Tori Spelling Biography

Actress, Television Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress, Film Actress (1973–)
Tori Spelling is an actress who has appeared on TV and in films, notably on the TV show Beverly Hills 90210.


In 1990, Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered on FOX, and the show skyrocketed in popularity and thrust Tori Spelling into the spotlight. She stayed on the show for its entirety, appearing from 1990 until the show's tenth season in 2000. Spelling has appeared in a number of TV movies and made an appearance in the film Scream 2. She has also starred in reality shows and written her autobiography.

Early Acting Career

Actress and author Tori Spelling was born Victoria Davey "Tori" Spelling on May 16, 1973, in Los Angeles, California, as the oldest of two children. Her mother, Candy Spelling, is best known for her work as an author. Spelling's father, Aaron Spelling, was a Hollywood director known for producing the TV hits Charlie's Angels, Dynasty and Fantasy Island. As a result of her father's success, Tori was raised in the lap of luxury; her family lived in the largest single-family home in the state of California, a mansion featuring more than 100 rooms including a gift-wrapping room, doll museum and bowling alley.

Spelling's early immersion in the world of Hollywood gave her the acting bug at a young age. When Spelling turned six, her father hired an acting coach to give the young girl lessons twice a week. She bean making her first television appearances around this age, landing a part on her father's television detective drama, Vega$, as well as his popular shows T.J. Hooker starring Heather Locklear, and The Love Boat with Teri Hatcher.

'Beverly Hills 90210' Fame

By 1989, the 16-year-old Spelling was attending Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California, and had gotten a nose job after, she says, a parrot bit her. The "new and improved" Tori transferred to the Westlake School for Girls, and appeared at the audition for her father's new teen drama, Beverly Hills, 90210 under the alias Tori Mitchell. Despite the new moniker, Tori was recognized during her audition for the role of Kelly Taylor. Spelling's connections, however, didn't get her the part; actress Jennie Garth landed the coveted role, instead and Spelling was cast as the virginal Donna Martin.

In 1990, Spelling graduated from Westlake. That same year, Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered on FOX. The show skyrocketed in popularity and thrust the cast into the spotlight. In addition to Spelling, actors Gabrielle Carteris, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Brian Austin Green, Luke Perry, Jason Priestley and Ian Ziering all became teen idols.

Spelling stayed on the show for its entirety, appearing from 1990 until the show's tenth season in 2000. During her time on the show, Spelling received attention from the press for remaining a stalwart virgin until the show's seventh season. While other cast members made numerous promiscuous trysts, Spelling held out for love. Many speculate that her father was responsible for Spelling's chastity on the show.

By 1997, Spelling had also appeared in several made-for-TV movies, as well as several big screen hits, including the cult hit The House of Yes (1997) starring Parker Posey and the blockbuster thriller, Scream 2 (1997). By the end of the Beverly Hills, 90210, Tori was ready to move on to bigger projects. In 2002, she made her stage debut in Maybe Baby, It's You at the Coronet Theater in L.A. The show earned Spelling critical acclaim. Around this same time, Spelling began dating the play's co-writer, Charlie Shanian. The couple married two years later.

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

Reality TV Star

That next year was an eventful one for Spelling, who was busy producing her new show, the VH1 sitcom So NoTORIous, in which Spelling starred as a fictional version of herself. Tori also married McDermott in Fiji that May. Several months later, however, Spelling faced tragedy when her father suffered a serious stroke. Tori and her estranged mother were wedged even farther apart as her father's health declined. On June 23, 2006, Spelling's father died of complications from the stroke. According to Tori, she heard the news of her father's passing death through an e-mail to her Blackberry. The actress was devastated by the loss.

After her father's death, Tori and McDermott used Spelling's inheritance to set up a bed and breakfast in Fallbrook, California. They began filming the experience for their reality show, Tori & Dean: Inn Love. The next year, the couple welcomed first child, Liam. The show became a hit, and Spelling's new role as a mother became of great interest to viewers.

By June 2008, Spelling and McDermott's show was in its third season under the new name Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. In the new season, Spelling and McDermott no longer run the inn, instead returning to Los Angeles to balance buying a new home, having a second child, and promoting Spelling's book tour for the autobiography sTori Telling. In June of 2008, Spelling gave birth to daughter Stella. The following years they would also have another daughter Hattie (born in 2011) and another son Finn (born in 2012).

In addition to her successful series, Spelling made a cameo as Donna Martin on the remake of the Beverly Hills television show, entitled 90210.

Aside from her acting career, Spelling also designs and markets her own line of fashion jewelry on HSN. She also continues to write. Her second book, Mommywood, was released on April 14, 2009.

In October 2016 Spelling announced she was expecting her fifth child with McDermott. 

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!