The Iconic Primetime Drama That Gave Shannen Doherty Her Show Business Start

Ba-da-da-dah — ba-da-da-dah. If these beats invaded your head the second you saw Shannen Doherty, then you already know about at least one of the actor's primetime television gigs. Of course, if you're a true fan, you know that "Beverly Hills, 90210" (and its catchy theme song) isn't the only place you can witness her talent.

After she left the famous ZIP code, Doherty witched out in "Charmed" and surfed over to "North Shore." She did come back to reprise her role as Brenda Walsh in several incarnations of "Beverly Hills, 90210." She also popped up on the big screen, most notably as Heather Duke in "Heathers" and Rene in "Mallrats."

But before all that, Doherty already had a full acting resume by the time she was 17. At ten, she made her television debut in two episodes of "Father Murphy," which she remembered in an Instagram post. "My first job with the amazing Michael Landon producing. ... We worked in Tucson, Arizona in 100-degree plus weather wearing buckskins and I loved every minute. It remains one of my fondest memories." She also shared how that series led to a bigger role just a year later, as Landon would cast her in the iconic primetime drama series "Little House on the Prairie."

Doherty played Jenny Wilder on the show

In 1982, "Little House on the Prairie" was switching things up, even trying out a new title: "Little House: A New Beginning." Little Laura Ingalls was all grown up and married, and the showrunners decided they needed a few new and younger characters. Shannen Doherty was hired to play Jenny Wilder, the niece of Almanzo Wilder, Laura's husband. She came to live with the Wilders in Walnut Grove after the death of her father.

Wearing traditional braided pigtails, Doherty added her own trademark blunt bangs under the bonnet and played a spitfire for 18 episodes until the series ended. She dusted off her pinafore to play Jenny again in three followup "Little House on the Prairie" movies: "Little House: Look Back to Yesterday," "Little House: The Last Farewell," and "Little House: Bless All the Dear Children." 

Doherty remembered being cast on the show in a recent Instagram post, remembering "Little House" star and director Michael Landon fondly. "Michael soon after ['Father Murphy'] cast me in 'Little House: New Beginnings' where I had the privilege of him directing me many times," she shared on Instagram.

Moving into 90210

Just a few years after the "Little House" series and movies, Shannen Doherty was offered the role of Brenda Walsh in a new Fox series, "Beverly Hills, 90210." While Doherty was already in the middle of a successful TV career, she was in for a whole new world of fame when the series took off. 

The show lasted for 10 seasons, with Doherty leaving after season four as rumors swirled about her being difficult on set, as well as causing a ruckus away from the cameras. "The best thing that ever could have happened to me was I got off '90210' when I did," she said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "It let me find a little bit of peace and discover who I was as a person." 

Doherty has since gone on to star in "Charmed" — though she also left that series after a few seasons — as well as "North Shore" and several TV movies. Sadly, in 2015, Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer, a battle she has been fighting ever since. "I definitely have days where I say why me?" Doherty shared on "Good Morning America." "And then I go, well, why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this? None of us do."