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Shannen Doherty on Acting, Facing Cancer and SAG-AFTRA’s ‘Broken System’ of Health Insurance

Shannen Doherty has acted since she was a child, and throughout the 1980s, she worked steadily on television (as Jenny on “Little House on the Prairie”) and in movies (as Heather Duke in “Heathers”). In the early ‘90s, she achieved icon status after the slow-burn explosion of the teen soap “Beverly Hills, 90210,” which propelled its cast into the spotlight, and led the gossip press to follow their every move. After that initial blast of celebrity, Doherty continued to work prolifically in “Mallrats” (1995), “Charmed,” a tonnage of TV movies and more. She even starred in a 2012 reality show, “Shannen Says,” which followed her planning her wedding to photographer Kurt Iswarienko.


Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and went through treatment — which she documented on her Instagram — until her remission in April 2017. But in winter 2019, Doherty learned that it had recurred, and that it had become metastatic Stage 4 cancer — which is treatable, but not curable.

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