It’s been 30 years since the series premiere of Beverly Hills, 90210, but Shannen Doherty and Ian Ziering are still tight. In fact, Ziering is her biggest fan.
“You know, Shannen is so resilient,” Ziering told E! News on Friday. “If I was ever going to war, I would want her on my side, because that woman is a fighter and she gets it done.”
Doherty, 49, has been fighting breast cancer since 2015 — she underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a single mastectomy and in 2017, her cancer went into remission. However this year, it returned as stage IV.
“It’s going to come out in a matter of days or a week that — I’m stage four,” the actress told Good Morning America in February. “So my cancer came back. And that’s why I’m here…I don’t think I’ve processed it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
Doherty has shared both uplifting and difficult moments on social media: dance videos with her mother Rosa, tributes to photographer Kurt Iswarienko, her husband of nine years and emotional images of her hair loss, the result of chemotherapy.
Ziering, who joined his former cast mates for the 2019 reboot series, BH: 90210, told E! News that he’s been texting with Doherty. “She’s handling and managing to the best of her ability [and] knowing Shannen, she’s got her finger on the heartbeat of whatever the cutting-edge science is and I’m really not too worried it because she’s doing great.”
This week, Doherty told Elle that she’s been savoring simple moments and thinking positivity, although that took a bit. When she first received her diagnosis, she questioned herself.
“I was like, ‘OK, do I have good karma? Do I have bad karma? Why would I have bad karma?’” she said. “I started taking stock of my life and the things I’d done, and the things I hadn’t done. How I was with people.”
Controversy has followed Doherty throughout her successful television career, including feuds with her 90210 co-star Jeannie Garth (who played Kelly Taylor, best friend to Doherty’s Brenda Walsh) and showing up late to the set. In 2019, Doherty told People that she’s “felt misunderstood my whole life” due to coping with her father’s health problems.
The actress also told Elle that she joined the show’s reboot with persuasion from 90210 co-star Brian Austin Greene and to pay tribute to actor Luke Perry (he played Brenda’s boyfriend Dylan McKay), who died of a stroke last year. Although the reboot was canceled after one season, Doherty said she was grateful to reconnect with the cast from a new perspective.
The feeling was mutual — in 2016, when Doherty couldn’t attend a 90210 reunion at RewindCon in Bloomingdale, Ill., due to medical appointments, the cast showered her with praise.
“None of us are up here today without Shannen,” said Perry, per ABC News. “She’s been through a lot. She’s not doing well right now but sometimes her contributions are minimized. She’s been thrown under the bus. I’ve been accused of driving it. But she’s a very big part of the success of this show. She taught me a lot. I’m glad she was my scene partner. She was great at what she did in the character with me.”
And Garth posted an Instagram photo that read, “Fight Like a Brenda” writing that Doherty was her “soul sister.”
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