Holly Marie Combs

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Holly Marie Combs
Holly Marie Combs, July 2012.jpg
Combs at the London Film and Comic Convention in July 2012
Born (1973-12-03) December 3, 1973 (age 40)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Actress, television producer
Years active 1985–present
Known for Picket Fences
Charmed
Spouse(s) Bryan Travis Smith (1993–1997)
David Donoho (2004–2011)
Children 3

Holly Marie Combs (born December 3, 1973)[1] is an American actress and television producer. She is known for her roles as Kimberly Brock in the CBS series Picket Fences (1992–1996), Piper Halliwell in The WB series Charmed (1998–2006), and Ella Montgomery in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars.

Early life[edit]

Combs was born in San Diego, California. At the time of her birth, her mother, Lauralei Combs (née Berckhem), was sixteen years old and her father was seventeen.[2] Combs' biological parents married, but the two split up after two years,[3] feeling they were too young to make a marriage work. While Combs was learning to walk, she hit her head on a marble table, resulting in a scar over her right eyebrow. She went through many different homes with her mother, near the beach in San Diego often having very little privacy, while her mother attempted to pursue an acting career.[4] When Combs was seven, she and her mother moved to New York City. She was 12 when her mother married her stepfather. In New York City, Combs attended Beekman Hill Elementary and then the Professional Children's School.

Career[edit]

Early work: 1988–1997[edit]

Combs at the 1993 Emmy Awards

When she was 13 years old, Combs landed her first major role in Sweet Hearts Dance (1988), a comedy drama film directed by Robert Greenwald. She played Debs Boon, the daughter of Wiley Boon (played by Don Johnson) and Sandra Boon (played by Susan Sarandon).[5] Her next major role was in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July (1989), a film adaptation of the best selling autobiography of the same name by Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic. Combs portrayed Jenny in the film, which also starred Tom Cruise.[5] Her other roles included Helena in the 1989 anthology film New York Stories, and Kim Fields in Hal Hartley's Simple Men (1992).[5] Also in 1992, Combs made an appearance in Temístocles López's Chain of Desire as Diana, and in the slasher film Dr. Giggles, in which she played Jennifer Campbell, the 19 year-old daughter of Tom Campbell (played by Cliff De Young) and girlfriend of Max Anderson (played by Glenn Quinn).

Combs' first major breakthrough as an actress came at the age of 18, in the CBS television series Picket Fences.[5] She portrayed Kimberly Brock, the daughter of Sheriff Jimmy Brock (played by Tom Skerritt) and Dr. Jill Brock (played by Kathy Baker), for the show's four seasons (1992–96).[5] Combs auditioned for the role in New York. The casting agent told her that she wasn't right for the part because she "didn't have a big enough heart." Combs retorted, "If you're looking for someone with a big heart, what the hell are you doing in New York?". She was later called back and offered the job.[2] Combs won a Young Artist Award for her performance on the show.[6][7] During 1996, Combs starred as Sophie DiMatteo in Sins of Silence, a drama/horror television film directed by Sam Pillsbury. The following year, Combs portrayed real-life convicted murderess Diane Zamora in the television film Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder, and appeared in the fact-based drama film Daughters as Alex Morell, one of the two daughters of a murdered heiress.[5]

Later work: 1998–present[edit]

In 1998, Combs landed a lead role in The WB television series Charmed, in which she portrayed Piper Halliwell, the middle of three sisters who are witches.[5] Combs' friend Shannen Doherty played the role of the eldest sister Prue Halliwell, while Alyssa Milano starred as the youngest sister Phoebe Halliwell.[5] Following Doherty's departure after the third season (2000–01), resulting in her character's death, Combs' character became the eldest sister for the remaining five seasons of the show, and Rose McGowan was cast as Doherty's replacement Paige Matthews in the fourth season (2001–02).[5] Combs became a producer for Charmed from the fifth season (2002–03) and onwards.[8] The series ended its run on May 21, 2006. In 2008, AOL named Combs' character Piper the third greatest witch in television history.[9] Combs is the only cast member to appear in the unaired pilot and every episode of the series.

During Charmed, Combs made a cameo appearance in Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven (2001), and starred opposite Charisma Carpenter in the romantic comedy film See Jane Date (2003), portraying the role of "a struggling actress whose career benefits from an affair with an A-list actor."[5] In 2007, she starred in the Lifetime television film Panic Button as Kathy Alden, a wife and mother of a single child whose family moves to a "beautiful and supposedly secure gated community after she's the victim of a violent house break-in."[10] The following year, Combs signed a contract with Lifetime to produce and star in a series Mistresses, based on the British series of the same name.[11] However, that version of the show never made it to air. (ABC later made a version featuring Combs' former Charmed co-star Alyssa Milano.)

In 2010, Combs was cast in the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars as Ella Montgomery, the mother of one of the main characters, Aria Montgomery (played by Lucy Hale).[12] Combs was a series regular for the first three seasons, but beginning in season four, became credited as a special guest star.

Personal life[edit]

In 1993, Combs married Bryan Travis Smith; they divorced in 1997.[13]

She then went on to marry former Charmed key-grip and long-time boyfriend David Donoho on February 14, 2004. They are the parents of three sons: Finley Arthur Donoho (born April 26, 2004), Riley Edward Donoho (born October 26, 2006) and Kelley James Donoho (born May 26, 2009), all born by caesarian section (with Kelley being an emergency C-section). Combs kept her third pregnancy a secret because it was high risk, with a delivery at 35 weeks.[14] Combs smoked cigarettes from the age of 15 until giving them up when pregnant with her first child.[15] In November 2011, she filed for divorce for her second marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.[16]

Filmography[edit]

Movies[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Walls of Glass Abby Hall Classmate
1988 Sweet Hearts Dance Dens Boon
1989 New York Stories Helena Costume Party Girl
1989 Born on the Fourth of July Jenny Turner
1991 Nobody Can Hear You Scream Melinda Ashwood
1992 Simple Men Kim Fields
1992 Dr. Giggles Jennifer Campbell
1992 Chain of Desire Diana Richards
1994 A Perfect Stranger Amanda Hale
1995 A Reason to Believe Sharon Digby Independent movie
1995 Evil in the Basement Karen Ford
1997 Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder Diane Zamora
2001 Ocean's Eleven Herself Uncredited role

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Guiding Light Louisa Young 2 episodes
1991–1994 As the World Turns Denise Jones 5 episodes
1992–1996 Picket Fences Kimberly Brock Main role (83 episodes)
1994 Island City Erin Sloan PTEN movie
1996 Sins of Silence Sophie DiMattio CBS movie
1997 Our Mother's Murder Alex Morell Lifetime movie
1997 Relativity Anne Pryce Episode: "Billable Hours" (1.14)
1998–2006 Charmed Piper Halliwell Lead role (179 episodes); producer (seasons 5–8)
2003 See Jane Date Natasha Nutley ABC Family movie
2007 Panic Button Katherine Alden Lifetime movie
2010–present Pretty Little Liars Ella Montgomery Regular role: seasons 1–3; special guest star: seasons 4–present
2014 Hell's Kitchen Herself; guest 1 episode

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1993 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actress in a New Television Series[6][7] Picket Fences Won
1994 Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Television Series[6] Nominated
1995 Best Performance by a Youth Actress in a TV Mini-Series or Special[6] A Perfect Stranger Nominated
1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series[6] Picket Fences Nominated
2001 RATTY Awards Best Ensemble in a Science Fiction Series Charmed Nominated
Best Lead Actress in a Science Fiction Series[17] Nominated
2002 Nominated
2003 Won
2005 Series Magazine Awards Best Television Actress Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Holly Marie Combs: Biography". MSN Movies. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  2. ^ a b Deanna Kizis (December 2000). "Holly Charms Hollywood". Cosmopolitan. 
  3. ^ Ask Men.com Feature
  4. ^ "tv.com". Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Holly Marie Combs Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Holly Marie Combs — Awards". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2007-04-05. 
  7. ^ a b "Young Artist Award". youngartistawards.org. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  8. ^ "Charmed – Full Cast and Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2006-06-21. 
  9. ^ TV Squad Staff (2008-10-20). "Top TV Witches". AOL. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  10. ^ "Panic Button: Piper's No Longer Charmed in Dull 'Suspense' Yarn". Tvjots.com. 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  11. ^ "Charmed Holly Is One of Lifetime's Mistresses". Tvguide.com. 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  12. ^ Ausiello, Michael (2010-04-10). "Exclusive: Holly Marie Combs joins 'Pretty Little Liars'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  13. ^ "Charmed star Holly Marie Combs files for divorce from second husband David Donoho". People Magazine. November 11, 2011. 
  14. ^ Holly Marie Combs Welcomes Son Kelley James. People. Celebrity Babies
  15. ^ "The Charming Holly Marie Combs". ePregnancy Magazine. June 4, 2004. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  16. ^ Gina Serpe (November 11, 2011). "Holly Marie Combs No Longer Bewitched by Husband, Files for Divorce". E!. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  17. ^ "The 9th Annual RATTY Awards – The Winners". Homepage.mac.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. 

External links[edit]