Also Credited As:Tori Spelling-McDermott, Tori Spelling McDermott, Victoria Davey Spelling
|Victoria Davey Spelling on May 16, 1973 in Los Angeles, California, USA|
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Born May 16, 1973 in Los Angeles to legendary television producer Aaron Spelling and Carol Jean Spelling, the future actress was raised in Beverly Hills and as a teenager, attended the exclusive Harvard-Westlake School. Growing up as the daughter of Hollywood's most successful TV producer, Spelling made appearances on many of her father's shows as a young girl. Her television debut came in 1981 on the series "Vega$" (ABC, 1978-1981). She later appeared in subsequent roles on "Fantasy Island" (ABC, 1978-1984), "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986), and "T.J. Hooker" (ABC, 1982-86). As a teenager, Spelling appeared appropriately in the film "Troop Beverly Hills" (1989) and later, on a number of episodes of the teen series "Saved by the Bell" (NBC, 1989-1993).
In 1990, at the age of 17, Spelling auditioned for her first regular television role on her father's teen drama, "Beverly Hills, 90210." Rumored to have auditioned under a different last name, Spelling won the role of naïve, virginal Donna Martin. Centered on a group of wealthy teenagers attending the fictional West Beverly High School, "90210" quickly became popular with viewers of all ages. As the show reached near cult status in the early 1990s, Spelling was placed uncomfortably under the media microscope. Hardly holding her own onscreen with more accomplished players like Luke Perry, Shannon Doherty and Jason Priestly, Spelling received a critical drubbing from critics year in and year out, with the charge of nepotism always working its way into the argument.
Shaking off the critics, Spelling worked hard to prove them wrong, paying her dues by taking on extra non-"90210" roles to hone her craft. Between seasons on her hit show, Spelling reprised Donna Martin on her father's spin-off series "Melrose Place" (Fox, 1992-99), as well as appeared in a number of television movies including "A Friend to Die For" (1994), "Awake to Danger" (1995), "Deadly Pursuits" (1996), and "Co-ed Call Girl" (1996). Taking a turn toward serious roles far removed from the pampered princess type, Spelling appeared opposite Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Parker Posey in the dark comedy "The House of Yes" in 1997. Her credible performance as a sweet young thing who meets her fiancé's crazy family garnered her some of her best critical reviews thus far. Though her acting skills had been harshly critiqued by characters in the horror flick, "Scream" (1995), the actress showed that she had a sense of humor about it by agreeing to a cameo role (being interviewed about the film-within-the-film) in the Wes Craven slasher sequel, "Scream 2" (1997). Next, Spelling played the quirky best friend in the romantic comedy "Trick" (1999), which also brought her more positive reviews for her onscreen work.
Wrapping "90210" after a decade-long run, Spelling continued to work on both the small and big screen. In 2001, Spelling appeared in the comedy spoof "Scary Movie 2." Next, Spelling branched out into stage work, appearing in the two-person L.A. production of "Maybe Baby, It's You" opposite playwright and future husband Charlie Shanian. The pair began dating during the production and later wed in a million-dollar ceremony at her father's famously huge Holmby Hills mansion in July, 2004. Much to the delight of the tabloids, the couple split after little over a year of marriage, with Spelling filing abruptly for divorce after falling for married actor Dean McDermott while shooting the television movie, "Mind Over Murder (2006) in 2005. The new couple announced their engagement in December 2005 and tied the knot in Fiji on May 6, 2006.
The actress went on to appear in the short-lived series "So Downtown" (2003), The WB comedy series "The Help" (2004) and the film "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (2004) opposite Poppy Montgomery and Paul Schneider. In 2006, Spelling also found herself back on series television; this time, playing herself in the VH1 scripted series "So NoTORIous" (2006- ). The show, based on her own life in the industry, managed to make fun of both her hereditary baggage as well as lampoon her long-time critics. As someone who was "in" on the joke of being Tori Spelling, the actress endeared herself to fans as someone with an incredible self-deprecating sense of humor.
Spelling and McDermott decided to bring their love affair to the small screen with "Tori & Dean: Inn Love" (Oxygen, 2006- ), an unscripted reality series about their attempt to renovate a bed-and-breakfast in Temecula, CA while coping with small town life and her impending pregnancy. They did not have to wait long for the baby; on March 13, 2007, Spelling gave birth to Liam, an event that served as the perfect finale for the show's first season. Meanwhile, Spelling was ordained a reverend online and performed a same-sex union on the front steps of their B&B, Chateau La Rue, before forty guests. Spelling said she was "honored" to officiate the ceremony, though she found the experience to be more nerve-racking than performing live theater or presenting at the Emmys.
Although Spelling's reality show had performed relatively well, her stint as a bed and breakfast proprietor proved to be less successful. For the third season of "Inn Love," the name of the show was officially changed in 2008 to "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood" when the couple abandoned Chateau La Rue and returned to the familiar surroundings of Beverly Hills. Amidst the upheaval in her relentlessly televised private life, Spelling managed to make two appearances in a pair of gay/bisexual-themed independent films - the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired horror feature, "Cthulhu" (2008), and the romantic comedy with a twist, "Kiss the Bride" (2008). Much to the delight of fans, she reprised her role as Donna Martin in a pair of 2009 episodes on the revamped "90210" (The CW, 2008- ). Buoyed by the continued success of "Home Sweet Hollywood," Spelling and her new home network launched the spin-off "Tori & Dean: sTORIbook Weddings" (Oxygen, 2011- ), where the titular couple regularly assisted one lucky bride-to-be in making her upcoming nuptials an event to remember.