JASON PRIESTLEY Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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The son of a Canadian actress, Jason Priestley began his own career as a child actor in TV commercials. After dropping out of acting in his teens to concentrate on high-school sports, Jason Priestley got back in the professional swim following graduation, accepting one-shot roles on such Canada-based TV series as 21 Jump Street. The young actor’s first American TV assignment was the regular role of teen orphan Todd Mahaffey on the 1989 sitcom Sister Kate. Producer Aaron Spelling’s daughter Tori spotted Jason Priestley on Sister Kate and suggested that her father audition him for a role in the upcoming Fox series Beverly Hills 90210. Jason Priestley was cast as Brandon Walsh, twin brother of the estimable Brenda (Shannen Doherty).


Like many of his young series co-stars, Jason Priestley was intent on laying the groundwork for life after 90210. Though his first major film role in Penny Marshall’s Calendar Girl (1993) came and went without fanfare, he enjoyed some success as a 90210 director. Jason Priestley encountered further success and even critical vindication with his turn as Ronnie Bostock, the B-movie hunk who steals John Hurt’s heart in Love and Death on Long Island (1997). Critics warmed to Jason Priestley’s performance, noting that his days of idolatry had given him overly adequate preparation for his portrayal.


Unlike other teen idols who rue the day when the fan mail will cease, Jason Priestley once claimed he was happy that his idoldom seems to be on a downward slide: “It’s like having a big cancerous lesion on your shoulder. Because people are fickle, man.” On March 28, 2000, Jason Priestley was undoubtedly happy that the limelight’s glare had dimmed: Arrested for drunken driving after crashing his car into some trash cans, Jason Priestley was sentenced to five days in a Los Angeles jail.