Brandon Walsh

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Brandon Walsh
Beverly Hills, 90210 character
Portrayed byJason Priestley
First appearanceOctober 4, 1990
(Beverly Hills, 90210, "Class of Beverly Hills")
Last appearanceNovember 4, 1998
(Beverly Hills, 90210, "Brandon Leaves")
Created byDarren Star
OccupationCo-owner of The Beverly Beat

Brandon Walsh, played by Jason Priestley, was the original lead character in the popular 1990s American television drama Beverly Hills, 90210,[1] and the first character introduced in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise.[2]

Brandon was best known for his altruistic nature and strong moral values. Unlike his close friend Dylan McKay, who was portrayed as an anti hero, Brandon's motives were often unselfish and he was more of a traditional hero than Dylan. His friendliness made him so popular among his peers that, during the show's run, his sister Brenda, and friends Dylan and Steve all revealed that they considered Brandon the best friend they ever had.

Beverly Hills, 90210[edit]

Back story[edit]

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota with twin sister Brenda (Shannen Doherty), Brandon was the eldest child of Jim & Cindy Walsh. As a result of Jim's job promotion, the family moved to Beverly Hills in 1990, where Brandon and Brenda enrolled at the local West Beverly Hills High School where in the pilot they met new friends Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) and Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth). In episode two, "The Green Room," Brandon befriended loner Dylan McKay (Luke Perry). He befriends many others in his years spent in Beverly Hills. Brandon was known to have problems with gambling, which affected his relationship with his friends. He also had trouble resisting temptation when dating Kelly, shown with Emily Valentine and, coincidentally, a woman named Emma Bennett.

Love life[edit]

During the show's run, Brandon gained notoriety for having a high number of relationships with women, sometimes only for one episode, played largely by series guest stars. Among the most notable were the troubled Emily Valentine (Christine Elise), who tried to burn down the West Beverly High Homecoming float; the bigoted Brooke Alexander (Alexandra Wilson), who assumed Andrea Zuckerman was rich just because she was Jewish; and sophomore Nikki Witt (Dana Barron), a persistent girl who comically wore down Brandon's defenses during the episode "The Back Story."[3] In Season Four Brandon had an affair with university professor Lucinda Nicholson (Dina Meyer). Ultimately, his longest relationships were with Kelly, who attempted to win Brandon's heart twice throughout the series, succeeding the second time. Their relationship was strengthened after Kelly moved in with him once his parents and Brenda had moved away.

In between relationships with Kelly, Brandon became involved with two of his co-workers. As a junior, he had a passionate relationship with his editor at the California University newspaper, Susan Keats (Emma Caulfield). Brandon and Susan pledged to take a cross-country trip in the summer of 1996, but Susan ultimately accepted a position with the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign, leaving Brandon to instead take the trip with Steve.

During his senior year, Brandon slowly fell for the anchor at the CU television station, Tracy Gaylian (Jill Elizabeth Novick). Tracy one day found the engagement ring Brandon tried to give to Kelly in a dresser drawer, and assumed that it was for her. When Brandon explained that it wasn't, Tracy became distrusting of him. The two patched things up, and Brandon agreed to sell back his ring at the jewelry store, exchanging it for a bracelet. Once Brandon left, however, Kelly went to the store and bought the ring for herself. Brandon later took Tracy to Hong Kong to meet his father, but upon their return to the United States, Brandon realized his true feelings for Kelly and broke up with Tracy. Tracy and Brandon reunited in Hawaii in the season 8 opener, leaving Kelly perturbed, but her doubts were erased when she met Tracy's fiance.

Influence on a popular culture[edit]

In an episode of the TV series What I Like About You , Charlie (played by Priestley) asks Val (played by Jennie Garth) if he knew her when she was younger. He asks if they went to high school together (an allusion to Garth's '90210' role, Kelly). When Val answers that she does not think so, Charlie asks if she can remember that he was the editor of the school magazine (a reference to Priestley's role when Brandon was editor of the West Beverly Blaze) and that she was friends with his sister.


Jason Priestley left the show at the beginning of the ninth season. However, he remained credited as an executive producer for Beverly Hills, 90210 until the end of the series.

After the 9th season, Jason Priestley appeared as a guest on the show. Priestley regrets leaving the show too early.[4][5][6][7]

Missing years[edit]

It was revealed that Brandon's job in journalism had taken him to many locations around the world. In 2000, he sent a video to Donna and David at the time of their wedding as he could not make it to the ceremony. In the third spin-off, 90210, he was also revealed to have kept in contact with Brenda, Dylan, and Kelly. Dylan is the one who asked Brandon for Brenda's email so he could get in touch with her.


Although he has not appeared in the spin-off 90210, Brandon has been referenced by numerous characters. In "The Jet Set", Brenda tells Kelly that Brandon is currently in Belize and that he thinks Kelly is beautiful. Kelly replies that she has spoken to him as well. Brenda also tells Nat that he still craves Nat's signature megaburgers. However, Dylan, and not Brandon, is revealed to be the father of Kelly's son, Sammy.

In "Model Behavior", Brenda tells Kelly that Brandon had given Dylan her email, which indicates that both he and Dylan are still on good terms. Later, Brenda tells Ryan that she is going to leave Beverly Hills for a while and go visit Brandon and his family. This indicates that Brandon has either gotten married or started a family with an unknown woman.


The character has a mostly positive reception from critics.[8][9] [10][11]


  1. ^ Beverly Hills, 90210 cast billing Retrieved on July 8, 2008
  2. ^ "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)
  3. ^ "Beverly Hills, 90210, 'The Back Story'". Yahoo!. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  4. ^ "When Teenage Angst Had Its Own ZIP Code". The New York Times. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  5. ^ "DARREN STAR, creator, 'Beverly Hills 90210'". The New York Times. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  6. ^ Iqbal, Nosheen (25 February 2014). "Jason Priestley: 'I'm surprised I made it out of Beverly Hills 90210'". Retrieved 12 August 2017 – via The Guardian.
  7. ^ CNN, By Katie McLaughlin. "Jason Priestley: I regret leaving '90210'". CNN. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Jason Priestley: People Like Brandon, Dylan Don't Really 'Exist'". 20 December 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  9. ^ Charlebois, Justin (10 July 2018). "The Construction of Masculinities and Femininities in Beverly Hills, 90210". University Press of America. Retrieved 10 July 2018 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "JASON PRIESTLEY, Brandon Walsh, 'Beverly Hills 90210'; also, director and producer".
  11. ^ Graham, Mark. "What Was So Great About Brandon Walsh, Anyway?". Retrieved 10 July 2018.