Birth Date: December 3, 1973
Birth Place: San Diego, California, USA
Height: 5' 3"
Quote: "I did one topless scene when I was 20. There was no thought in my mind that they could freeze that moment into 15 different pictures. The worst, I was thinking, was that stupid guy friends of mine could rewind it and play it again."
Holly Marie Combs was born December 3, 1973, in San Diego, California. At the time of her birth, her 15-year-old mother and 17-year-old father quit school to marry, only to divorce two years later. At the age of 8, Holly moved to New York City with her mother, Lauralei, who had hopes of being an actress and a singer. Soon Holly Marie was appearing in print and television ads, so when her new stepfather moved into their cramped studio apartment when she was 12, he had two aspiring actresses on his hands.
Holly became increasingly committed to her pursuits, and gained her Screen Actors Guild card for her minor role in 1985's Walls of Glass, which also featured her mother. Small roles gradually came along, most notably 1988's Sweet Hearts Dance, in which she played the on-screen daughter of Don Johnson and Susan Sarandon, and a part in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July, starring Tom Cruise. Despite indications of great things to come, Holly would not go on to find her greatest success on the silver screen.
By all accounts, Combs' big breakthrough was her role as Kimberly Brock on CBS's Picket Fences, from 1992 to 1996. The story of her audition illustrates her gutsy attitude. Star producer David E. Kelley (the man behind shows like Ally McBeal and The Practice) told her that she did not have "a big enough heart" to play Kimberly. Having just come off the subway, Holly replied, "if you're looking for someone with a big heart, what the hell are you doing in New York?" Two weeks later, she got the job.
Her Picket Fences character, Kimberly Brock, was admired for being an earnest teen; the role won Holly a Young Actors Award for Best Young Actress in a New Television Series in 1993 and no doubt influenced her being cast in a string of films and TV movies during her Picket Fences tenure. Between 1992 and 1996, she appeared in small-budget films like Simple Men, Dr. Giggles, Chain of Desire, A Reason to Believe, and, on television, in A Perfect Stranger and Sins of Silence.
Coinciding with her uncommonly mature career management skills was a marriage that Holly has since characterized as somewhat youthfully idealistic and naïve. In 1993, she met and dated actor Bryan Smith, and the two eloped in Las Vegas a short while later. The marriage lasted four years.
Despite the ups and downs of her love life (she was also engaged to Storm Lyndon, but they broke up before heading to the altar), her career was on the steady up-and-up. It was best friend Shannen Doherty who effectively brought Holly to Charmed, a new series about three young witch sisters, in 1998. (In 2000, Doherty left and was replaced by Rose McGowan.)
The popularity of the WB's Charmed has cemented Holly's success and reputation. It has also brought her an impressive cash flow (she reportedly earns $60,000 an episode) and the inspiration to expand her talents beyond acting, as she signed on as producer in 2002. She also made a cameo appearance in 2001's Ocean's Eleven, in the scene where Brad Pitt's character teaches young celebs to play poker.
Outside her acting career, Holly has become an active supporter of Thursday's Child, a charity for teenage runaways, and a spokesperson for breast cancer awareness. She lives the San Fernando Valley with her husband David W. Donoho, and their son, Finley Arthur Donoho (b. April 26, 2004).
Holly Marie Combs Filmography
See Jane Date (2003) (TV Movie) .... Natasha Nutley
"Charmed" .... Piper Halliwell (1998-2006)
Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder (1997) (TV Movie) .... Diane Zamora
-- aka Swearing Allegiance
"Relativity" .... Anne Pryce (1 episode: "Billable Hours" 1997)
Daughters (1997) (TV Movie) .... Alex Morrell
-- aka Our Mother's Murder
Sins of Silence (1996) (TV Movie) .... Sophie DiMatteo
A Reason to Believe (1995) .... Sharon
A Perfect Stranger (1994) (TV Movie) .... Amanda Hale
-- aka Danielle Steel's 'A Perfect Stranger'
Chain of Desire (1992) .... Diana
Dr. Giggles (1992) .... Jennifer Campbell
Simple Men (1992) .... Kim
"Picket Fences" .... Kimberly Brock (1992-1996)
Born on the Fourth of July (1989) .... Jenny (uncredited)
New York Stories (1989) .... Costume Party Guest (Section 'Life Without Zoe') (uncredited)
Sweet Hearts Dance (1988) .... Debs Boon
Walls of Glass (1985) .... Classmate In Flash Back (uncredited)
-- aka Flanagan
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