Jennie Garth Biography

Jennie Garth Biography

Jennie Garth (born April 3, 1972) is an American actress. Born Jennifer Eve Garth in Urbana, Illinois, she is best known for her role as the beleaguered Kelly Taylor on the television series Beverly Hills 90210. At various points in the series, Garth's character was involved in a love triangle, became a diet pill abuser, was trapped in a fire, became involved in a cult, used cocaine, was date-raped and had a miscarriage. She is now starring in the sitcom What I Like About You. Jennie Garth's story, "I Am Home" was featured in "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul" She is married to actor Peter Facinelli, with whom she has two daughters, Luca Bella (born 1997) and Lola Ray (born 2002). Garth and Facinelli are currently expecting their third child.


An appealing blonde actress best known for her ten-season run as troubled rich girl Kelly Taylor on Aaron Spelling's popular drama "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000), Jennie Garth racked up credits in several made-for-TV-movies in addition to her starring series role. Discovered at age 15 by a talent scout who suggested she head to Los Angeles to pursue a career, Garth dropped out of high school in her junior year to do just that, and soon landed a role in the short-lived TV series "Brand New Life" (NBC, 1989-1990). Although "Brand New Life" did little to launch her career, its demise was followed quickly by her hallmark role on "Beverly Hills, 90210". Playing Kelly through the years afforded Garth the room to fully develop her character, and the serial nature of the nighttime soap gave the actress the opportunity to show her versatility, capably handling her initial snotty rich kid persona through the exploration of her troubled home life to her romantic highs and lows and personal triumphs and tragedies as a young woman. Jennie Garth emerged as a fan favorite, her portrayal of Kelly a perfect combination of sweet and s--y, and strong and vulnerable that captured the audience's attention as well as their sympathy. While a reported off-screen feud with early co-star Shannen Doherty grabbed headlines, Jennie Garth emerged from the scandals unscathed, due primarily to her onscreen poise and off-screen grace and maturity. Riding the wave of her popularity, the enterprising Garth taught good nutritional habits and fostered positive body image in teens with her 1992 video release "Jennie Garth's Body in Progress". "Beverly Hills, 90210" also hosted the actress' directorial debut, with an April 1999 episode.


Although Jennie Garth was raised on a horse ranch in the Midwest, she was entirely convincing as a spoiled Beverly Hills teen, and the talent that she displayed on the iconic program would open up additional professional doors. She made her starring TV-movie debut in NBC's "Danielle Steel's 'Star'" in 1993, playing Crystal Wyatt, a young woman who turns personal tragedy into professional success as a popular singer. Garth gave a solid performance, but the cliched TV-movie failed to garner much additional notice for the actress. More impressive was the gripping ABC drama "Lies of the Heart: The Story of Laurie Kellogg" (1994), starring Garth as a teen bride who puts up with ten years of abuse before convincing four young friends to murder her despicable husband (Gregory Harrison). Garth's turn as Kellogg was appropriately wrenching, eliciting well-deserved sympathy from the viewing audience. Later that year she played a rebellious young teen committed to a psychiatric facility by her out-of-touch careerist parents in "Without Consent" (ABC), an entertaining telepic that marked Garth's first foray into the behind-the-scenes side of the business as executive producer. She next starred in and was a creative executive of the forgettable 1995 CBS thriller "Falling For You". While Jennie Garth had generally been cast as likable victims in her TV-movie work, her role in ABC's "An Unfinished Affair" (1996) broke that stereotype. In this soap opera-like drama, the actress played Sheila Hart, a scorned woman who takes up with her married former lover's naive son (Peter Facinelli) as part of a intricate revenge plot. Her performance as the colorfully contemptible character featured some delightfully wicked moments, and recalled her devilish early take on "90210"'s Kelly Taylor. Garth additionally had a role as the concerned girlfriend of a targeted shock jock's protege in the HBO-aired feature "Power 98" (1996) and was featured in the Ireland-set political drama "My Brother's War" (released direct-to-video in 1998) and reteamed with real-life love Peter Facinelli with a cameo in the independent feature "Telling You" (1999). The 1999-2000 season of "Beverly Hills, 90210" was announced as the show's final year, and Garth's varied roles in these movie projects would help to combat the typecasting that often follows a long-running series stint, offering her a better chance of maintaining a fruitful acting career.

In 2002, Jennie Garth relinquished the the drama-life and starred in the WB sitcom "What I Like About You."

Film List

Television series and movies

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