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Jason Priestley

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Joy Fielding's The Other Woman... Director Jason Priestley and screenwriter David Schultz team up to adapt author... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

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Murder At The Presidio... Based on the shocking true story, the original USA movie "Murder at The... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

The Highwayman DVD Take a killer road trip with Jason Priestly ("90210"), Laura Harris ("Dead Like... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Jason Bradford Priestley Died:
Born: August 28, 1969 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, CA Profession: actor, director, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Charming and charismatic, actor-director Jason Priestly rocketed to stardom as one of television's most popular teen heartthrobs in the early 1990s. Cast as conscientious Midwestern transplant Brandon Walsh on the cultural phenomenon "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000), Priestly was the opposite side of the coin to the show's equally popular "bad boy" Dylan McKay, played by Luke Perry. A role that ranked him as one of TV Guide's Top 25 Teen Idols, it also provided a platform for the actor to pursue endeavors as a producer and director. Additionally, "90210" led to prominent film work for the young actor, who was seen alongside Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer in the hit Western "Tombstone" (1993) and starred opposite John Hurt in the critically-acclaimed independent drama "Love and Death on Long Island" (1998). Indulging his love for the band Barenaked Ladies, Priestly directed the concert documentary "Barenaked in America" (1999), in addition to several made-for-TV movies over the next decade. After several false starts on short-lived shows like "Love Monkey" (CBS, 2006), he again found series success in his home country as the ethically-challenged star of the black comedy "Call Me Fitz" (HBO Canada,...

Charming and charismatic, actor-director Jason Priestly rocketed to stardom as one of television's most popular teen heartthrobs in the early 1990s. Cast as conscientious Midwestern transplant Brandon Walsh on the cultural phenomenon "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000), Priestly was the opposite side of the coin to the show's equally popular "bad boy" Dylan McKay, played by Luke Perry. A role that ranked him as one of TV Guide's Top 25 Teen Idols, it also provided a platform for the actor to pursue endeavors as a producer and director. Additionally, "90210" led to prominent film work for the young actor, who was seen alongside Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer in the hit Western "Tombstone" (1993) and starred opposite John Hurt in the critically-acclaimed independent drama "Love and Death on Long Island" (1998). Indulging his love for the band Barenaked Ladies, Priestly directed the concert documentary "Barenaked in America" (1999), in addition to several made-for-TV movies over the next decade. After several false starts on short-lived shows like "Love Monkey" (CBS, 2006), he again found series success in his home country as the ethically-challenged star of the black comedy "Call Me Fitz" (HBO Canada, 2010- ). An instant hit in the Great White North, it began airing in American in 2011. A rare instance of early fame leading to a lengthy, prolific career, Priestley's varied interests and professional drive kept him busy both in front of and behind the camera.

Born Jason Bradford Priestley on Aug. 28, 1969 in Vancouver, Canada to parents Sharon Kirk, a real estate agent and former actress, and Lorne Priestley, a representative for a textile manufacturer, Priestley was raised in Vancouver, B.C. Signed by his mother's former agent by the age of five, Priestley began his career as a young child, modeling and acting in television commercials. Priestley appeared in a number of TV movies as a child and teenager, including the CBS telepic, "Nobody's Child," and made his feature film debut in "The Boy Who Could Fly" (1986). Relocating to Los Angeles in 1987 to further his acting career, Priestley's charming persona landed him roles on the series "21 Jump Street (Fox, 1987-1991), "MacGyver" (ABC, 1985-1992), and "Quantum Leap" (NBC, 1989-1993).

Landing the role of unruly orphan Todd Mahaffey on the NBC sitcom "Sister Kate" (1989-1990), Priestley found himself cast in his first regular role in series television. Though the show was short-lived, Priestley caught the eye of future "90210" alum Tori Spelling, who recommended Priestley to her father, legendary producer Aaron Spelling, for the part of Brandon Walsh on Spelling's new teen series, "Beverly Hills, 90210." Landing the part, Priestley and co-star Shannen Doherty portrayed fraternal twins Brandon and Brenda Walsh, rounding out an ensemble cast on a show that quickly became a pop cultural buzz show of the decade. With the overwhelming popularity of the series, Priestley - along with fellow side-burned co-star Luke Perry - quickly became a teen icon, mobbed at malls and gazed at lovingly within the pages of Teen Beat. Though the series was initially considered a frivolous primetime soap, it later confronted a number of serious cultural issues, including alcoholism and rape, which led to two Golden Globe nominations for Priestley, who served as the conscience of the show. The show also proved to be a successful platform for the actor to expand his career behind the scenes. In the third season, Priestley convinced the show's producers to put him behind the camera in the director's chair. Proving to be a talented director, as well, Priestley directed more than 20 episodes from 1993 until his departure from the series in 1998. He also served as a producer and executive producer on "90210" from 1995-98.

During his time on the popular series, Priestley pursued a career in film as well. His first feature film lead came in 1993 with the critically acclaimed but little seen comedy, "Calendar Girl." Priestley next appeared in the ensemble Western, "Tombstone" (1993) as Deputy Billy Breckinridge, and the lesser-known dark comedy "Coldblooded" (1995). An avid fan of the Canadian band The Barenaked Ladies, Priestley went behind the camera once again to direct the video for their single, "The Old Apartment," which later earned him a Best Director nomination at the 1996 Canadian Music Video Awards. Starring opposite John Hurt in the independent film "Love and Death on Long Island" (1998), Priestley finally found a film role which showcased his genuine acting talent. Though Priestley portrayed a heartthrob actor, the film, as well as Priestley's performance, received critical acclaim from critics.

After announcing his departure from "90210" in 1998, having outgrown the teen angst series, Priestley went on to appear in the films "Standing on Fishes" (1999), "Eye of the Beholder" (1999), and Cherish (2002). Suffering a personal setback in 1999, Priestley was arrested under suspicion of drunk driving after crashing his Porsche into a pole. After being released on $50,000 bail and pleading no contest to the charges (claiming that he swerved to avoid hitting a deer), Priestley was ordered to complete an alcohol counseling program. That same year however, Priestley embarked on a new directorial project; re-teaming with The Barenaked Ladies once again, directing "Barenaked in America" (1999), a documentary about the band's experience on the road. Furthering his acting career in 2000, Priestley made his London stage debut in Warren Leight's award-winning play "Side Man." Taking on a somewhat unconventional role, Priestley went on to appear in the campy independent film, "Die Mommie Die" (2003) opposite theater and drag legend Charles Busch.

Just as he continued his streak of landing consistent work both behind and in front of the camera, tragedy struck Priestley in August of 2002. An avid race car driver, the actor was seriously injured during a practice run at the Kentucky Speedway when his car smashed into a wall at 180 mph coming out of a turn. Suffering a fractured spine, a broken nose, broken bones in both feet and a concussion, Priestley was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Though he spent three months in the hospital, Priestley made a full recovery, much to the relief of family, fans and friends, particularly his "90210" co-stars who rallied around him during his recovery.

Once back on his feet fully healed, Priestley returned to acting, starring in the ABC Family TV movie, "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks" (2004) and was cast as in a recurring role on the supernatural drama, "Tru Calling" (Fox, 2003-05). In 2006, Priestley returned to series television as a regular on the CBS show, "Love Monkey" (CBS/VH1, 2006). Though the show was pulled from the network after only three episodes, it quickly reappeared on the cable music network VH1, which aired the remaining five episodes. After directing and co-starring in the thriller "Don't Cry Now" (Lifetime, 2007), Priestly stuck with the cable network as a series regular on the short-lived drama "Side Order of Life" (Lifetime, 2007). An appearance alongside "90210" alum Luke Perry in the romantic-comedy "A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride" (Lifetime, 2008) was followed by a U.K.-produced remake of the post-apocalyptic classic "The Day of the Triffids" (BBC, 2009), a two-part miniseries featuring Dougray Scott and Joely Richardson. Priestly next scored one of the best roles of his career in his native Canada when he was cast as Richard "Fitz" Fitzpatrick in the black-comedy series "Call Me Fitz" (HBO Canada, 2010- ). The raunchy adventures of a morally-deficient car salesman (Priestly), suddenly confronted by a straight-arrow co-worker (Ernie Grunwald) claiming to be his conscience personified, the show garnered rave reviews on both sides of the Canadian border. "Call Me Fitz" made its U.S. debut on DirecTV's Audience Network in 2011.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Cas & Dylan (2013)
3.
  Dear Santa (2011)
4.
5.
6.
  Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (2000) Director
7.
  Barenaked In America (1999) Director
8.

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Courage (2009)
3.
4.
6.
 Other Woman, The (2008)
7.
 Don't Cry Now (2007)
8.
 Hot Tamale (2006)
10.
 Fourth Angel, The (2003) Davidson
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Signed by his mother's former agent and began appearing in commercials and Canadian TV-movies
1977:
Made TV debut at age eight in the Canadian TV-movie, "Stacey"
1986:
First film role, "The Boy Who Could Fly"
1987:
Moved to Los Angeles
1989:
Appeared in the low-budget feature film, "Nowhere to Run"
1989:
Played Todd, one of the foster kids under the care of Sister Kate (Stephanie Beacham), in the short-lived NBC sitcom "Sister Kate"
1990:
Cast as the lead character Brandon Walsh in FOX's popular drama series, "Beverly Hills, 90210"
1993:
Directed several episodes of "Beverly Hills, 90210"
1993:
First feature as a lead, "Calendar Girl"
1995:
Began producing "Beverly Hills, 90210"; promoted to executive producer during the 1997-1998 season
1998:
Had leading role as a popular teen idol in the independent feature "Love and Death on Long Island"
1999:
Helmed "Barenaked in America," a 'rockumentary' about the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies
1999:
Signed by Fox network to star and direct a small screen remake of the film noir "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye"
2000:
Made London stage debut in Warren Leight's award-winning play "Side Man"
2001:
Signed to star in the FX cable series pilot "Dope"
2001:
Had featured role in the thriller "The Fourth Angel"
2003:
Cast in the dark comedy "Die Mommie Die"
2004:
Co-starred in the ABC family movie "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks"
2004:
Cast for a seven-episode stint on the FOX's supernatural drama "Tru Calling," played Jack Harper, a former EMT who joins the morgue staff
2006:
Cast in Showtime's "Masters of Horror" anthology series
2007:
Returned to series television as Ian Denison in the Lifetime series, "Side Order of Life"
2008:
Directed episodes of "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" for the ABC Family Channel
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Argyle Secondary School: -

Notes

"Jason's been our quarterback, keeping everybody on an even keel. I think Jason is the date that every girl would like to have. He's very attractive, he's sensitive, and he seems safe." --producer Aaron Spelling quoted in US, September 1991

"I wake up in a cold sweat during the night, every night, and think about some girl sleeping in a bed with Brandon Walsh pillowcases and her boyfriend coming over in Brandon Walsh boxer shorts . . . All you have to do is look at who it's happened to before and see what's happened to their careers now. David Cassidy. Shaun Cassidy. Mr. T. I mean, what's Mr. T doing now? After his gold-chain bubble gum went away?" --Jason Priestley, quoted in Interview in 1992

"The show has been a great experience, and I've had a great time doing it, but I do enjoy the projects I do outside of it. I don't know how much longer we're going to be there on Fox, so I try to do movies and do the right projects in my downtime to set myself up so when I am not with the show, I can move in to doing films." --Jason Priestley quoted in Newsday, March 1, 1998

"I was being put in to this very limited category, this teen-idol box. It's terrifying. I thoughtm if I get stuck in here what do I have left? I might as well just marry Victoria Principal right now and then they can cart me off to Betty Ford. This teen thing could KILL MY CAREER. And there are things you want to do with your career. You want to be at the National Theatre doing an Osacr Wilde play . . ." --Priestley to Empire, August 1998

In December 1999, Priestley was charged with driving under the influence following an automobile accident in which a passenger suffered a broken arm. He pleaded no contest in March 2000 and received three years of probation and must spend five days in a rehab center within six months.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Robin Lively. Actor. Appeared on TV series, "Doogie Howser, M.D."; broke off relationship c. 1991.
companion:
Christine Elise. Actor. Together from 1992-97; appeared on "Beverly Hills, 90210" as woman who loved and lost Priestley's character; shared a home together in L.A.
companion:
Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. Actor. Dated in 1997; no longer together.
wife:
Ashlee Peterson. Makeup artist. Born c. 1969; married on February 2, 1999 by a ship's captain off Miami, Florida; entered into trial separation in late November 1999; divorced.
companion:
Naomi Lowde. Makeup artist. Dating as of November 2002; engaged as of May 2004.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

sister:
Justine Priestley. Actor. Older; appeared on "Melrose Place".
step-son:
Mackenzie Peterson. Born c. 1993.

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