Jason Priestley

Active - 1986 - 2017  |   Born - Aug 28, 1969 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada  |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Comedy Drama

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Born August 28th, 2969, 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, 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 Priestley on Sister Kate and suggested that her father audition him for a role in the upcoming Fox series Beverly Hills 90210. Priestley was cast as Brandon Walsh, twin brother of the estimable Brenda (Shannen Doherty).

Like many of his young series co-stars, 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. 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 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, 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, Priestley was undoubtedly happy that the limelight's glare had dimmed: Arrested for drunken driving after crashing his car into some trash cans, he was sentenced to five days in a Los Angeles jail.

Legal troubles aside, Priestly continued to appear in films throughout the 2000s (Cherish, Die Mommie Die, Homicide: The Movie), and joined Joss Whedon's Tru Calling in the role of Jack Harper, a man determined that the dead not be revived by Tru. Television continued to be a superior medium for the actor who made guest appearances on My Name is Earl, What I Like About You, and Without a Trace. Priestly stars as corrupt used-car salesman Richard "Fitz" Fitzpatrick" in HBO Canada's Call Me Fitz, and is a recurring character on Haven, a supernatural television series from Syfy.

Movie Highlights

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Factsheet

  • Was modeling and acting in commercials by age 5.
  • First major role was in 1989 as a regular on the short-lived sitcom Sister Kate; cast on Beverly Hills, 90210 shortly after that series was canceled.
  • A fan of Canadian rock group Barenaked Ladies, directed their music video "The Old Apartment" (1997) as well as the feature-length rockumentary Barenaked in America (1999).
  • In 2001, set the Super Boat lap speed record of 147.4 mph at the New York Super Boat Grand Prix.
  • In 2003, crashed his race car into a wall at 182 mph during a practice run at Kentucky Speedway, suffering a fractured spine, broken nose and concussion, and spent three months in a hospital.
  • A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, became an American citizen in 2007. Welcomed his second child, a son, with wife Naomi Lowde on July 9, 2009.
  • Co-owner of Black Hills Estate Winery, and co-host of the reality-lifestyle program Hollywood & Vines, about wine and the celebrities who love it.