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Jason Priestley is a Canadian-American actor best known for his role as Brandon Walsh on the hit TV series Beverly Hills, 90210.
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Canadian-American actor Jason Priestley was born on August 28, 1969 in Victoria, Canada. He worked as a child actor in Canada until 1987, when he moved to Los Angeles and appeared in small television roles. Priestley broke out on the hit 1990 teen TV drama Beverly Hills, 90210 as Brandon Walsh. His role catapulted him to heartthrob status, and he was nominated twice for a Golden Globe. After eight years, Priestley left to pursue other opportunities, including directing and producing.
Jason Priestly was born on August 28, 1969, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He started out making commercials and working as a child actor in his native Canada, before moving to Los Angeles in 1987. After guest appearances on popular shows such as 21 Jump Street, MacGyver, and Quantum Leap, Priestley landed a recurring role as an orphan on the short-lived sitcom Sister Kate in 1989. It was his next acting gig that led to a career breakthrough.
In the fall of 1990, Priestley starred in Beverly Hills, 90210 - a primetime drama created by super producer Aaron Spelling. He played Brandon Walsh, a wholesome teenager who moves to Beverly Hills from Minnesota with his parents and twin sister Brenda, played by Shannen Doherty. Audiences delighted in taking a fictional look at the happenings at West Beverly High School - the hook-ups, the break-ups, the fights, and the friendships. During the show’s run, it tackled numerous issues, such as sex, peer pressure, drinking and drug abuse.
With his good looks and appealing personality, Priestley became the object of great admiration by fans. He was even selected as one of the world’s most beautiful people by People magazine in 1991. In 1993, he earned his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama for his portrayal of Brandon. Brandon Walsh, with his fairly solid moral compass, served as a role model for many of the show's young viewers. He was nominated for the same award two years later.
While on the series, Priestley found time to tackle a few film roles. He appeared in several movies, including Tombstone (1993), Calendar Girl (1993), and Love and Death on Long Island (1997) with John Hurt, which received mostly positive reviews. Priestley also tried his hand at directing, taking the reins of several episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 and several music videos, including the one for the song “The Old Apartment” by the Canadian band Bakenaked Ladies in 1996.
Priestley left the show in 1998 to pursue other opportunities. The next year he appeared in the cable television movie, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, which he also directed and executive produced. Priestley also directed a documentary about the band Barenaked Ladies entitled Barenaked in America. But the year ended on a sour note for Priestley. In December 1999, he was involved in a car accident and was charged with drunk driving. He pled no contest to a misdemeanor drunk driving charge and was sentenced to spend five nights in a detention facility in Los Angeles and to attend a drug and alcohol abuse treatment program.
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