Miss Jane’s beau. He’s confused and asks about the poem. She reveals that Miss Jane had written it and he’s sick. He offers to let Elly drive back to the bank, hoping that they might not make it.
When Jed and Jethro come to the bank for Elly, Miss Jane tells Jed that she’s gone to get married in Vegas to the Getty heir. Drysdale enters and they’re all confused. When Elly and Robert return, it becomes clear that the actor has been playing multiple parts. He comes clean and Drysdale demands his money back. The actor only has part of it, since the rest had to be put towards repairing Miss Jane’s car (from Elly’s driving).
Drysdale tells the swindler that he’s no longer an out-of-work actor. The banker puts him to work washing windows, replacing Elly’s chimp. End of series.
Some of the cast would return for a 1981 made-for-TV movie on CBS, Return of the Beverly Hillbillies. Only Ebsen, Douglas, and Kulp returned and it lacked the charm of the original series. The movie was also not a success in the ratings.
Much more fulfilling was The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies. This May 1993 special reunited Ebsen, Douglas, Baer, and others in a “mocumentary” on CBS. It was the fourth most watched program of the week.
A feature film version of Hillbillies was released in October 1993. It didn’t feature the original cast and wasn’t a box office success, grossing just $45 million domestically. The movie is notable however in that it features Ebsen in his final movie appearance as Detective Barnaby Jones, a character he played for eight years after Hillbillies was cancelled.
Much to the chagrin of the critics who lambasted the show many years ago, the original series remains very popular today however and is a rerun staple of TV Land.
18 Amazing Jewish Facts About ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 18(!) years to the day since that most iconic of 1990s prime-time soap operas went off the air. Happy chai anniversary, Beverly Hills, 90210!
Though the series may come off as dated and a tad earnest to modern viewers, Beverly Hills, 90210 was somewhat heavy-hitting in its time, tackling serious subjects like drug addiction, guns, eating disorders and sexually-transmitted diseases during its 10 seasons on the air.
Anti-semitism, too, was a subject that came up in “Bev Niner” over the years. Perhaps this is not surprising, given the show’s creator and superstar producer were Jewish, as were certain key members of the cast.
But beyond the series’ most notable characters (hello, Dylan McKay) and famous catchphrases (“Donna Martin graduates” and “I’d like to exchange an egg” both immediately come to mind), there’s a host of lesser-known Jewish stories and backstories connected to the hit show.
In honor of the 18th anniversary of Beverly Hills, 90210′s final episode — which my sister and I watched together at my parents’ house while wearing our old prom dresses and sipping champagne — we’re proud to round up 18 Jewish facts about the show.
With rumors of yet another 90210 reboot in the works — one that’s set to reunite Kelly and Donna — there’s no better time to celebrate. To life, to life, to Beverly!
The 90 Most Important Moments of ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’
The story goes that when Fox entertainment chief Peter Chernin was putting together his schedule for the 1990-91 TV season, he had to decide between an adaptation of Heathers and an Aaron Spelling–produced series titled Beverly Hills High. Veronica Sawyer’s doom was our gain.
Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered on October 4, 1990 as a wholesome fish-out-of-water tale about Minnesota twins Brandon and Brenda Walsh (Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty) trying to adjust to a life of fast cars and loose morals in a luxe zip code. It was dumped on Thursday nights at 9 p.m., opposite Cheers. Expectations were low, as adults didn’t know what to make of it. Los Angeles Times TV critic Howard Rosenberg called it “a zip code for stereotypes and stock characters,” while Tom Shales of The Washington Post sniffed that the show’s producers “created a vacuum, a perfect void, a black hole in the already vast and empty TV schedule. Not so much a black hole as a beige one.”
This was no show for old men, anyway. 90210 (no fan ever referred to it by its full title) was the first small-screen entity to ever capture the attention of Generation X because it examined teens from the perspective of teens—with a healthy dose of sudsy melodrama thrown in. By the end of Season 1, Brenda slept with the soft-spoken rebel loner Dylan McKay (Luke Perry) without a shred of remorse Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) shared her traumatic experience about being date-raped Andrea Zuckerman (Gabrielle Carteris) shed her neuroses Steve (Ian Ziering) raged because of his childhood adoption Brandon got into a drunk-driving accident and virginal Donna (Tori Spelling) started befriending freshman geek David Silver (Brian Austin Green). They were all influencers without the benefit of iPhones.
Once new episodes turned up in the summer of 1991, 90210 evolved into an addictive, must-see phenomenon. Priestley and Perry, with their retro-looking sideburns, became teen magazine cover staples—despite the fact that the actors were a combined 47 years old. Dolls and backpacks and pillowcases popped up in stores. There were CD soundtracks and an “I Hate Brenda” zine devoted to bad girl Doherty. If you watch Pearl Jam’s award-winning 1992 “Jeremy” video, you’ll catch “90210” scrawled on the blackboard along with “Genesis 3:6” and “ignored.” Fans mobbed the cast in public, treating Perry, Priestley, et al., as if they were John, Paul, George, and Ringo circa 1964. (Perry once had to escape throngs of fans by jumping in a laundry bin and hiding under the soiled linens.)
Back in the zip code, the West Bev teens had carte blanche to act like adults. AIDS, sex, pill-popping, alcoholism, and eating disorders were all on the metaphorical Peach Pit menu. Maximum time was also devoted to developing relationships among the characters, as the angst-ridden love triangle between Brenda, Kelly, and Dylan took shape years before the Riverdale stars were zygotes. Consider this: At its height, 90210 had a 58 rating share among adolescents.
And as the audience aged, the characters did as well. During the cast’s time at California University, conventional nighttime soap plots took over. And then came the behind-the-scenes drama: Doherty, who didn’t get along with the cast and crew and perpetually showed up late, was axed in 1994 Carteris and Perry exited in 1995 Priestley left the nest in 1998. By the time 90210 aired its final episode in May 2000, it was a pop culture afterthought compared to the edgier Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Felicity, and Charmed on the WB network. Then again, you could argue that without 90210, the WB never would have existed.
Thanks to the continual daily reruns (first on SoapNet, now on Pop!), it seems hard to believe that 19 years have passed since the cast signed off. But now here we are, with the world’s interest in the ’90s renewed, and with a reboot on the way. The original stars (minus the irreplaceable Perry, who died in March) have returned to reprise their alter egos in a cheeky meta-reboot that premieres Wednesday night on Fox. The six-episode BH90210 has the potential to be either a misguided fail or a nostalgia-dripping wonder. No matter what it is, 90210 is a legend worth celebrating. So before the reboot premieres, let’s look back at the trail-Blaze-ing—that’s a West Bev inside joke, duh—series and rank its 90 (you know, like the decade) greatest moments.
90. The ’60s flashback (Season 4, Episode 25)
Oh, right, I forgot to mention that the West Bev gang also delved into the issues pertaining to . . . the Vietnam War. In a writers’ room circa 1994, married showrunners Charles and Karen Rosin thought it would be groovy if the cast took it all the way back to 1969—complete with era-appropriate hippie garb. They couched it as a stand-alone episode in which Brenda unearths a diary in her room and envisions her friends in the roles of the teens described on the page. It is watchable only for Brian Austin Green’s porn ’stache.
89. Steve plays golf with Barry Bonds (Season 4, Episode 24)
The man may not have a Hall of Fame plaque, but he does own a SAG card. In 1994, the then–San Francisco Giant outfielder portrayed a famous MLBer named “Barry Larson” who, along with his pops, vied against Steve Sanders and his old man, Rush, in a father-son golf tournament. (Weirdly, Bobby Bonds does not appear.) The twist in this episode was that Steve’s dad—not Larson—was the one caught cheating.
88. Jim Walsh has the hots for his young secretary (Season 3, Episode 13)
How nice that in Season 3, papa bear Jim Walsh (James Eckhouse) was allowed his own story line. How cringey that it involved him fantasizing about his new gorgeous young secretary putting the moves on him after-hours at the office. Mercifully, this daydream never came to fruition. (It would have on The O.C.)
87. Kelly the amnesiac (Season 8, Episode 4)
Stay with me here. At the start of Season 8, Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) was shot in a parking lot. She had no physical injuries, but the magic bullet cut off blood supply in her brain and erased her short-term memory. “Who are you?” she asked the cute guy in her hospital room who happened to be Brandon Walsh. However, she did recognize her mom. Weird!
86. Emily comes back—with a terrible haircut (Season 5, Episode 13)
85. Donna is held hostage (Season 7, Episode 18)
It happened during a live broadcast of the California University TV news. Brandon was co-anchoring Donna was doing the weather. Her stalker— not to be confused with the stalker she had two years earlier—held everyone hostage at the TV station and caused mass chaos. Donna took his gun and saved everyone. Tori Spelling dated the actor IRL.
84. Carly and Steve go to Splitsville (Season 8, Episode 17)
Fun only in retrospect: Steve Sanders—he of the I8AFRE license plate— was just not cut out to date a working-class single mom played by Hillary Swank. Carly had to go something about moving to Seattle, I think. A few months later, Swank was cast in Boys Don’t Cry.
83. Brandon and Clare try out for College Jeopardy!(Season 5, Episode 25)
I’ll take “Brandon Has Never Been Book Smart For $2000,” Alex.
82. “Hava Nagila” at the Peach Pit (Season 4, Episode 20)
Mazel Tov! Nat played the Israeli folk song on the jukebox during the reception for new bride Andrea Zuckerman (Gabrielle Carteris) and her husband Jesse Vasquez (Mark Damon Espinoza). Because nothing says “let’s celebrate a shotgun wedding between a college freshman and a bartender” than the hora.
81. Donna’s mom bribes Ray (Season 5, Episode 15)
A moment of appreciation here for the great Felice Martin (Katherine Cannon), who probably gave Candy Spelling herself a run for the money when it came to being a stuck-up, ultra-controlling Beverly Hills housewife and mother. In her pièce de résistance, she hands Donna’s wrong-side-of-the-tracks boyfriend, Ray Pruit (Jamie Walters), a check for 10 large to ghost her daughter. No dice, much to her dismay.
80. “Squash It!” (Season 5, Episode 27)
79. Hey, is that Adam Levine playing at the Peach Pit After Dark? (Season 8, Episode 3)
Yes, it is! This was in 1999, when he fronted a group called Kara’s Flowers. He has a shirt on, but I’m guessing he was not yet fully, absurdly tatted.
78. Rocking it with the Rolling Stones (Season 5, Episode 12)
The gang didn’t say boo about the death of Kurt Cobain, yet they were alllll about getting primo tickets to see the Stones on their Voodoo Lounge Tour. Thanks to the actual concert footage (with a wide-eyed Priestley and Carteris standing front row floor), “Voodoo You So Well” is unavailable to stream. Damn you and your music-licensing fees, Mick Jagger!
77. Mrs. Teasley shows up at … Donna’s bachelorette party (Season 10, Episode 27)
Seriously, how hard up are you for friends when you invite your high school vice principal to play raunchy games at your bachelorette party? That said, it was good to see the suffer-no-fools Mrs. T (Denise Y. Dowse) appear in the series’ final episode.
76. Steve and Pauly Shore’s bar brawl (Season 6, Episode 32)
Technically, Pauly Shore wasn’t playing himself. He had a blonde wig and a Southern accent. But Ziering still took care of business at a strip club in the Season 6 finale that aired in May 1996—also known as the peak of the era of Pauly Shore being the butt of his own joke.
75. Casa Walsh gets destroyed (kind of) (Season 6, Episode 1)
Jim and Cindy Walsh served a dutiful purpose during the high school years of 90210. But as their kids grew up, there was little need for them to hang around and nag about missed curfew. So finally, the elders uprooted to Japan, leaving Brandon to lock up the spilt-level, Spanish-tiled Walsh home. Upon hearing that the new owners planned to demolish it, Steve (of course) suggested the mother of all parties. Brandon agreed, and chaos ensued. But everyone sobered up in a hurry when the realtor dropped by mid-bash and shrieked these dreaded words: “The house fell out of escrow.”
74. The Bill Clinton “cameo” (Season 4, Episode 31)
It’s not really 1994-era Bill Clinton shaking Brandon’s hand and giving a speech in the Rose Garden about the importance of higher education—it’s a random dude in a gray wig.
73. Andrea and Brandon bicker about condoms (Season 2, Episode 21)
The unrequited sexual tension between Andrea and Brandon came to a head during a 1992 episode about potential condom distribution at West Beverly High. Andrea didn’t understand the controversy given the AIDS statistics Brandon the stud coldly reminded her that she was a virgin who’d never experienced “the feelings” of passion possibly the harshest insult he ever could have thrown at her, and also just a bad take as far as condom takes go. Thankfully, Kelly soon soothed things over.
72. Mel Silver asks out Jackie Taylor (Season 2, Episode 5)
A good-old-fashioned parental hook-up, hell yeah! Too bad Mel had to ruin it two years later by shtupping his dental hygienist.
71. Donna becomes a French fashion model (Season 3, Episode 4)
I mean, sure . it could happen.
70. Steve Young shows up to play touch-football (Season 6, Episode 12)
Apparently, the NFL star had nothing better to do on Thanksgiving 1995 than show up at the Walsh house and throw passes on the front lawn. All because unlikely California University quarterback Joe Bradley (Cameron Bancroft)—who had the body shape of a wire coat hanger—was down in the dumps.
69. Valerie does diaper duty (Season 7, Episode 7)
It seems hard to believe that we went four long years on 90210 without the presence of Tiffani-Amber Thiessen’s Valerie Malone, the Rebecca Howe of the show. The vixen even turned the throwaway arcs into gold—like this gem from 1996, when she slept with a married businessman and attempted to extort him by claiming she was pregnant. She even dumped a box of diapers on his front lawn to send a message.
68. The return of Dylan McKay (Season 9, Episode 8)
Three years after he drove off in a heap of grief, Dylan McKay rode back into town, his brooding attitude still intact. ’Tis a shame Perry rejoined the series just as it was gasping for air—and after Priestley and Thiessen had already exited.
67. Brandon and Kelly’s faux wedding (Season 8, Episode 32)
The longtime couple walked down the aisle, only to refuse the “I do’s” because they just weren’t ready. (In reality, Priestley was gearing up to leave the show.) It was a dagger in the heart to fans longing to see them make it legal—but a relief to Team Dylan.
66. Andrea does the cannonball (Season 4, Episode 7)
Andrea has a dilemma: How to go public with her romance with Dan Rubin, her English teaching assistant/dorm advisor? The correct answer is don’t the advice she gets, from Brandon and Steve, is to do a “cannonball”—a dramatic display of affection that screams “I’m hooking up with an authority figure” to the world. She ends up kissing him in the center of the quad he ends up somehow not losing his job.
65. Jack McKay is alive (. ) (Season 10, Episode 18)
In 2000, the show pulled off one last surprise. Turns out that crook-turned-FBI-informant Jack McKay (Josh Taylor) didn’t really die in that car bomb seven years earlier, which means Dylan should never have met mobster Tony Marchette—or have married his daughter only to later watch her die in his arms. Brutal.
64. Kelly’s Single White Female situation (Season 6, Episode 28)
Let’s just admit that Tara—the obsessed character who kidnapped Kelly and attempted to pull a murder-suicide—did look better as a blond.
63. Milton Berle does his shtick (Season 5, Episode 16)
Fun (and tragic) fact: Berle’s 1995 guest appearance—playing a former TV star addled with Alzheimer’s—led to the series’ one and only Emmy nomination. He didn’t win.
62. Brenda rebuffs jock Tony Miller at prom (Season 3, Episode 27)
Here’s the money line from Brenda: “Put the gun away, Miller. You won’t be needing it tonight.” I don’t think Walking Dead actor Michael Cudlitz, who played Tony, has ever properly addressed this stinging rejection.
61. Brandon leaves the zip code for good (Season 9, Episode 6)
Small-market journalist Brandon gets a job at the Washington Bureau of the New York Chronicle. On his last night in Beverly Hills, he goes night swimming with Kelly and assures her that he has no regrets. She believes him. Priestley and his perfectly coiffed hair were the bedrock of 90210, and the series never recovered from the 1998 departure.
60. Steve lands a half-court shot at the Lakers game (Season 3, Episode 25)
With Dyan Cannon sitting in the front row at the Forum, no less! (What, Jack Nicholson didn’t want to be caught on camera?)
59. Brenda gets thrown in jail (Season 4, Episode 24)
Toward the end of Doherty’s turbulent run, Brenda was saddled with a story line in which she protested CU’s medical testing on animals and broke into their lab. Sadly, “animal rights now!” did not carry the same gravitas as “Donna Martin graduates!” and Brenda was arrested and thrown in the slammer for a night. Papa Jim was not amused.
58. Donna runs into her priest in the X-rated section of the video store (Season 3, Episode 12)
That could be the most 1992 sentence ever. The actor, Gregory Itzin, would go on to play sinister President Logan in 24.
57. The palpably awkward Burt Reynolds cameo (Season 3, Episode 26)
56. Welcome, Jake Hanson (Season 2, Episode 27)
Hey, look who just pulled up by the beach in his motorcycle! Meet Jake Hanson (Grant Show), who taught Dylan everything he knows about being cool. Now he’s back in town, he tells Dylan and Brenda, and crashing at this apartment complex off Melrose. This wasn’t the flashiest entry point into Melrose Place—this was B.A., Before Amanda, mind you—but it did the job.
55. Donna’s mermaid dress thing (Season 2, Episode 13)
This was for a 1991 Halloween party episode, and trust me: the screen-grab really doesn’t do it justice.
54. Steve recruits a computer hacker to change his grades (Season 3, Episode 12)
Who does he think he is, Ferris Bueller? Matthew Broderick’s character from War Games? (To answer both questions: Steve 100 percent thought he was both of these characters.) Needless to say, the plan does not end well.
53. Brandon totals his car (Season 1, Episode 11)
It was a rare occasion for Brandon Walsh, a former Boy Scout, to lower his idealistic standards, but we get a rare glimpse of it in Season 1 when he threw a party, drank a few too many, and crashed his beloved car, Mondale. Oh right, I should explain: Brandon, a 16-year-old, nicknamed his car after a 1984 Democratic presidential candidate.
52. The West Bev pilgrimage (Season 5, Episode 30)
Kelly, Donna, and David say goodbye to a departing Andrea by throwing the former valedictorian a surprise party at West Beverly High. “This is quite a campus for a public school!” Clare (Kathleen Robertson) marvels, to which David replies, “This is quite a campus for any school.” Very meta.
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51. Kelly gets sucked into a cult (Season 5, Episode 21)
Kelly survived the ordeal of being trapped in the basement of a burning house, but the emotional scars remained. Still vulnerable from her near-death experience, she went to a weekend conference run by her popular, abnormal psychology professor, Dr. Patrick Finley (Alan Toy). With his tortoise-shell glasses and sweater vests and talk of “externs” and “the new evolution,” she quickly gets pulled into his web of lies. Dylan ultimately gets her out of it, but only after Finley persuades her move out of her apartment, dump Brandon, and fundraise on his behalf.
50. Brenda dyes her hair (Season 1, Episode 6)
Doherty would later admit she was humiliated wearing the wig on set. Somehow, to this day no one has been prosecuted for this crime against her.
49. Andrea learns she’s pregnant (Season 4, Episode 17)
Carteris, who was 34 but playing 18, was pregnant with her first child and could only conceal herself in baggy overalls and behind lunch trays for so long. Enter a surprise freshman-year pregnancy, courtesy of Jesse the bartender/law school student. She’s convinced she has the 24-hour flu a university doctor informs her it will last nine months. Ah, the unavoidable pitfalls of hiring a full-on adult to play a teenager!
48. A comatose Dylan hallucinates Donna as a hooker (Season 5, Episode 10)
There she is, cavorting around in skin-tight black leather and making out with Dylan while he lay comatose in the hospital. Somebody please get a psychiatric expert on the case (but not Dr. Finley).
47. “I don’t like alternative music, but these guys rock!” (Season 5, Episode 23)
Wayne Coyne recently admitted that he believed this “disaster” of an episode—in which the Flaming Lips play at the Peach Pit After Dark—would never air. Joke’s on him.
46. Clare, Lucinda, and Brandon in bed (Season 4, Episode 32)
It never actually happened, but Brandon did have a dream about the school chancellor’s randy teen daughter and his professor’s randy ex-wife (herself an anthropology instructor) during his trip to Washington, D.C., with the presidential task force. It’s a pretty salacious dream until he’s rustled awake by a knock at the door from . surprise—his future girlfriend Kelly! Brandon says he’s never been so happy to see her. We don’t believe him.
45. David gets dropped by his record label (Season 3, Episode 23)
David Silver was bank in 1993. He skipped a year in school so he could graduate with his friends, he was still dating Donna, he had his gig as the West Bev DJ, and he had discovered his mad rapping skills. The latter was good enough to earn him a record deal with producer Serge Menkin. Alas, his first single, a slow jam called “Precious,” sounded like it came from the All 4 One reject pile.
44. D’Shawn threatens Brandon (Season 4, Episode 11)
During freshman year of college, Brandon is asked to tutor an NBA-worthy basketball player named D’Shawn Hardell (Cress Williams). They’d go on to become legit friends—but only after D’Shawn ordered Brandon to take his test for him, lest he reveal that Brandon slept with their professor’s wife, Lucinda. (This wasn’t true . at the time.) Brandon refuses, prompting D’Shawn to sneer, “You’re asking for a world of hurt.” The point is: 90210 was ahead of the curve when it came to NCAA corruption.
43. Donna does the Texas Dip (Season 5, Episode 2)
42. “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” (Season 2, Episode 8)
For West Bev’s Hello Week, Brenda, Kelly, and Donna originally planned on performing a spoof of “Addicted to Love” called “Addicted to Clothes.” Then Emily Valentine joined the group and went rogue. The black costumes and blank faces from the Robert Palmer music video remained, for some reason.
41. Dylan throws a pie in John Sears’s face (Season 4, Episode 11)
The BMOC creep at the KEG house, played (fittingly) by Paul Johansson, had it coming.
40. Brenda becomes a 1950s waitress at the Peach Pit (Season 1, Episode 16)
Laverne, we barely knew ye.
39. Dylan gets scammed (Season 4, Episode 15)
When a woman named Suzanne showed up on Dylan’s doorstep on Christmas with a young girl and claimed to be his dead dad’s long-lost ex-girlfriend, we didn’t know she was secretly masterminding a plot to swipe his $8 million trust fund from under him and leave the country. It took almost a year for a destitute Dylan to recover the moolah we still don’t have DNA proof whether the girl, Erica, was really his half-sister.
38. Donna passes out at the prom (Season 3, Episode 27)
The school board rules were clear: Anyone caught drinking or drunk at the senior prom would be suspended and not allowed to graduate. And yet Donna imbibed some champagne on an empty stomach anyway! Throwing up in the bathroom and passing out in front of Mrs. T was inevitable.
37. “I’d like to exchange an egg” (Season 2, Episode 15)
This was the passcode at the local liquor store to get directions to a secret underground rave. But Steve and Andrea got lost and asked to exchange the egg at the wrong location. Trust me, you had to be there.
36. Dylan saves Brandon’s life (Season 2, Episode 7)
This is what comes of wearing wet sneakers on a hike.
35. Valerie beds Colin (Season 6, Episode 24)
The second-rate painter (Jason Wiles) ran into Val’s arms after Kelly dumped him. Val’s arms were very much open.
34. Valerie beds Steve (Season 5, Episode 13)
33. Valerie beds David (Season 6, Episode 5)
Thiessen and Green were a rather adorable item when she joined the show in 1994. The pair broke up shortly thereafter but the sparks lingered: Their first hook-up was one of the steamiest scenes in 90210 history.
32. Valerie beds Dylan (Season 5, Episode 3)
“I … want … a … man … to … ache … for … me.” Our gal Val actually said this during her first encounter with Dylan.
31. Valerie beds Ray (Season 5, Episode 20)
Twice. His girlfriend Donna wouldn’t find out for almost a year.
Psych! The longtime friends and roommates only kissed. Brandon, ever the Boy Scout, put the kibosh on it before it could go any further.
29. Dylan meets Brandon, quotes Lord Byron (Season 1, Episode 2)
This was how we were introduced to Dylan McKay! Try to imagine anyone but Luke Perry getting away with this dialogue.
28. Mackenzie Phillips! Leads! An intervention! (Season 1, Episode 9)
Unlike, say, Will & Grace, 90210 never quite knew what to do with its guest stars (see: no. 89 and no. 57). The exception is this 1994 beauty featuring actress and ’60s love child Mackenzie Phillips, a real-life recovering drug addict. In the show, she played a counselor who leads an intervention on Dylan inside the Walsh house. She had the best intentions, even if her efforts failed. It’s not her fault that Dylan entered rehab with blow still in his pocket and checked out a day later—even if, within the 90210 universe, such behavior was extremely predictable
27. David cheats on Donna with Ariel (Season 4, Episode 32)
Donna’s worst suspicions were confirmed when she caught her boyfriend in a limo half-naked with Ariel (Kari Wuhrer), the trampy record label A&R rep. Cut to a shot of the condom wrapper on the floor. (I’m not just saying this—90210 literally cut to a shot of a condom wrapper on a floor.)
26. David reveals Ariel gave him an STD (Season 5, Episode 1)
In the immortal words of Brandon Walsh, “You stray, you pay, my brother.”
25. Jackie Taylor emcees the mother-daughter fashion show high on cocaine (Season 1, Episode 7)
Jackie Taylor, former fashion model and mom to Kelly, seemed like a dream baby boomer parent. The sad reality? She was a coke addict who went off the rails in front of her daughter and other assorted members of the Beverly Hills community during a mother-daughter fashion show. (The unveiling of once-private family dysfunction is a classic trope of shows like 90210.) Jackie entered rehab shortly after this, but the embarrassing fiasco would be a talking point between mother and daughter for years to come.
24. The gang rearranges the Hollywood sign on graduation night (Season 3, Episode 30)
The song that plays in the background of this scene, “Blood Is Thicker than Water” by the Triplets, was intended to be Don Henley’s “End of the Innocence.” But, evidently unimpressed with high-level vandalism, Henley wouldn’t give over the rights.
23. “I won’t be gone forever, Dylan” (Season 4, Episode 31)
22. Dylan and Brenda’s first date (Season 1, Episode 10)
Most teens in 1991 saw White Men Can’t Jump on a date. Dylan and Brenda, on the other hand, went to the swanky Bel Age hotel, where Dylan’s bully of a dad screamed at him. He ran out of the building and smashed the closest flower pot he could find to pieces. Brenda was smitten.
21. Kelly does cocaine (Season 6, Episode 17)
20. Brenda pretends to be French (Season 3, Episode 4)
One word: Reek! Let’s never forget that glorious time when Brenda Walsh of Minneapolis spent the summer in Paris and pretended to be a Frenchie named Brenda DuBois while wooing a strapping American exchange student played by Dean Cain. Incredibly, lovestruck Rick fell for zee horreeeble accent.
19. Emily Valentine destroys the gang’s homecoming float (Season 2, Episode 16)
Pull up a chair and listen to a story about a troubled girl named Emily Valentine. New to Beverly Hills, she starts dating Brandon within weeks. But the budding relationship goes south when she slips him illegal drugs (more on that below) and he promptly dumps her. Our funny Valentine then goes full-on Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, going to extreme lengths to win him back. It doesn’t work. Her desperate behavior culminates in her tearing apart and pouring gasoline all over the gang’s homecoming float. But Brenda catches her toying with the lighter and convinces her to walk away.
18. “Damn, I wish I was your lover” (Season 5, Episode 3)
Sadly, proper video of 90210’s use of this Sophie B. Hawkins song does not exist due to licensing issues. But it’s still massively important, to the point that fans lovingly refer to it as The Scene. In it, Kelly and Dylan are sprawled out on the beach in front of a fire, his arms wrapped around her she wants him but she can’t have him because he’s still dating her best friend but then they hook up anyway! It’s as if Hawkins wrote her hit just for this couple’s illicit summer. Watch a rerun of this and you’ll hear canned-in, nondescript music. Blasphemy.
17. Donna Martin (finally) loses it (Season 7, Episode 32)
“It” being her V-card. Donna finally lost her virginity on the last night of college, in 1997, to David, in her bedroom, surrounded by SO MANY lit candles.
16. Brenda and Kelly wear the same dress to the spring dance (Season 1, Episode 21)
15. Kelly and Dylan kiss on rooftop pool of the Bel Age Hotel (Season 3, Episode 19)
14. Dylan’s dad explodes (literally, but also not really) (Season 3, Episode 21)
In my mind, Dylan’s dad really did bite it on that rainy February morning in 1993, when he took the keys from his son to move the car from a tow-zoned parking lot. (And just when Dylan was starting to refer to him as “Dad” instead of “Jack.”) Of course, Jack didn’t actually blow up in the car we’d find out seven years later this was just a ruse to get him in the witness protection program. Tough break for Dylan.
13. Kelly breaks down at the slumber party (Season 1, Episode 12)
Jennie Garth’s finest acting moment during her 10-year tenure on 90210 comes in Season 1. I’ll set it up for you: The girls all get together at the Walsh house for a slumber party. Kelly brings a snobby friend named Amanda, who insists that they all play a rapid-fire-answer game called Skeletons in the Closet. During Kelly’s turn in the hot seat, she begrudgingly admits she lost her virginity to a guy on the football team, who raped her. “He didn’t even use a blanket,” she sobs, the mascara streaking down her face. For all the early-’90s frivolousness on the small screen, this was a genuinely and startingly affecting moment. Indeed, 90210 proved early on this was no standard-issue teen drama.
12. David and Donna exchange vows (Season 10, Episode 27)
Quite literally, this was the moment that 292 episodes had been building to.
11. RIP, Scott Scanlon (Season 2, Episode 14)
David and Scott (Douglas Emerson) started the series as a matched set, a pair of dorky freshmen who wanted to get in with the popular clique. David showed off his dancing abilities at the school dance and grew in stature Scott was an appendage with an overbite who quickly reached the end of his utility as a character on 90210. And so producers killed him off in Season 2 in one of the show’s first ultradramatic turns. At his own birthday party, Scott starts twirling his dad’s loaded gun in the den like Wyatt Earp before shooting himself in the stomach while David watches in horror. “It doesn’t matter what you say about someone once they’re gone,” a mourning David later tells Brandon during a school newspaper interview. “What matters is how you treat them when they’re still alive.”
10. Valerie rolls into town—and then rolls a doobie (Season 5, Episode 1)
Valerie’s arrival to Beverly Hills caused a seismic shift. She was a Walsh family friend from Buffalo, we were told, who moved West in the wake of her father’s death. She seemed upbeat and friendly enough. But then the smile disappeared from her face as she sparked up a joint, right there in Brenda’s old bedroom.
9. “I choose me” (Season 5, Episode 30)
8. Ray pushes Donna down the stairs (Season 5, Episode 31)
Or did she fall? Or was it an owl?
7. “May the bridges I burn light the way” (Season 5, Episode 8)
A drunk and emotionally tormented Dylan McKay was always the best version of Dylan McKay.
6. A wedding and a funeral (Season 6, Episode 10)
What a heartbreaking send-off for Dylan. First he married his beautiful bride, Toni Marchette (Rebecca Gayheart), who happened to be the daughter of the man who organized Jack’s murder. (It’s a testament to Gayheart’s chemistry with Perry that fans didn’t care that she wasn’t Kelly or Brenda.) Then Toni’s embittered father (Stanley Kamel) put a hit on his new son-in-law, which goes south when goons shoot into Dylan’s car on a dark and stormy night, unaware that it’s Toni behind the wheel. Left with nothing, all a grieving Dylan can do is ride off on his motorcycle with Toni’s pet cat. Her name: Trouble. No, seriously.
5. Color Me Badd, color us glad (Season 2, Episode 26)
They weren’t the Beatles. They weren’t New Kids on the Block. Hell, they weren’t even Roxette. But Color Me Badd is treated like pop star royalty in this 1992 episode as Brenda, Donna, David, and Kelly attempt to crash their hotel and meet them. Kelly succeeds (of course) and eventually the guys end up at the Peach Pit to serenade Donna with “I Adore Mi Amor.” (I’m assuming “I Wanna Sex You Up” was too inappropriate for the diner crowd.)
4. “Donna Martin graduates!” (Season 3, Episode 28)
I swear this 1993 episode—in which Donna is immediately suspended and not allowed to participate in high school graduation ceremonies because she broke the school board’s no-drinking-at-prom rule—wasn’t a big deal at the time. But somehow, it became lodged in pop culture infamy. I, for one, would just like to point out again: She did break the rules?
3. Emily slips Brandon U4EA (Season 2, Episode 15)
This is your brain. This is your brain on a drug called U4EA (great name, as far as drugs go) after Emily Valentine mixes it in a drink and serves it to you at some dirty underground rave. Brandon is peeved about being drugged, but as Emily pointedly reminds him, “What’s done is done, babe,” which is a statement you just can’t argue with. From there, Priestley sells the high life brilliantly, slurring his words, cracking nonsensical jokes and asking Emily what those little white dots on his tongue are called. Unfortunately, this incident scared Brandon straight, and afterward he turned into a holier-than-thou straight arrow. (The senior-year gambling doesn’t count.)
2. Brenda learns the truth (Season 3, Episode 19)
1. Dylan and Brenda at the spring dance (Season 1, Episode 20)
Let’s end the party on a happy note: the 1991 spring dance, when Dylan takes Brenda up to a hotel room and sleeps with her for the first time. (So much for the stress of the matching dresses!) The act leads to a pregnancy scare, which leads to a break-up, which leads to a make-up, which leads to angst when Brenda leaves for Paris, which leads to a romance with Kelly, which leads to the love triangle, which leads to Brenda hating them both. But, oh, how glamorous and blissfully unaware they looked on that fateful night. And what an important moment for a show that would go on to become so iconic that its stars would appear in an odd meta-series multiple decades later.
Mara Reinstein is a New York City–based film critic and entertainment journalist who contributes to Us Weekly, Billboard, The Cut, HuffPost, and Parade.
How Beverly Hills, 90210 Made Luke Perry an Iconic TV Heartthrob
But from the second Dylan McKay drove onto the lot of West Beverly High in his black Porsche 356 Speedster, such was the comparison Luke Perry—with his perfect hair, scar splitting his right eyebrow and brooding soulfulness that suggested he just needed the love of a good woman to make him whole—would be hearing, a lot.
But as Perry noted to the Chicago Tribune above, somewhat broodily, Dean was gone, destined to only reach the age at which Perry started playing a high school junior (then sophomore, because high school lasted a little longer than producers originally planned).
Rather unfathomably for anyone who watched Beverly Hills, 90210, unfold in first-run episodes between 1990 and 2000, Perry is gone now too. He died in March 4, 2019 after suffering a stroke. He was only 52 and had acquired a new generation of fans—and recaptured the fascination of many of his longtime admirers—playing Archie Andrews' tenderhearted single dad on Riverdale.
The role of the always-supportive Fred Andrews also could come across as Dylan 2.0 thanks to his deliberate, husky voice, still-perfect hair and perennially concerned expression.
Which may have been the last thing Perry was going for, but he couldn't help it. He played the hell out of Dylan McKay starting 30 years ago, and turned him into a character for the ages—all the ages, even the ones who discovered 90210 in reruns on Soap Opera Network.
Before that star-making role came along, the aspiring thespian from small-town Ohio had worked on a couple of soaps—Loving, Another World—since moving to Los Angeles after high school, where he was voted "Biggest Flirt." He made ends meet selling shoes, working as a chauffeur and laying asphalt in between auditions.
"I always felt like something of an outsider," Perry told Geocities in 1993. "But I identified with people up on the screen. That made me feel like I wanted to be up on the screen too. I felt like eventually I would get there."
After auditioning for the role of arrogant rich kid Steve Sanders, which eventually went to Ian Ziering, Perry was eventually asked back to try out for the role of Dylan. Living primarily alone in a hotel suite, Dylan still had a poor-little-rich-boy quality to him, but as played by Perry, he also radiated the kind of enigmatic charm and depth that you just don't see in many real-life high schools.
Combine that with his leading-man good looks, and a household name was born.
Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered on Oct. 4, 1990. Perry's first episode was Oct. 11, his 24th birthday.
"It's hard and sometimes it's scary," he said about the almost overnight A-list fame that resulted from 90210. "It still amazes my mother. I went home for Christmas one year and there were fans all over the front lawn, hoping to see me."
He had trouble processing the mania that greeted the show because, really, he just wanted to give the best performance possible. Screaming hordes at shopping malls aside, "I realize what my job is," he told the Chicago Tribune in August 1991. "They didn't hire me to get fan mail. They hired me to act."
"He's a complex character. He's fun to play," Perry said about Dylan.
"Originally, people thought we were a flighty, superficial show," he added. "But I think we've proven that we have some real substance. Other shows about teenagers are either preachy or put on a candy-coated view of life. We're not preachy, and we're certainly not candy-coated."
To be fair, at that point Beverly Hills, 90210 had not yet become the "oh come on" pile-up of issues and love triangles and quadrangles that it would in later seasons (people call circles of friends who all hook up with each other a Melrose Place scenario, but it could just as easily been a 90210 situation).
It was, as Perry described, a show about real issues, from drinking and driving, drugs, accidental gun deaths and mental illness to sex, AIDS and breast health, not to mention intense, all-consuming love, both unrequited and memorably consummated. And that's all from the first two seasons!
Dylan was heard before he was seen on 90210, when for some reason he's hanging out in a tech-lab-type room (always exceeding society's expectations, that one) where two jocks show up to harass the nerdy Scott Scanlon (Douglas Emerson). When they threaten to erase what Scott's doing on the computer (designing a floor plan for "the perfect dance club," for the record), you hear the invitation to get wrecked from off-camera: "Touch that board, my friend."
And around spins Perry, looking awfully fresh-faced in hindsight but at the time rather calm, cool and manly. He proceeds to tell the bullies with a slight smirk that he's "feeling a little hostile," and that's all they need to know. They slink away. Scott's adoration is secured and Jason Priestley's Brandon Walsh, still the new kid in town from wholesome Minnesota, is duly impressed.
"Your friend's pretty cool," Brandon tells Scott, looking as if he can't believe what he's just witnessed.
"I've never seen the guy in my life!" Scott marvels.
Nor had most people, but within a couple months "the guy" had become "Luke Perry," his name as laden with heartthrob meaning as "Tom Cruise" or "Brad Pitt"—only "Brad Pitt" as we know him, and especially as he was in the 1990s, was still a few months away, with Thelma & Louise and his abs not arriving in theaters until May 1991.
"After the pilot, we felt there should be someone who is a little dangerous, a little on the edge, and we came up with the Dylan character," executive producer Aaron Spelling, who was the one who insisted to the studio that Perry become a regular cast member, told Rolling Stone in 1992. Added creator Darren Star, "When Luke walked into the audition, it was like 'Wow, that's the person.' He seems exactly like James Dean to me, but it isn't a conscious imitation—he's really being himself."
Priestley had his devoted fan base too, of course, as did Ian Ziering and eventually Brian Austin Green when his character, David Silver, ascended to being one of the gang.
But Perry was The Guy, heartthrob No. 1, the bad boy, "the next James Dean."
"Cher's saving herself for Luke Perry," Dionne earnestly explains to Tai in 1995's Clueless. (Incidentally, Christian later asks Cher, holding up a leather jacket, "Is it James Dean or Jason Priestley?")
Fans clamored to find out all they could about the rip-out-his-picture-and-put-it-in-your-notebook actor. And he both met and defied expectations at every turn, smoking during interviews like a lot of hot young thangs did in the 1990s but also being one of the first prominent celebs to have a pot-bellied pig (or three) as a pet. His down-to-earth nature and aversion to the trappings of fame became apparent as interviewer after interviewer tried to tease out his inner Dylan, only to find a super-solid dude who didn't have much use for the Hollywood game.
"I go bungee-jumping with Jason [Priestley]. Go camping," Perry told Geocities. "I go four-wheeling in my truck. I also like to fish, cook, do stuff around the house. I even studied fencing for awhile."
As for the bad-boy scar, "I was at a bowling alley and I ran into a soda machine."
Perry also didn't take his shirt off for photo shoots (lots of tank tops in those beach pics) or talk about his love life. Asked about his girlfriend, he acknowledged he had one, but wouldn't say anything else about her because she wasn't in show business. And since most people weren't on the internet yet…that was that.
He explained to People in 1991 why he had stopped dating actresses: "Sooner or later, the relationship is going to become competitive. You're going to be competing for each other's time, or somebody's career is going to be at a spot where the other's is not."
And he stuck to it, marrying Minnie Sharp in 1993. They had two children together, son Jack and daughter Sophie, before divorcing in 2003. When he died, he was engaged to Wendy Madison Bauer.
After Dylan's winning first impression, Brandon finds him reading a paperback on the stairs (it has to be Burroughs or Kerouac, right?) and introduces himself. For the next seven episodes Dylan remained a mostly peripheral character as Brandon's friend, equally impressed by Brandon's salt-of-the-earth quality amid all the Beverly Hills phonies. Then, on Jan. 3 1991, 90210 put him and Shannen Doherty's Brenda Walsh together and, as the life lessons flurried around them, they became the beating heart of the show.
Of course, you can't have a serious series about high school (and then college) with one couple going along blissfully with no drama, so despite their impressive chemistry, their star-crossed relationship gets screwed up a million ways till Sunday as they break up, then reunite, then they're pushed apart, and reunite, and break up, and Dylan dates Brenda's best friend, Jennie Garth's Kelly Taylor, and then they break up…Then he and Brenda kinda reunite on Doherty's farewell episode.
Really, that was as good as any a thing to have happen to Brenda as she prepared to "move to Europe."
When Doherty was first battling breast cancer back in 2016, Perry said about his former onscreen love at REWind Com, "She was a very big part of the success of the show. None of us are up here today without Shannen. She's been through a lot. She's not doing well right now, but sometimes her contributions are minimized."
When news first broke that Perry was hospitalized, Doherty posted a photo of them from the famous "Spring Dance" episode, in which Dylan and Brenda are blissfully in love and she ends up losing her virginity to him—in a hotel room upstairs while the dance rages on below. It's all very adult, and these people can in no universe pass for 16, but that's OK.
The actress ended up playing a pivotal role in the episode of Riverdale in which Archie finds out his dad has died after being hit by a car. Doherty played the woman whom Fred had pulled over to the side of the road to help, another good deed for the endlessly good Fred Andrews.
As he became one-half of one of the most memorable TV couples of all time (and then half of another couple, and another, and another after that), Perry branched out into movies almost immediately—most memorably with the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film, opposite Kristy Swanson, and then the rodeo drama 8 Seconds, playing real-life bull rider Lane Frost.
Though Beverly Hills, 90210 lasted 10 seasons, its mojo largely rode off when Perry did in November 1995, in the middle of season six, after his brand-new wife, Toni (Rebecca Gayheart), is accidentally killed by her own father, who was aiming to get rid of Dylan—who had been aiming to get rid of the father as revenge for killing his own father, but Dylan fell in love with the guy's daughter instead. (After Brenda left, Dylan's plotlines were a variety of substance-addled instability and persistent ruthlessness.)
Not a year went by that didn't include Perry on a screen somewhere. Among the highlights, he landed in the sci-fi blockbuster The Fifth Element in 1997, returned to 90210 in its ninth season and stayed through the end, and had a meaty arc on HBO's gritty prison drama Oz. He guest-starred on everything from Spin City and Will & Grace to Law & Order: SVU. He also was cast in numerous series that didn't go past one season, including John From Cincinnati (David Milch's first series for HBO after Deadwood), and had his own post-apocalyptic Showtime drama, Jeremiah, run for two.
Not until Riverdale, which premiered in 2016, did it seem that Perry had found a potentially long-term home again—having graduated all the way from hot broody bad boy "teen" to hot, wise father of a teenager. Which, with all the wink-wink pop culture twists packed into Riverdale, was not an accident.
"I still have all my hair, and I don't think anybody thought I would at this stage in the game," Perry quipped, laughing, during an interview at New York Comic-Con in 2018. But overall, he loved working with KJ Apa, who plays Archie, and whom he bonded with on set from the start.
At the same time, he seemed beyond content at that point to sit back and let the twentysomething "teens" on Riverdale be the overnight sensations on this show.
"Man, I hate those two f--king words!" Perry told People back in 1991, referring to the words "teen idol."
His real-life self and Dylan shared an aversion to phoniness, pack mentalities and ostentation (the character's Porsche aside). "Porches are glorified Volkswagens, man," Perry told People. "I climb over Porsches in my Blazer. Some people would say that I'm not an actor, simply because I don't own a Harley-Davidson and I've never been to a poetry reading. That s--t isn't what I'm about."
"I love where I come from," he added, referring to Fredericktown, Ohio. "The people there are good people. When they say, 'Thank you,' they mean it. A lot of people say nice things to me out here because they're getting paid to."
When Brandon and Dylan first meet on 90210, Brandon asks Dylan if he wants to go grab a bite to eat. Dylan scoffs at him, not realizing the offer is genuine, and says, mockingly, "Yeah, let's do lunch." (Even though his jacket, worn over a white t-shirt, was black and not red, the Rebel Without a Cause vibe was unavoidable.) It takes him a beat before he senses that Brandon is the real deal.
"I think, in a way, if they make the association strong enough, I'll have to pay the price for the fact that he checked out, and I don't want to, you know," Perry reflected again on the James Dean comparison on Today in 1992. "I hope to be still working when I'm 30, and 40 and 50, and for ever how long I want to. I think when I can no longer fulfill that James Dean fantasy for them, they'll look and get it from someone else and I'll be gone."
He also said, "When my time here is up, I don't want to look back and see that I didn't do anything. And by that, I mean [thinking] I didn't have an effect on anything else. I see a lot of people that let their life happen to them, and I want to happen to my life. I don't want my life to happen to me."
Fatefully, the role of Dylan McKay fit Perry like a glove and turned him into an iconic celebrity, and on his own merits. (Moreover, it's doubtful that too many hardcore 90210 fans were out to fill a void left by Dean 35 years prior.)
But like every other main star from the show's first season, no future part came close to equaling the impact of what transpired for Perry between 1990 and 1995 (and 1998 to 2000). And that may have been frustrating for a guy who was up for anything—and who got tons of work that showed off his versatility but was usually overshadowed by what came before. When Garth, Doherty and Tori Spelling signed up to be on the CW's 90210 in 2008, in which Kelly is the mother of a child she had with Dylan, who's no longer in the picture, Perry was of course asked if he'd be showing up in the old zip code anytime soon.
"It's just not something that I've thought about to be quite honest," he told Access Hollywood at the time. "I don't see it happening."
Which isn't to say he had turned his back on Beverly Hills, 90210 or didn't keep in touch with the crew who once comprised his circle of everyday best friends. While he wasn't up for playing Dylan again, Perry regularly joined his castmates at events where tribute was being paid to their classic Fox show.
Perhaps all he needed was more time to think it over.
He joked on Today in 2017, raking his hand through his still-enviable 'do, that if he got "the hair back up" he'd be down for a reunion. But, he added, they had "talked about it recently" and he would "very much be interested in doing it this time. I'd like to get back with them and work with my guys. I'd been doing something else and that's been fun, but I would love to do scenes with Shannen again" and see how all the characters turned out.
Perry did not, however, appear to be involved with BH 90210, the six-episode Beverly Hills, 90210 meta-reinvention that Fox aired in 2019, on which the rest of the principle actors played versions of themselves, reunited at Spelling's behest for a reboot of their hit show. Perry's absence is noted solemnly, but without explanation.
Perry did, however, pick a hell of a project to be in: Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino. The film was nominated for 10 Oscars and Pitt won for Best Supporting Actor last month, having scooped up every major award in his path along the way.
But even though Dylan McKay was spoken of but remained unseen on the CW's 90210 and the new show had no choice but to go on without Luke Perry, just the mention of either name conjures an indelible presence. And while hearing his name continues to hurt, remembering and appreciating that presence will always help.
Beverly Hills, 90210 Re-Watch: It’s Only A Test (Season 1 Episode 18)
Next up in our rewatch is Beverly Hills, 90210, Season 1 Episode 18, “It’s Only A Test.” There are two tests on the episode that are still prevalent today, so it definitely can’t be ignored.
Most importantly, of course, is the breast self-examination. I’ve watched many a teen drama in the early 90s and late 2000s and I can’t think of another show that addresses specifically the self-examination aspect of breast cancer so blatantly. This needs to be commended.
But it’s a shame, too. The threat of breast cancer is still very real for every woman, and younger women need to be encouraged to check themselves. I’ve just recently learned about someone who died of breast cancer far too young.
The show handles the issue so well overall, though it does come off slightly “after school special-ish” at times. That’s to be expected considering when the episode originally aired (March 28th, 1991 according to IMDb).
Beverly Hills, 90210, Season 1 Episode 18, “It’s Only A Test.”
The way the idea of self-examination comes up is logical for teenage girls even today. It’s easy to picture a group of friends, bored with SAT prep doing the breast exam they found in a magazine together — especially after the story of Brenda’s Aunt Shiela’s death.
I would usually be critical of any show for making up a family member we never hear about again. But in this case, the story of Aunt Sheila works and I’m not even mad that she’s never brought up again.
There is enough shown on screen that the telling compliments the story. Family history of cancer definitely puts Brenda at a higher risk.
Where the episode ventures into overdramatic territory is with Brenda telling Dylan and then saying things like, “you didn’t even want to touch me when I told you.”
If she did have cancer, eventually no matter her age she would have to tell her boyfriend. But their fight and her leaving the “I love you” message on Dylan’s voicemail is just a tad much.
Then again, she’s a teenager, so maybe I’m being too judgemental here. This is a serious matter and Dylan is one of the most important people in Brenda’s life.
Beverly Hills, 90210, Season 1 Episode 18, “It’s Only A Test.”
Brenda’s dream is so extra, but all dreams are. Kelly wanting Brenda to leave her boyfriend to Kelly in her will is great foreshadowing. It’s extra but entertaining and that’s what matters.
As for the fact that Brenda doesn’t have cancer, that’s the best decision for the show because of her age and again… the time the show aired. If she were a little older and this was on today, I would challenge the show to actually represent illness on TV. But, it doesn’t need to happen here. Just encouraging women to do self-examinations is enough.
Like I said above, it’s even a great reminder today, as is the fact that teenagers have doctor/client privilege.
Let’s move on to the other test on the show, the SATs. It’s sad that the problem they address with this test is still relevant today.
It’s 2019 but there’s still an educational disparity between people based on income, race, disability and other factors. For its time, Beverly Hills, 90210 is being a bit bold to mention this.
But that’s all they really do. Andrea is known to be really smart. Do I think viewers think she needs the prep class? No. But it doesn’t even matter because the goes to Steve’s and learns the tricks to the test. So, she does get the advantage. There’s a smarter way to tell this story in 2019.
But, I need to talk about Andrea and Steve kissing. I dislike young Steve Sanders the most. But perhaps thanks to One Tree Hill I’m wondering if a Nathan/Haley storyline would’ve worked for them.
I’m inclined to say it wouldn’t. Brandon/Andrea is a smarter ship if not more interesting. The show didn’t even touch them. So I doubt they would put Andrea and Steve together in any universe.
Jesse is a great addition to the show and Naley stays together on One Tree Hill in part because of fan service.
Beverly Hills, 90210, Season 1 Episode 18, “It’s Only A Test.”
Yet, the “bad boy” falling for the “smart girl” is still a compelling trope. Steve and Janet fit perfectly. But early Beverly Hills, 90210 episodes make me wonder what could’ve been if the show chose different paths.
Steve Sanders would definitely be a different man, and I’ll just say it — would probably be more likable throughout the series.
What did you think of this episode of Beverly Hills, 90210? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
- Shannen, 48, revealed on Good Morning America on Monday that the breast cancer she battled from 2015 to 2017 had returned as Stage IV
- Her tragic news comes less than a year after her Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Luke Perry died following a stroke at the age of 52
- Many of the teen drama's original cast members have faced some misfortune
- Jason Priestley had a near-fatal car wreck, Tori Spelling has been battling financial woes for years, and Jennie Garth has a leaky heart valve
Published: 00:09 BST, 5 February 2020 | Updated: 06:54 BST, 5 February 2020
Shannen Doherty shocked Beverly Hills, 90210 fans on Monday when she revealed that the breast cancer she battled from 2015 to 2017 had returned as Stage IV.
'It's a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways. I'm petrified. I'm pretty scared,' the 48-year-old said through tears on Good Morning America, where she also discussed the damage that her home sustained during the 2018 Wolseley fire.
Shannen's tragic news comes less than a year after her 90210 co-star Luke Perry died following a stroke at the age of 52 — and while she and Luke certainly faced the toughest hardships since leaving their iconic '90s TV show, most of the cast has faced some misfortune, from financial troubles to health complaints to multiple divorces.
Looking back: The original cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 have all faced some misfortune over the years, from health scares to financial woes
Heartbreaking: Shannen Doherty, 48, revealed on Good Morning America on Monday that the breast cancer she battled from 2015 to 2017 had returned as Stage IV
Candid: 'It's a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways. I'm petrified. I'm pretty scared,' she said through tears
Shannen, who found fame by playing Brenda Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210, wiped away tears this morning as she made the shocking admission about her cancer returning.
'It’s going to come out in a matter of days or week that I am Stage 4, so my cancer came back and that’s why I am here,' she said.
Stage 4 breast cancer has a 22 per cent five-year survival rate.
'I definitely have days where I go, "Why me?" and then, "Why not me? Who else?" You know? Who else besides be deserves this? None of us do.
'And I would say that my first reaction is always concern about, how am I going to tell my mom, my husband,' she went on, referencing her mother Rosa and husband, film producer Kurt Iswarienko.
'My mom is a ridiculously strong courageous human being. So is my husband, but I worry about him,' she said.
Looking back: Shannen played Brenda Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210. She is pictured with her on-screen brother Jason Priestley in 1991
Making headlines: Rumors swirled that she was difficult to work with, and she left after the end of season three. She is pictured with her co-stars Tori Spelling (L) and Jennie Garth (R) in 1992
Shannen was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and underwent a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation.
At the time, she shared her battled with fans, including photos of herself with her head shaved. She discussed the nausea and aches she experienced — as well as the fact that her weight got down to just 91 lbs.
By 2017 she was in remission, but now the cancer has returned aggressively.
What's more, Shannen said she would have liked to keep her heath battle to herself, but she can't — because of another tragedy that befell her.
In 2018, her home was damaged by the Wolseley fire in California, and she has been trying to make a claim against State Farm insurance to repair it.
The company says it has paid her $1.1million but that she believes she is entitled to more.
First fight: Shannen was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. After a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, she was given the all-clear in 2017. She is pictured in 2016
Open: She shared her battled with fans, including photos of herself with her head shaved. She is pictured with her husband Kurt Iswarienko
'My house was severely damaged. You walked in and it just reeked of smoke. I tried — I communicated with my insurance company. I called, I got passed around, claims adjuster or to claims adjuster.
'I ended up suing State Farm and the result has been one of the most horrific processes I have ever been through,' she said, explaining that her cancer is written about in court documents that will become public.
Now Shannen faces an incredibly hard battle against a disease that claims the lives of nearly 80 per cent of those who have it — a particularly tragic turn of events, given that the actress had finally managed to rehab her images after years of behind painted as a celebrity villain.
Her Hollywood career was filled with highs and lows. Though she landed a starring role on 90210, rumors swirled that she was difficult to work with, and she left after the end of season three — while the show was still a huge success.
Shannen's co-star Tori Spelling admitted in 2015 that she was the one who asked her father, the show's producer Aaron Spelling, to fire the actress from the cast.
Tori made the revelation on the Lifetime special Celebrity Lie Detector, explaining that there were numerous incidents that led to her decision, including Shannon getting into a 'fistfight' with Jennie Garth that had to be broken up by their male cast members.
Tragic: Shannen revealed she had been given her diagnosis when Luke Perry, her Beverly Hills 90210 co-star, died in February last year
Like family: Shannen said her co-star Brian Austin Green was one of the few people she told about her cancer. They are pictured together in August 2019
Back together: Shannen reunited with several old co-stars and appeared on the 90210 reboot, BH90210, last year
Shannon went on to star on Charmed but was booted from that show, too, amid talk that she feuded with co-star Alyssa Milano.
Her brushes with the law only added to her 'bad girl' reputation. In 1996, she agreed to attend anger management counseling after smashing a beer bottle on a car window during an argument outside of a West Hollywood bar.
In 2001, she got three years probation for drinking and driving following a December 2000 arrest in which her truck was pulled over for allegedly weaving across a highway.
By then, her reputation as a 'bad girl' who was 'difficult' was a favorite topic of tabloids — but over the next few years, Shannen grew up and managed to rehab her reputation.
'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. You’ve evolved and all of the bad things you’ve done in your life have brought you to a much better place,' she told Parade in 2010.
She even reunited with several old co-stars and appeared on the 90210 reboot, BH90210.
Devastating: Luke passed away on March 4, 2019, at the age of 52, five days after he was hospitalized for a massive stroke
Partner: He is survived by his fiancée Wendy Madison Bauer, who was at his side along with his children, siblings, and mother when he passed away. They are pictured in 2017
Luke passed away on March 4, 2019, at the age of 52, five days after he was hospitalized for a massive stroke.
He had been rushed to a California hospital from his home in Sherman Oaks and remained there until his death.
The actor, who played bad-boy Dylan McKay on 90210, is survived by his son Jack, 21, and daughter Sophie, 18, from his marriage to ex-wife Rachel Minnie Sharp.
'He was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends,' said Luke's publicist in a statement.
Luke was in the midst of a career renaissance at the time of his tragic death. He played Archie Andrews' father Fred on the CW series Riverdale, and he also had a part in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which was released in July 2019.
Back in the day: Luke played bad-boy Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210. He filmed 199 episodes of the hit teen drama
Career Renaissance: Luke played Archie Andrews' father Fred on the CW series Riverdale (L), and he also had a part in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (R)
He was not, however, among the cast members who planned on joining the 90210 reboot.
Before his fatal stroke, he had a cancer scare in 2015 when doctors found precancerous growths in his colon during what he assumed would be just a routine procedure.
In an interview with Fox News, he discussed his horror over the discovery and how he came to terms with escaping a potentially terminal illness.
'Right now, there are 23 million Americans who haven't been screened who need to be screened,' he said. 'If I had waited, it could have been a whole different scenario.'
Story: Tori Spelling's financial woes have been making headlines since the show ended in 2000. The 46-year-old is pictured with her husband Dean McDermott in August 2019
Tori, 46, is as well known for her headline-making personal woes as she is for her role on Beverly Hills, 90210.
The actress, whose father Aaron Spelling produced the show, used the alias Tori Mitchell when she auditioned for the teen drama, though she didn't fool anyone.
She was cast as Donna Martin and played the character for the show's entire 10-year run. However, after 90210 ended in 2000, she started making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Tori had been married to her first husband Charlie Shanian for just a year when she embarked on an affair with Dean McDermott, who was still wed to his first wife Mary Jane Eustace.
The two met while filming the Lifetime TV movie Mind Over Murder in July 2005, and Tori later admitted on her reality series True Tori that she had sex with Dean the first night they met.
The couple married in Wakaya, Fiji, in 2006 — less than a month after Tori's divorce from Charlie was finalized — and went on to have five children, but the couple has been plagued with money troubles since they said 'I do.'
Tori was expected to inherit a great deal of her late father's estimated $600 million fortune when he died in 2006, but at the time, she was estranged from her mother Candy Spelling, who was the executor of the estate.
Tori and her brother Randy inherited just $800,000 each from the massive fortune.
Big break: Tori played chaste virgin Donna Martin on Beverly Hills, 90210, which was produced by her father Aaron Spelling. She is pictured with her on-screen love Brian Austin Green
Shocking: Tori famously inherited just $800,000 of her later father's estimated $600 million fortune when he died in 2006. She is pictured with her father in 1997
While promoting her memoir, Candy at Last, Candy told The New York Times in 2014 that her daughter's recklessness with money was why she inherited so little.
Candy said Tori 'would close a store and drop $50,000 to $60,000,' adding, 'I never did anything like that. She just went crazy.'
While Tori didn't respond to the Times' requests for comment on the matter, she had been openly discussing her efforts to tighten her belt at the time.
In November 2013, she told People that due to the fickle nature of the entertainment business, she was forced to rein in her spending habits — especially after Dean opted not to get a vasectomy he wanted because their business manager said they couldn't afford it.
'We're in the entertainment business and things change year to year," she explained. 'We don't have a series on the air right now, so we have to be more restrictive of what we can spend, just like anyone who doesn't currently have a steady job.'
In her 2013 book, Spelling It Like It Is, Tori blamed her financial troubles on the cancellation of her reality series and several poor real estate decisions.
'It's not my fault I'm an uptown girl stuck in a midtown life. I was raised in opulence. My standards are ridiculously high. We can't afford that lifestyle, but when you grow up silver spoon it's hard to go plastic,' she wrote.
Family drama: At the time of her father's death, Tori was estranged from her mother Candy Spelling, who was the executor of the estate
Hard times: Tori and her husband Dean struggled to make their marriage work after news of his affair broke in 2013. The couple has also been plagued with financial issues
News of Dean's highly-publicized cheating scandal broke in December 2013 after he had a two-day affair with a then-28-year-old Emily Goodhan while working in Canada.
In January 2014, a three-day eviction notice was posted on the gate of the home that Tori and Dean were renting, though she later said it was a 'clerical error' and the notice had been withdrawn.
That same month, Dean checked into rehab to seek treatment for sex addiction following reports of his affair with Emily.
The couple's struggles to overcome his infidelity were the main focus of their short-lived reality series True Tori, which premiered in April 2014 and lasted two seasons.
Tori was then plagued with a series of health concerns, including her being rushed to the hospital in April 2015 after she fell on a hibachi grill at Benihana on Easter Sunday.
The day after the accident, she visited a burn center and was given skin grafts to treat the ailment. In September 2015, she sued the Japanese restaurant chain they reached a settlement in September 2017.
Amid the lawsuit, Tori's financial problems started to spiral out of control.
She was sued by American Express in January 2016 for failure to pay a $37,981.97 balance that included interest and fees.
Goal: Tori and Dean have five children together, and she admitted a few months ago that she wants to teach them to be financially responsible
Troubles: 'I wasn’t ever taught to deal with money properly,' she admitted. She's pictured with Jennie Garth in August 2019
After a judge ruled she had to pay what she owed to American Express, the credit card company hit her with yet another lawsuit in November 2016. This time, they sued her for $87,594.55 in unpaid credit card bills.
In December 2016, City National Bank sued the couple for their outstanding balance of $188,000 that they refused to pay on a $400,000 loan. In May, they were hit with a default judgment of $220,000 after Tori never showed up to court.
To make matters worse, Dean was sued by his ex-wife Mary Jo for 100,000 in child support payments in March 2017.
He told the judge: 'I've fallen on hard times.'
The ex-couple spoke outside of the courtroom and Mary Jo withdrew her claims with prejudice, meaning she could refile at any time if he doesn't pay up the $100,000.
In April 2017, the IRS drained the couple's bank accounts after they had $707,487.30 in unpaid federal taxes from 2014.
The couple's problems took their toll on Tori, who was hospitalized for exhaustion and emotional stress several times.
In March 2018, the police were called to her home after she suffered from an alleged 'nervous breakdown.'
According to the dispatch message obtained by Entertainment Tonight, authorities responded to a 'female mental illness' call at the house.
In a December 2019 episode of her web series Tori Tried and True, she shared that she is focused on teaching her five children how to be responsible with money.
'I had a business manager since I was 18 years old, so I never handled any of my money. Everything, everything, went to them, so unfortunately, I never quite learned about money. Now raising kids of my own, I’m like, that is so important,' she said.
'And because I’ve never been good with money, I wasn’t ever taught to deal with money properly, that’s something that’s really important for me to do as I’m learning myself now in my 40s,' she added. 'I really want my kids to know that before they move out on their own.'
Close call: Jason Priestley, 50, suffered a near-fatal car accident during his final practice for the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series at Kentucky Speedway in 2002
Bad: The actor played nice-guy Brandon Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210, but he 'would smoke and get drunk during every press interview' to set himself apart from his virtuous character'
Jason, 50, played nice-guy Brandon Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210, but his reputation was not quite as squeaky clean as his character's.
In the show's first season, Brandon drives drunk and gets into a car accident after giving in to peer pressure to drink alcohol at a party.
While his on-screen persona learned a valuable lesson, Jason did not.
In his 2014 memoir, Jason Priestley: A Memoir, he revealed he 'would smoke and get drunk during every press interview' to set himself apart from his virtuous character.'
Jason crashed his Porsche car into a telephone pole in Hollywood Hills in 1999 and was arrested for driving while under the influence.
He spent five nights in jail, and his driver's license was suspended for a year, He was also ordered to complete an alcohol-management program.
The actor left Beverly Hills, 90210 at the beginning of the show's ninth season, something he wishes he didn't do.
Dangerous: Jason crashed his Porsche car into a telephone pole in Hollywood Hills in 1999 and was arrested for driving while under the influence. He's pictured with Cindy Crawford in 1992
Family man: Jason married his wife, make-up artist Naomi Lowde, in 2005, and they have two children together: Ava, 12, and Dashiell, 10
'In retrospect, I do regret leaving,' he told CNN in 1999. 'Understanding what I do now about story and character, I believe that [Aaron Spelling] was pushing the story in a direction that would have had Brandon and Kelly end up together at the end of the show and I think I probably should have stuck around to its fruition.'
Racecar driving was a hobby of Jason's, and in August 2002, he was involved in a near-fatal car accident.
He was going 180 mph when he crashed his vehicle head-on into a wall during the final practice for the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series at Kentucky Speedway.
Jason was rushed to the University of Kentucky Hospital trauma center where friends and family gathered, including his 90210 co-star and friend Luke Perry.
The collision left him with a broke back, a concussion, and a broken nose, among other injuries, but he was able to make a full recovery.
'A thing like that has to change you in some way. If it doesn't, I think there's something wrong with you,' he told The Guardian in 2014.
Jason married his wife, make-up artist Naomi Lowde, in 2005, and they have two children together: Ava, 12, and Dashiell, 10.
Health concerns: Jennie Garth, 47, was diagnosed with a leaky heart valve in 2002, but she didn't publicly reveal the condition until 2009
Start of it all: Jennie launched to fame thanks to her role as Kelly Taylor on the teen drama. She is pictured with her co-star and friend Tori Spelling in 1992
Jennie, 47, has had her own health issues since her role as Kelly Taylor launched her to fame on Beverly Hills, 90210.
The actress was diagnosed with a leaky heart valve in 2002, but she didn't publicly reveal the condition until 2009.
'It's a common thing. A lot of people have it. They don't know they have it … It's your connection to your heart …your artery, the main artery that goes to your heart, it sort of flutters open and shut sort of a thing,' she told Access Hollywood. 'It's weird because sometimes when I'm resting I can feel a little weird fluttering.'
Jennie that while she is able to live a normal life, the condition requires constant monitoring.
'Down the road it’s something that could get more complicated or it could not,' she explained. 'People have had valve replacements and that kind of thing… but I’m prepared, that’s the key.'
Jennie has also had her fair share of broken hearts.
Split: The actress married her first husband, musician Daniel Clark, in 1994 at the height of her career. They were together for two years before they divorced in 1996
Family: Jennie was married to her second husband, actor Peter Facinelli, for 12 years before they divorced in 2013. They have three daughters: Luca, Lola, and Fiona
She married her first husband, musician Daniel Clark, in 1994 at the height of her career. They were together for two years before they divorced in 1996.
The actress was still married when she met her second husband, actor Peter Facinelli, on the set of the television film An Unfinished Affair.
After going public with their romance following her divorce from Daniel, they wed in January 2001 and went on to have three daughters together: Luca Bella, 22, Lola Ray, 17, and Fiona Eve, 13.
Peter filed for divorce in 2012 after 11 years of marriage, though it wasn't finalized until the following year.
In her 2014 memoir, Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde, she blamed the demise of their marriage on her husband's work busy schedule and her own anxieties as a stay-at-home mom.
Jennie recalled the day Peter had ended their marriage, saying he had just returned home during a break from a film.
Problems: In her 2014 memoir, Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde, she blamed the demise of their marriage on her husband's work busy schedule and her own anxieties
Toughing it out: Jennie married her third husband, restauranteur Dave Abrams in July 2015. He filed for divorce three years later, but they reconciled after 10 months apart
'The ground that had been cracking and shifting finally split open and pretty much swallowed me whole: Peter came home, and told me that he didn't think he wanted to be married to me any longer, and he thought it best that we separate so that we could get a better sense of where we stood with each other,' she wrote.
Although she didn't mention the name of the project Peter was working on, it was reported to be the film Loosies. After his marriage ended, he began dating his co-star Jaimie Alexander. They got engaged in 2015 but split a year later.
Jennie found love with restauranteur Dave Abrams, whom she met on a blind date in 2014. He became her third husband when they said 'I do' in July 2015.
She admitted that she was blindsided when he filed for divorce in 2018, saying she found out from TMZ. The mother of three turned the moment into a storyline on the Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot, BH90210.
The couple was separated for 10 months before they reunited.
Jennie told People that they had 'rushed' their relationship and the time they had spent apart actually helped them save their marriage.
'We definitely had to part ways completely,' she said. 'We needed that time to grow.'
Legal woes: Brian Austin Green, 46, ended up being embroiled in a bitter custody battle with his former fiancée Vanessa Marcil
Over: The actor played geek-turned-hunk David Silver on Beverly Hills, 90210, where he met Vanessa. They welcomed their son Kassius in March 2002 and split in 2003
Brian, 46, was embroiled in a bitter custody battle with his former fiancée Vanessa Marcil for years after they met on Beverly Hills, 90210 in the late '90s.
The actor, who played geek-turned-hunk David Silver, became engaged to Vanessa in 2001 after several years of dating. They welcomed their son Kassius in March 2002, but despite plans to wed that year, their relationship ended in 2003.
A year later, Brian started dating actress Megan Fox after they met on the set of Hope & Faith when she was just 18 years old.
The two wed in a Hawaii wedding ceremony in 2010, with Brian's son serving as his best man. The couple went on to have three sons: Noah Shannon, seven, Bodie Ransom, five, and Journey River, three.
In 2012, Brian had tried to sue Vanessa for $200,000 in unpaid loans, claiming that he lent her the money when they were in a relationship.
A judge ruled that his statute of limitations had run out, and the case was dismissed. However, Vanessa was told she could seek monetary sanctions against her ex. Her lawyers asked for more than $50,000 at the time, according to E! News.
Issues: Vanessa revealed in 2018 that Brian tried to sue her for custody of their son. They are pictured in 2000
Lovefool: Brian has also had a tumultuous relationship with his wife Megan Fox, who filed for divorce in 2015. The couple reunited a year later when she was pregnant with their third child
In 2018, Vanessa revealed in a scathing Instagram post that Brian and Megan tried to get full custody of Kassius in 2006.
'12 years ago I was served legal papers and then spent 8 years+ defending myself and my son in custody court in response to his father & his stepmother trying to get full custody (that means I would have seen my son four days a month) and then asking me to pay them child support,' she wrote.
'They lost that case & a civil case asking me for 200,000. I never spoke publicly in order to protect my then young son from hearing anything negative about his father and from paparazzi that used to follow him & terrify him,' she continued.
'I had also never asked for child support of any kind and had never tried to take time away from Kass’ dad seeing him. Ever. In the end they lost all of these court cases. The judge called them all "Frivolous."
'They always had and still have 50% custody and so still did when court ended as I had and have NEVER asked for full custody. Then, 5 years ago on their own they decided to completely cut Kass out of their lives and his younger brothers’ lives. Kass has never met his youngest brother and is not allowed to know where his bio father, stepmother and three younger brothers live. He has only seen his dad in passing or in public places [sic].'
Brian has also had a tumultuous relationship with Megan, who filed for divorce in 2015. The couple reunited a year later when she was pregnant with their third child.
Breakup: Ian Ziering, 55, has also had trouble in the love department and is going through a divorce for the second time
Breakout role: The actor played rich-kid Steve Sanders on the hit teen drama
Ian, 55, played rich-kid Steve Sanders on the hit teen drama, and like many of his 90210 co-stars, he's had some trouble in the love department.
The actor married Playboy Playmate Nikki Schieler in 1997, after she made an appearance on the show as an extra.
'I've been staring ever since,' he said of the day he met his now-ex-wife.
After less than five years together, Ian filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.
A source told People at the time that the couple had been 'fighting for a while' and Ian felt Nikki was 'too focused on herself.'
However, the insider added that 'this is who Ian wanted — the blonde bombshell.'
Nikki said he split was contentious and claimed that her ex didn't even help her with moving expenses.
'People think I took him for all this money, but I didn’t get anything,' she told Entertainment Weekly in 2005. 'I get no monthly checks. He didn’t even help with my moving-out expenses. I had $40,000 to my name and I blew through it all.'
Ian's spokesperson countered: 'She was compensated above and beyond the prenup because she fought it.'
Happier times: Ian married Playboy Playmate Nikki Schieler in 1997. After less than five years together, Ian filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences
Family: Ian announced in December 2019 that he and his second wife Erin Ludwig are divorcing. They have two daughters: Mia Loren, eight, and Penna Mae, six
The Sharknado star went on to find love with his wife Erin Ludwig, whom he married in 2010. They have two daughters: Mia Loren, eight, and Penna Mae, six.
The couple took to social media in December 2019 to announce that they are getting a divorce.
The former Dancing With the Stars contestant recently blamed 'hectic work schedules' for the breakdown of his marriage.
'It is with a heavy heart that I tell you Erin and I are splitting up. With our hectic work schedules we could not be busier, and over the last few years have grown apart,' he wrote on Instagram.
He went on to praise Erin for being 'the best' mother to their two children and said they intend to 'continue to get along' and be 'successful' co-parents to their brood.
'She is one of the most incredible women I have ever met and the best mom to our kids. It has come to my attention that things are being written and said to sensationalize a situation that is simply not sensational.
'Any quote attributed to me is completely false and solely meant by haters to undermine our intention to continue to get along, protect and raise our daughters, and be examples of successful co-parents.
'We ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time as we focus on what is important to us, our girls. Peace and love, Ian.'
Health issue: Gabrielle Carteris, 59, suffered facial nerve damage while filming stunts for the movie Past Tense in March 2008
Secret: Gabrielle played brainy Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills, 90210, after lying about her age to score the role. She was 29 when she started playing the 16-year-old character
Gabrielle, 59, played brainy Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills, 90210, after lying about her age to score the role.
She told producers she was 21 when she was really 29, making her more than a decade older than her 16-year-old character when the show began.
The actress has been happily married to her husband Charles Isaacs since 1992, but like her co-stars, she has had her own terrifying health scares.
She suffered facial nerve damage while filming stunts for the movie Past Tense in March 2008.
'There was a scene where my character was being grabbed by an intruder in a choke hold from behind,' she told People that year. 'The actor I was working with was 6’6″ and I’m 5’1″. He kept pulling up and I couldn’t speak. It hurt.
In love: The actress has been happily married to her husband Charles Isaacs since 1992. They are pictured together in 1993
Hiding: Gabrielle admitted that she didn't go out in public for a year after her injury, which left her face partially paralyzed and racked by intense spasms
'After that we did a scene where he drags me down the stairs. Later that day I lost feeling in my hands. I had a bad headache and my neck was sore. They gave me Advil, and I thought everything was going to be fine,' she recalled.
'A couple of days later the headaches were so bad I broke down in tears on-set. Then part of my face wasn’t moving. I called the assistant director and I said, "I can’t control the left side of my face." It was paralyzed, and my chin hurt to touch. I felt like I looked like the Joker.'
The injury, which left her face partially paralyzed and racked by intense spasms, affected her speech for six months.
In addition to taking medication to control the spasms, she did acupuncture and physical therapy to help treat the nerve damage.
'For the first year I didn’t go out in public,' she admitted, adding: 'This has been a real journey, and I'll probably be on meds for the rest of my life.'
Lifetime's Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Movie Airs Tonight and We Have Some NeedsFOX
Once again, we're gathered here today in front of the Lifetime network to celebrate one of our favorite shows with a sure-to-be interesting TV movie.
That TV movie has the potential to either ruin our enjoyment of said favorite show, or to ruin our enjoyment of all movies. Either way, we're ready to party with whatever nonsense is ahead for us this time.
This week, we're getting down and dirty with Beverly Hills 90210, which basically was the ➐s. It ran on Fox from 1990 to 2000 and introduced us to a whole bunch of actors we grew to love and feelings we didn't yet know we were capable of. It also gave us some of the most iconic fashions of our time, as seen here:
But one of 90210's biggest contributions to society is its action behind the scenes. For 10 years, the show was rife with rumors of fights and hookups, confirmations of fights and hookups, and lots of speculation over mysterious actor exits. (Buh-bye, Brenda!)
Given the history of Lifetime's Unauthorized movies, none of the really interesting stuff will actually make it into the final film, but here's what we're hoping to see:
—The original title was The Class of Beverly Hills, which is beyond lame, if you ask us.
—Fox executives apparently couldn't fathom the appeal of Luke Perry, so for the first couple of episodes, Aaron Spelling paid him out of his own pocket. Audiences obviously proved Fox wrong, and Perry was quickly made a regular cast member who got paid the normal way.
—Remember that time Scott randomly shot himself at his sad birthday party? Douglas Emerson either apparently wanted to retire from acting to join the Air Force and start a family or Fox wanted to cut costs, depending on who you ask, so he was written out in the saddest of ways. It got even sadder when it was discovered later on in the show that both Scott and his sister were probably molested by their uncle. Bummer!
—90210's resident motorcycle wild child Emily Valentine was literally the best, most insane character ever, and we need to relive that time she almost burned down that parade float. Girl was bats--t crazy for Brandon, and we loved every minute of it.
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—Tori Spelling hooked up with either Jason Priestley or Luke Perry, aside from her relationship with Brian Austin Green, and we would like these fake-o look-a-like actors to play out that scenario for us, please.
—We need EVERY. STINKING. DETAIL. of Shannen Doherty's exit, including the haircut that was the last straw, and the attempt to replace her with Drew Barrymore, Alyssa Milano, or Alicia Silverstone before Tiffani Thiessen was cast.
—Speaking of Tiffani Thiessen, she's played by the same girl who played her in that atrocious(ly hilarious) Saved by the Bell movie, so we assume these movies take place in the same universe (since that SBTB movie certainly wasn't set in THIS universe) and we need lots of acknowledgement of that fact, and of the upcoming Melrose Place movie.
In fact, this should just become a whole series of unauthorized movies about old TV shows, set in a slightly off universe in which everybody looks a little weird and nothing is quite as it should be. Maybe eventually everyone could start killing each other? Does this or does this not sound like the greatest horror movie franchise of all time? Who can we call?!
Whatever happens in tonight's movie, it probably won't be better than what went on in real life, but it will hopefully be an entertaining way to spend a Saturday night, or a nice hungover Sunday morning, at the very least.