The lights at the Peach Pit dimmed more than a decade ago, but we'll never tire of hearing about behind-the-scenes drama on the set of "Beverly Hills, 90210."
Jennie Garth has a dishy new memoir, "Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde," in which the mom of three talks about moving on from her divorce from Peter Facinelli and her first marriage to musician Dan Clark, whom she left for the "Twilight" star. The 41-year-old also spills secrets from her days as Kelly Taylor on the '90s teen drama, dishing about Shannen Doherty (Brenda) and their real-life rivalry, as well as her other famous castmates, including Luke Perry (Dylan), Jason Priestley (Brandon), Tori Spelling (Donna), and Ian Ziering (Steve).
Garth on Shannen Doherty: "I don't know why it is, but there is a universal truth that when you put three teenage girls together, some serious s--t is going to go down," she wrote, referring to Doherty and Spelling. "[Shannen] had opinions about a lot of things, including the writing, the wardrobe, you name it. And she wasn't afraid to share them, even if it meant sounding like a complete and utter b----."
Garth described their personalities like "gasoline and a match" and talked about the rumor that they had a catfight. The incident occurred when Doherty, trying to break Garth's concentration while shooting a scene, pulled up the blonde's skirt, exposing "my bare a-- … for everyone to see."
"I yelled at her, something to the effect of, 'Come on, b---- — we're taking this outside.' I strode off the set and out into the dingy, crappy parking lot. Shannon was right behind me and behind her were the rest of the cast and a lot of the crew," she recalled. "We were throwing F-bombs and insults at each other like it was World War III." However, "Before we could kill each other, Luke and Jason dived into the middle of it and pulled us apart. It was ridiculous."
Then one day, in 1994, Doherty left the set and never returned. Garth, who now counts Doherty as a close friend, remained on the show until it ended in 2000.
"Without warning, she was gone. There was no goodbye, no nothing. One day she just wasn't on the call sheet." So what did she do? Garth immediately took her dressing room, which was the most coveted one. "I wrapped my boombox in a blanket and scurried down the hall, checking over my shoulder to make sure no one saw me take possession of this vacant nook."
On Luke Perry: Sorry to those of you holding out for a real-life pairing between the duo, who have remained pals after we saw the last of Kelly and Dylan. Garth said she never hooked up with her on-screen beau — or any of the guys on the cast for that matter.
"So what was I to do with all these luscious men around me? Of course we flirted with one another — constantly. Every day on set was a flirt-fest, but it was all pretty harmless because we all usually had romantic partners off-set," she wrote. "But we were young, were holed up together, and when we were working, what were we to do? Flirt. Flirt like there was no tomorrow."
After her divorce from Facinelli in 2012, there were rumors that she was dating Perry. She notes that while they still do hang out, it's friendly, and he has a significant other.
"I hate to burst the torrid Kelly-and-Dylan fantasy you're about to lose yourself in, but what we were really doing at some no-name coffee shop looks something like this: Luke would be trying to boost my confidence, usually encouraging me it might be wise to get out of my sweatpants and brush my hair, while lecturing me on needing to go after the right kind of guy. See, he has always been very disapproving of my choices … always. Which I found endearing, because he holds me in very high regard and thinks I deserve the best."
On Ian Ziering: Garth recently visited her old pal during his stint with the Chippendales, but she talked about a story from the early days when he put the moves on her.
"That's what struck me the most about him: that he was enthusiastic and wise and ambitious as all hell. I remember that we had to kiss in one of the earlier episodes, like right after we met, and he asked me if we could go to the garage of this house that we were shooting at 'to rehearse,'" she remembered. "I didn't know what to say, so I said, 'Sure,' and went along. It was the most awkward situation yet … one little practice peck and I said, 'OK, I'm good.' Of course, I know now that you don't have to rehearse those kisses. I told you he was ambitious."
On Jason Priestley: Also a love interest on the show, she met him prior to the "90210" when they both appeared on the TV series "Teen Angel."
"I remember he had this mullet, this kind of comedian hairdo, and it just cracked me up," Garth wrote. "He's incredibly talented, that one, and he has this ability to make everything look so easy. He's also pretty salty, and I remember my mom telling me to keep an eye on the guy with the potty mouth. He also smoked cigarettes back then. We'd often be hanging out outside the set in Van Nuys, having a smoke, killing time. … He was such a guy, such a dude: Just give them a cigarette and a beer and he was good. He was sexy before I even knew what that was."
On Tori Spelling: While the combination of Garth, Doherty, and Spelling was toxic, she and show executive producer Aaron Spelling's daughter were close — and still are.
"We warmed up too each other, Tori and I, and we'd hang out in her dressing room because, like me, she didn't like to venture out of her cocoon too much either. We became sisters of sorts. Still, to this day there isn't much I wouldn't do for her if she needed me. We were close — except when she was hanging out with Shannen. … Poor Tori, the youngest of the three of us, was inevitably often caught in the middle, and she was always trying to smooth things over, trying to get Shan and me off each other's backs and get along, but her efforts often failed. She was a peacemaker, desperate for everyone to get along — and she's still like that today. Tori is such a sweet soul."
Garth shares more stories from her new book here:
- Arts & Entertainment
- Shannen Doherty
- Jennie Garth
- Tori Spelling
- Peter Facinelli
- Luke Perry
- Jason Priestley
- Kelly Taylor