Three decades ago, Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty starred as twin brother and sister Brandon and Brenda Walsh who moved from Minnesota to Beverly Hills on the hit Fox teen drama Beverly Hills 90210. Just last summer, they reunited on screen in the reboot BH90210. But now, Priestley is concerned about his good friend and former co-star after she revealed earlier this week that she’s been diagnosed with terminal Stage 4 breast cancer.
Priestley told People magazine at the Monte Carlo Television Festival 60th Anniversary Celebration that he reached out to Doherty as soon as the news of her cancer broke.
“She’s overwhelmed with well wishers and with people reaching out to her. I haven’t heard back from her yet, but I’m sure that I will very soon,” said Priestley. “Shannen was a big part of my life. Shannen and I will always have a bond that is very meaningful. I’m very heartbroken about the news and I wish her and her family the best in this very difficult time.”
On Tuesday – three years after revealing she was in remission – Doherty told Good Morning America that her cancer was back and had gotten worse. She said that she found out a year ago that she had stage 4 breast cancer.
Doherty explained that the news was going to come out in a matter of days because of a lawsuit she filed against State Farm insurance, but she didn’t want people to find out that way. Instead, Doherty said she wanted to control the narrative.
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The 48-year-old said that she doesn’t think she’s processed the cancer diagnosis, and it’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways. Doherty admitted that she definitely has days when she asks, “Why me?” And, then she says “Why not me? Who else? Who else besides me deserves this? None of us do.”
Doherty said that she wanted to keep her cancer battle private, and she wanted to continue working. She did take part in BH90210 last summer, and she said that she was motivated to do so because of the death of Luke Perry.
Shannen Doherty explained that it was weird for her to be diagnosed, and then have somebody who was seemingly healthy go first. She added that Perry’s death was “shocking,” and it was the least she could do to honor him.
She says that she did the reboot and didn’t tell anyone about her cancer because she wanted everyone to realize that people with Stage 4 can work, too. Doherty added that life doesn’t end the minute you get the diagnosis, and cancer patients still have living to do.