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The following is a list of characters from the first series of the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise.

Contents

Main cast

  • Jason Priestley portrays Brandon Walsh, the moral center of the show and the glue that holds the gang together (and Priestley was the group's offscreen "quarterback").[1] After his initial difficulties with Beverly Hills, he became loved by many and liked by all. After one of his drinks was spiked at a party, he briefly experienced a problem with drinking which led to the demise of his first cherished car (which he called 'Mondale'), and a night in jail. He also had a gambling problem which Nat, his boss at 'The Peach Pit', bailed him out of. Brandon has always been interested in journalism, from sports editor and co-chief of the Beverly Blaze to co-editor of the CU Condor, a brief stint as news director at CUTV and a year as student body president (sophomore year). He and Steve spent a year cultivating the Beverly Beat, a small paper given to Steve by Rush. He finally accepted a position on the Washington DC branch of the New York Chronicle. He was the person many turned to when the chips were down—from Donna's expulsion from H.S. graduation, to Brenda's many problems, to Kelly's drug problem, to Andrea's getting to Yale, to Val's suicide attempt, to Ray's lawsuit against Joe, to Steve's current stunt, whatever it might have been, and even to Dylan's battle with drugs and alcohol and the death of his wife.
  • Shannen Doherty portrays Brenda Walsh, twin sister of Brandon. She felt very lonely when she first arrived in Beverly Hills, but soon became friends with Donna and Kelly, Steve, and Andrea. She met and dated Dylan McKay, until she broke up with him, and he began to date Kelly Taylor. She was nice girl until the around the second season when her character began to progress into being more tactless and rebellious. She went to Europe during her junior year summer, and had a short lived romance with Rick (played by Dean Cain, of Lois and Clark fame), and eventually met and almost married Stuart, the son of one of Jim's business partners. Later, after she ended this relationship, she got the lead role in a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and a subsequent spot in a London summer acting program. She was able to get admission to the program and is currently attending the London Academy of the Performing Arts. A letter Brandon received from Dylan revealed that he and Brenda got back together during his time in London.
  • Jennie Garth portrays Kelly Taylor, the gradual main character who appears throughout the entirety of the series, maturing from "spoiled teen vixen to grounded 25-year-old."[2] She found self-respect, went to college and went into social work to help others. She has had her own battles though. A drug habit that relapsed and almost killed her, a fire were she was scarred, a cult, a problem with diet pills, she was raped as a teen, her mother was a fall down drunk and drug addict until she was a senior in high school, her father let her down constantly and rarely saw her until the night he was sent to jail for embezzlement. She was nearly killed in a fire and later joined a cult run by a rogue CU professor, until Brandon and Dylan exposed him as an extortionist. She had difficulty choosing between Brandon and Dylan. When Dylan offered her a trip around the world, Brandon proposed, but she walked away from both. After Dylan left, she eventually reunited with Brandon and moved in with him. She had a miscarriage with Brandon, and nearly married him. They called off the marriage at the altar, expressing a lack of being ready (just prior to Jason Priestley's imminent departure from the series). Kelly and Donna opened their own clothing store in a mall, and started dating a lawyer from another floor of the mall, Matt Durning. They were on again, off again, with Dylan back in town, and issues with Matt's ex-wife, who had emotional instability from the one medicine that keeps here alive, due to a medical affliction. She was raped a second time, and ended up shooting the rapist, who was one of Matt's clients (unbeknownst to him), and left the clothing store to get into public relations. She was Donna's Maid of Honor at the wedding and Matt left to allow the feelings that Kelly had for Dylan to be explored. In the spin-off 90210, she and Dylan are shown to have broken up, though they share a son.
  • Ian Ziering portrays Steve Sanders, a light-hearted rich kid. He drove a Corvette, had money, girls, and popularity. He began to slowly reveal a more mature side of his personality through his friendship with Brandon Walsh. Throughout the series, he was involved in several scams and wild activities, from obtaining a school "legacy key", to night clubs in rented homes, to the creation of the After Dark club, to numerous fraternity stunts. Through his father's assistance, he eventually purchased and ran his own newspaper, first with Brandon, then with a woman named Janet Sosna. He later married Janet and they had a child. Afterwards, they sold the Beverly Beat and decided to start a new paper.
  • Gabrielle Carteris portrays Andrea Zuckerman, a focused student who was socially shy all through high school, with a huge crush on Brandon but their relation remained platonic. She was valedictorian, was accepted to Yale but decided go to CU to be near her friends & family.. She was romantically involved with Dan Rubin: her reisident advisor, and met Jessie at the Walsh's 20th anniversary, where he was tending bar. They hit it off, and they started dating. He was a law student at Berkley. She got pregnant and they were married. The baby, born premature, was named Hannah, and required time in hospital after birth. Andrea would later appear at Steve birthday bash and the gangs' high school reunion, where we learn she and Jessie divorced.
  • Luke Perry portrays Dylan McKay, a loner in high school until he found the "gang". He had various relationships with Brenda and Kelly in high school. He felt alone, until his father got out of prison and they reconciled. Then Jack was apparently killed by mafia hitman in a car bomb. It took him a long time to get over his father's death, and then he met Erica (Noley Thornton), his half-sister, Jack's daughter, and her mother, Suzanne, and Kevin, her fiancé. Kevin spent many months convincing Dylan and Jim Walsh to invest in Kevin's Environmental research company, then he and Suzanne stole the cash and ran to Mexico, taking Erica with them. Dylan had lost all his money. He started drinking and doing drugs again, and nothing anyone did helped him. After a near fatal car crash, he finally stopped, and eventually got his money back, and rescued Erica. Afterwards, he made a major play for Kelly, convinced they were soul mates. When she turned both him and Brandon down, he decided to avenge his father. He made friends with the daughter of his father's killer, Marchette. Only he fell in love with her. He gave up his quest and married her. Her father couldn't stand them together, and tried to kill Dylan, but got his daughter instead. After that, Dylan gave the condo to Brandon to keep an eye on, and left. He returned and spent time living with David, until he found a place. Dylan later learned that his father was actually alive and under FBI protection. The two were briefly reunited soon afterwards. He and Gina, a new friend within the group, became romantically involved for a time. In the series finale, Kelly and Dylan reunited romantically. In the spin-off 90210, it was revealed that they'd gone their separate ways, though they also share a son.
  • Brian Austin Green portrays David Silver. David always wanted to be "in." He and Scott Scanlon spent hours trying to be cool enough, and for David it worked, but Scott was left behind. During his senior year, between taking a double load to graduate with the gang, Donna, being the school DJ, and trying to have a social life, he and Scott grew apart. When Scott accidentally shot himself it was a huge blow for David, and a source of immense guilt at the state the friendship ended in. After his father Mel and Kelly's mom Jackie married and had a child Erin, David was fully part of the gang. But it wasn't enough. Whether it be the college radio station, a music deal, or the Peach Pit After Dark, he tried too hard and tended to push people away whenever he got into trouble. Donna is a perfect example. When he was in serious danger, of all people, Dylan came to his aid. He kicked his drug habit, managed to avoid becoming an alcoholic, but the club did poorly under his management, he did discover he had the same mild form of depression that his mother suffered from and treating that has helped. He is writing songs and his career seems to be on the up and up, but who knows what will happen with his love life. He continued to work for the Peach Pit doing his radio show, after Sofie was Gina, and after Gina was Camille, but in the end, he married Donna.
  • Tori Spelling portrays Donna Martin, a shy, unobtrusive girl (so much so that, for a long time, even the Walshes couldn't bring her out right away). She began to learn her self worth, as Kelly does, but with out the number of guys calling that Kelly had, Donna found it harder. Her first step was David. Finding a guy who appreciated her and was prepared to respect her decision to abstain from pre-marital sex was a huge boost, as was finding out that she had a learning disability which, undiagnosed, had caused her to have a tough time in school. She has always been too eager to make people happy, and it has gotten her hurt many times. An example of this is her relationship with Ray, who was mean and manipulative from almost the start. She was constantly upset because he pouted and ranted whenever he didn't get his way. Finally when she met Joe she realized she didn't have to be that way. Although she had not as many difficult life problems as Kelly,she has had continued difficulty with her mother Felice over everything imaginable. With David in and out of her life, entering the Rose Court, living on her own, everything. But she has come through it and is a talented fashion designer, and now she and Kelly have opened a boutique together. Her relationship with Noah went south because of his drinking. She continued running the boutique alone after Kelly left to pursue public relations, and finally married David in the series finale.
  • Tiffani Thiessen portrays Valerie Malone, a family friend of the Walshes back in Minnesota. Brenda, Brandon, and Valerie grew up together. Problems in the Malone family had been escalating for many years, mostly in secret, but it wasn't until Valerie's father was found dead in the bathroom of his home, an apparent suicide via gunshot wound to the head, that the family's issues seemed to come to light. This marked the catalyst that led to Valerie's move to Beverly Hills, where she would live with the Walshes. Valerie came off to the gang as a naive, but fun, young woman; however, the first episode she appeared in ended with her rolling a joint in Brenda's old bedroom and talking to a friend (later revealed to be Ginger) over the phone back in Buffalo, New York, about the possibility of getting involved with Steve Sanders for his money, as well as insulting the gang and boasting her ability to act more innocent than she actually is. Romantic interest in Valerie came quick, often, and usually all at once, leading to many situations, where male members of the series became contentious over their similar affections for her. Valerie becomes involved with Dylan, Brandon, Steve, David, Ray, Noah, and many others during the course of the show. Valerie gets into business with David, and they become co-owners of the Peach Pit After Dark. Kelly takes an immediate dislike to Valerie, and they remain constant enemies throughout the entire series, save for Valerie's final episode, where they are polite to each other, and very rare moments in between.
  • Kathleen Robertson portrays Clare Arnold, who met the group while she was a senior in high school and they were college freshman. She stayed through a few middle seasons; known for her high IQ; wild daughter of a wealthy diplomat and college chancellor; aggressively, yet unsuccessfully pursued Brandon while she was still a high school student and he was in college; Kelly and Donna's roommate/best friend. Started California University as a college sophomore. The character evolved throughout the show, at first she was wild, seemed like a typical, spoiled, troubled teenager, however, she eventually matured, became her own person and became an intricate part of the gang. Romantically involved with David in Season 5 and Steve in Seasons 6 and 7; she was the first girl to nail Steve's feet to the ground. Once almost moved in with Steve, but ended up moving to France with her father after breaking up for good with Steve.
  • James Eckhouse and Carol Potter portray Jim and Cindy Walsh, Brandon and Brenda's parents; who later moved to Hong Kong when Jim was promoted. During the fist five seasons they were Brenda and Brandon's main guidance. Although Jim can be difficult at times (he often expects too much from Brandon), as parents they are both open minded, easy going and very responsible, yet somewhat conservative (they are anti-smoking, for instance). They always keep and open door and a place at their table for whoever might need it. Actually, the Walsh's house is often used for holidays and celebrations (such as Mel and Jackie's wedding). Down-to-earth Cindy is seen as not only a loving and sympathetic mother to her children but also to her children's troubled friends, especially Dylan and Kelly. As a couple, they are stable, although not without their issues (Cindy is once tempted to have an affair in season one). Jim is very committed to his work and loyal to his employers, so much that he finds himself at odds with Brandon, who often defends good causes, even if it makes his dad look bad. Jim also serves as Dylan's trust fund manager/business manager off and on, despite rocky relations between the two at times.
  • Joe E. Tata portrays Nat Bussichio, Brandon's boss and the owner and operator of the Peach Pit, a 50s styled diner where the main cast always gather. As the Walsh's parents, he often serves as guidance to Brandon and his friends. He is also a little league baseball coach in a poor neighborhood. Initially Nat is a recurring character, but after season 5, he becomes part of the cast. In 90210 he returns as a recurring character and the boss of Dixon.
  • Douglas Emerson portrays Scott Scanlon. A character that starred during season one as David's nerd best friend. Initially they are both unpopular among the main characters, but as David becomes part of the gang, Scott becomes gradually more of a stranger to him, developing an odd liking of country music and guns. After he becomes recurring in the second season, his fixation of guns ends up killing him accidentally when he spins one during his birthday in front of David. His last words were "Check this out". The gang buries a time capsule in Scott's memory. Some time later, David and Donna help his sister denounce her sexually abusive uncle.

Recurring characters

Actor Character Seasons Year
Mark Damon Espinoza Jesse Vasquez 4-5 1993-1995
Jamie Walters Ray Pruit 5-6 1994-1995
Hilary Swank Carly Reynolds 8 1997-1998
Vincent Young Noah Hunter 8-10 1997-2000
Lindsay Price Janet Sosna 8-10 1998-2000
Daniel Cosgrove Matt Durning 9-10 1998-2000
Vanessa Marcil Gina Kincaid 9-10 1998-2000

Other characters

  • Jackie Taylor (Ann Gillespie): Kelly's mother; former model, married multiple times. During the first season of the show, Jackie was addicted to drugs and alcohol, which led to her making a scene at the mother/daughter fashion show. Jackie then entered rehab and remained clean throughout the rest of the series. Married David's father, Mel, in the second season and had a baby girl, Erin, with him. They divorced when Mel was caught cheating, but later got back together and broke up again. Kelly sometimes found her to be overbearing. Jackie continued to make appearances throughout all 10 seasons of the show. She also guest-starred in two first-season episodes of the spinoff series 90210 (TV series), which features Erin as a main character. It was revealed that Jackie was again abusing alcohol, and Kelly steps in to take Erin away from her. She returns in season two of the spinoff with a lot more serious storylines than the first season. It has been revealed that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has three months to live. She manages to come to peace with both her daughters before her death.
  • Emily Valentine (Christine Elise): Troubled newcomer to West Beverly; drugged Brandon with euphoria (4-methylaminorex) at a rave; spent time at a mental hospital after threatening to torch herself, along with a parade float, and writing threatening letters to West Beverly and leaving obscene phone messages on the Walshes' answering machine; met up with Brandon later in San Francisco during the fourth season before moving to study in France. Briefly returned during the fifth season of the show and almost had an affair with Brandon at the same time when Kelly was burned in a fire.
  • Nikki Witt (Dana Barron): Brandon's younger girlfriend during his senior year in high school. Flirted with David while Donna was in Paris until learning that he had a girlfriend. Later became friends with the group, due to being partnered with Donna for the Senior Buddy project. Wore down Brandon's defenses, then began dating him. Had an abusive ex-boyfriend, and Brandon came to her aid. Moved back to San Francisco after reconciling with her parents.
  • Stuart Carson (David Gail): Brenda's wealthy, 20-something suitor shortly after starting college. Proposes to Brenda after knowing her for a short time, and they almost wed in Vegas but both come to their senses. Brenda later breaks up with him when she realizes she's that Stuart is a negative person who wants to please his father rather than making him happy. After the break up she tells Dylan she's still in love with him.
  • John Sears (Paul Johansson): John was introduced in the fourth season as a student of California University, where he, Steve Sanders, and several others shared a prestigious dormitory. John had known Kelly Taylor before she enrolled into California University, and began romancing her as they became reacquainted. Kelly's feelings for John led her to separate from her boyfriend Dylan, stating that she no longer wanted to go steady. However, Kelly eventually found out that John only wanted to sleep with her. Towards the end of the semester, John and Steve met again at a carnival, engaging in a joust match over a mud pit. At the carnival, Steve finds out that John is dating Steve's ex-girlfriend, Celeste Lundy.
  • Joe Bradley (Cameron Bancroft): All-star quarterback at California University; came to Donna's aid after Ray became abusive to her; had surgery for a heart condition and ended up leaving the football team; dated Donna, had no problem with her vow of celibacy and proposed to her, but she rebuffed him and he returned to his hometown in Pennsylvania to coach his high school football team.
  • Toni Marchette (Rebecca Gayheart): Daughter of Dylan's father's supposed killer and mobster Tony Marchette; became romantically involved with, and eventually married to, Dylan after he initially tried to use her to get to her father; he later truly fell in love with her. Was accidentally killed by a hitman who was hired by her father to kill Dylan the day after their wedding.
  • Colin Robbins (Jason Wiles): New York artist who meets Kelly during her internship in New York; moves to L.A. to begin a relationship with her; old boyfriend of Valerie's; Colin's lifestyle is secretly supported by a female gallery owner in exchange for physical favors; has a cocaine problem and drags Kelly into it; jumps bail after Valerie posts her club assets for his bond but was tracked down and sent to prison to serve his sentence of at least two years in prison for drug possession and fleeing arrest.
  • Susan Keats (Emma Caulfield): Editor of the college paper, self-proclaimed feminist, love interest of Brandon; was impregnated by ex-boyfriend Jonathan Caston, had an abortion, and later won an award for her article on the right to choose. Moved to Washington, D.C., to work on the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign. Brandon broke up with her because she insisted he pass up a prestigious internship in Boston to travel for the summer with her, while she accepted the campaign job.
  • Tracy Gaylian (Jill Novick): News anchor for the TV station at CU. Dated Brandon for most of the seventh season, but Brandon broke up with her when he realized his true feelings for Kelly. Later met up with the gang during their trip to Hawaii and learned that she is engaged.
  • Camille Desmond (Josie Davis): David's final girlfriend before he realized his true feelings for Donna; fashion magazine writer; worked for Donna and Kelly at their boutique.
  • Dr. John and Felice Martin (Michael Durrell; Katherine Cannon): Donna's parents; Personified wealthy, conservative, social-climbing Beverly Hills socialites. Straight-laced mother Felice, who was caught by Donna having an affair, more often than not proved to be an obstacle in her daughter's ambitions. For example, Felice disapproved of her daughter mixing with the likes of Kelly and David and once even supported West Beverly's decision to suspend her daughter prior to graduation. Overprotective and uptight, she often tried to sabotage Donna's relationships with David, Ray, and Noah. Donna's father finally admitted that he was Gina Kincaid's biological father and died from a massive stroke a few episodes later. Felice finally gave in to Donna's relationship with David and even helped get them back together at the end of the series.
  • Abby Malone (Michelle Phillips): Valerie's mother, from whom Valerie is estranged after her father dies. She was friends with Jim and Cindy Walsh before the Malone family moved to Buffalo. At first, Abby denies knowing that Valerie was molested by her father, but later admits that she knew and that he had promised to get help. She initially blames Val for her husband's death and threatens to turn her in after Val confesses to murdering him (to keep him from molesting her), but they reconcile prior to Valerie leaving the show. Almost ends up marrying Kelly's father but is dumped at the aisle. Valerie later breaks up her mother's relationship with a cop to punish her for not stopping her father from molesting her.
  • Mrs. Yvonne Teasley (Denise Dowse): Assistant principal at West Beverly who frequently gave motherly advice to the gang. Was in attendance at the going-away party when Andrea left for Yale. Made a cameo appearance as part of Steve's 21st birthday greeting, and appeared again during season 9 when David is accused of statutorily raping a student at West Beverly. Attended Donna's bachelorette party in the final episode.
  • Gil Meyer (Mark Kiely): AP English teacher and journalism advisor during the gang's senior year at West Beverly. Becomes friends with Andrea, Brandon, and Dylan. Andrea accuses him of sexism when he decides Brandon should be editor-in-chief of the Blaze. They later make peace when Andrea and Brandon become co-editor of the paper. Sue Scanlon accuses him of molesting her, but later reveals that Gil is innocent and that her uncle is the molester. Andrea reveals she has a crush on him at the beginning of the fourth season but never tells him once she sees he has a girlfriend. He is last seen during Andrea's farewell party at the end of the fifth season. At the time, he reveals that he now has a child.
  • Lucinda Nicholson (Dina Meyer): Appeared in the fourth season, was a married university professor who became romantically involved with Brandon Walsh—a student at her school. In time, she also shared a kiss with Dylan McKay, who later suspected that she merely wanted him to fund a project of hers. Eventually, certain brash actions on her part met with disapproval from Brandon, who calmly ended the relationship.
  • Other characters' parents: Kelly's absent father was shown occasionally at events like high school graduation; he got arrested at Kelly's lavish college graduation party, which he threw for her. He also almost married Valerie's mother but stood her up at the altar. David's unfaithful father Mel was shown in the middle of the series when he married and divorced Jackie Taylor, then lived with her again until Gina blew the whistle on Mel's being unfaithful, and Jackie tells him they're finished for good; David's mother was shown as sweet and loving but suffers from manic depression. She attempts suicide, and she later would come to David's aid when he is hospitalized. Dylan's father Jack had a brief run after being released from prison but was then apparently killed only to later reappear after secretly being enrolled in the Witness Protection Program; Dylan's negligent New Age-following mother Iris occasionally appears but lives in Hawaii; Steve's adoptive mother Samantha, who loves him as her own, is shown early in the series as a former Hartley House TV star and in later episodes as a lesbian; Steve's father Rush is shown as a doting overbearing distant parent. Although it was thought for years that he was his adoptive father, Steve learns that Rush is indeed his biological father.

References

  1. ^ "Jason has been our quarterback, keeping everybody on an even keel." (Aaron Spelling, quoted in Rovin, Jeff (1991) Luke mania! Jason fever! Fantail, London, p 58)
  2. ^ "Jennie Garth:Biography". MSN. http://movies.msn.com/celebrities/celebrity-biography/jennie-garth/. Retrieved June 23, 2009.  
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