Holly Marie Combs
|Holly Marie Combs|
Holly at her photo shoot.
December 3, 1973 |
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, television producer|
|Spouse(s)||Bryan Travis Smith (1993–1997)
David W. Donoho (2004–2011)
Holly Marie Combs (born December 3, 1973) is an American actress and television producer, best known for her role as Piper Halliwell on The WB television series Charmed (1998–2006). During the mid-1990s, Combs appeared as Kimberly Brock on the CBS television series Picket Fences (1992–1996), which earned her a Young Artist Award. She also starred in films such as Sweet Hearts Dance (1988), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Dr. Giggles (1992), Sins of Silence (1996), Daughters (1997) and Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder (1997). Combs is currently starring in the ABC Family television series Pretty Little Liars as Ella Montgomery.
Early life 
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. Combs' biological parents married, but the two split up after two years, 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, often having very little privacy, while her mother attempted to pursue an acting career. 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.
Early work: 1988–1997 
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 portrayed the role of Debs Boon, the daughter of Wiley Boon (played by Don Johnson) and Sandra Boon (played by Susan Sarandon). 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 the role of Jenny in the film, which also starred Tom Cruise. Her other roles included Helena in the 1989 anthology film New York Stories, and Kim Fields in Hal Hartley's Simple Men (1992). Also in 1992, Combs made an appearance in Temístocles López's Chain of Desire as Diana, and in the slasher film Dr. Giggles, for which she portrayed the role of 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. She portrayed the role of 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). 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. Combs won a Young Artist Award for her performance on the show. 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.
Later work: 1998–present 
In 1998, Combs landed a lead role in The WB television series Charmed, for which she portrayed Piper Halliwell, the middle of three sisters who discover they are witches. Combs' friend Shannen Doherty portrayed the role of the eldest sister Prue Halliwell, while Alyssa Milano starred as the youngest sister Phoebe Halliwell. Following Doherty's departure after the third season (2000–01), resulting in her character's death, Combs 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). Combs became a producer for Charmed from the fifth season (2002–03) and onwards. The series ended its run on May 21, 2006. In 2008, AOL named Combs' character Piper the third greatest witch in television history. 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." 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." The following year, Combs signed a contract with Lifetime to produce and star in the television series Mistresses, which is based on the British series of the same name. However, the show never made it to air. In 2010, Combs was cast in the ABC Family television series Pretty Little Liars as Ella Montgomery, the mother of one of the main characters Aria Montgomery (played by Lucy Hale). The show is currently in its third season.
Personal life 
In 1993, Combs married Bryan Travis Smith; they divorced in 1997. 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. Combs smoked cigarettes from the age of 15 until giving them up when pregnant with her first child. In November 2011, she filed for divorce for her second marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.
|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|
|1990||Hotel Terror||Kristen Vast||Unreleased|
|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|
|1994||Island City||Erin Sloan|
|1995||A Reason To Believe||Sharon Digby|
|1995||Speed Dating||Pam Thomas||Unreleased|
|1995||Evil in the Basement||Karen Ford|
|1996||Sins of Silence||Sophie DiMattio|
|1997||Our Mother's Murder||Alex Morell|
|1997||Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder||Diane Zamora|
|2002||Search For Odysseus||Bethany Campbell||Unreleased|
|2003||See Jane Date||Natasha Nutley|
|2007||Panic Button||Katherine Alden||aka Point of Entry|
|1990||Guiding Light||Louisa Young||2 episodes|
|1991, 1994||As the World Turns||Denise Jones||5 episodes|
|1991||Rockenwagner||Emma Jacobs-Smith||Unaired TV pilot|
|1992||Mr Right||Penny Lenz||Unaired TV pilot|
|1992–1996||Picket Fences||Kimberly Brock||Series regular, 83 episodes
Received Young Actor's Award for role
|1996||Friends for Life||Claire Webber||Unaired TV pilot|
|1997||Relativity||Anne Pryce||Guest star: season 1, episode 14|
|1998–2006||Charmed||Piper Halliwell||Lead role, 179 episodes (including unaired pilot episode)
Producer, seasons 5-8
|2009||Mistresses||Janey Satterfield||Unaired pilot
|2010–present||Pretty Little Liars||Ella Montgomery||Series regular, 50+ episodes|
Awards and nominations 
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work||Result|
|1993||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actress in a New Television Series||Picket Fences||Won|
|1994||Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Television Series||Nominated|
|1995||Best Performance by a Youth Actress in a TV Mini-Series or Special||A Perfect Stranger||Nominated|
|1995||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Picket Fences||Nominated|
|2001||RATTY Awards||Best Ensemble in a Science Fiction Series||Charmed||Nominated|
|Best Lead Actress in a Science Fiction Series||Nominated|
|2005||Series Magazine Awards||Best Television Actress||Won|
- "Holly Marie Combs: Biography". MSN Movies. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- "Holly Marie Combs — Awards". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2007-04-05.
- "Young Artist Award". youngartistawards.org. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
- Deanna Kizis (December 2000). "Holly Charms Hollywood". Cosmopolitan.
- Ask Men.com Feature
- "Holly Marie Combs Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "Charmed – Full Cast and Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2006-06-21.
- TV Squad Staff (2008-10-20). "Top TV Witches". AOL. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "Panic Button: Piper's No Longer Charmed in Dull 'Suspense' Yarn". Tvjots.com. 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- "Charmed Holly Is One of Lifetime's Mistresses". Tvguide.com. 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- Ausiello, Michael (2010-04-10). "Exclusive: Holly Marie Combs joins 'Pretty Little Liars'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "Charmed star Holly Marie Combs files for divorce from second husband David Donoho". People Magazine. November 11, 2011.
- Holly Marie Combs Welcomes Son Kelley James. People. Celebrity Babies
- "The Charming Holly Marie Combs". ePregnancy Magazine. June 4, 2004. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
- Gina Serpe (November 11, 2011). "Holly Marie Combs No Longer Bewitched by Husband, Files for Divorce". E!. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
- "The 9th Annual RATTY Awards – The Winners". Homepage.mac.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16.
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