Who is Holly Marie Combs?

American actress and producer Holly Marie Combs was born in San Diego, California USA, on 3 December 1973, making Sagittarius her zodiac sign. She’s had roles in 35 TV series and movies, and is perhaps still known best for starring as Piper Halliwell in all the 179 episodes of the hit fantasy mystery series “Charmed”, which Constance M. Burge created, and which also starred Brian Krause and Alyssa Milano. It follows the lives of three witch sisters, the series aired from 1998 through 2006, and won five of its 25 award nominations.

Unlike what many people believe to be true, Holly hasn’t retired from acting, and is currently working on several upcoming projects.

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Education and early life

Holly was raised in San Diego by her mother Lauralei Combs who was 15 when she gave birth to her, and father who was 17; Holly’s parents then married but divorced two years later, believing that they were too young for marriage.

Holly and her mother moved a lot, as Lauralei was pursuing an acting career; they settled in New York City when Holly was seven, and was 12 when her mother married her second husband. She studied at Beekman Hill Elementary prior to moving on to Professional Children’s School; Holly was 14 when she made her debut film appearance, portraying Debs Boon in the 1988 romantic comedy “Sweet Hearts Dance”, and the following year saw her make her debut TV series appearance, playing Candice Young in an episode of the soap opera “As the World Turns”.

Holly matriculated from high school in 1992, and then focused on acting rather than pursuing a college degree.

Roles in movies

In 1989, Holly played Costume Party Guest in the romantic comedy “New York Stories”, and the same year saw her play Jenny in the critically acclaimed biographical war drama “Born on the Fourth of July”, written and directed by Oliver Stone, and which starred Tom Cruise, Bryan Larkin and Raymond J. Barry. It follows a Vietnam War veteran who’s become a pro-human rights and anti-war political activist, and the movie won 15 of its 41 award nominations, including two Oscar wins for Best Film Editing and Best Director.

Some of Holly’s following roles were in theromantic crime drama “Simple Men” and the horror comedy “Dr. Giggles” both in 1992,  and the 1994 romantic drama “A Perfect Stranger”.

The year 2001 saw her appear in the hit crime thriller “Ocean’s Eleven”, which Steven Soderbergh directed, and which starred Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and George Clooney. It follows 11 people who are about to rob three Las Vegas casinos at the same time, and the movie won four of its 24 award nominations. Holly had only a couple of other film roles in the decade, in the 2003 romantic comedy “See Jane Date”, the 2007 crime action “Point of Entry”, and the 2009 family comedy “Mistresses”.

Her three most recent film roles have been in the 2012 music video “Radical Something: Naked in Venice”, and in 2016 the romantic comedy “Love’s Complicated” and the short drama “We Are Austin”.

Roles in TV series

From 1992 through 1996, Holly portrayed Kimberly Brock in all the 88 episodes of the family crime drama “Picket Fences”, which David E. Kelley created, and which starred Lauren Holly, Tom Skerritt and Kathy Baker. It follows the life of an aging Sheriff, and the series won 30 of its 89 award nominations.

The year 1997 saw Holly appear in the episode “Billable Hours” of the romantic comedy “Relativity”, while the year 2001 saw her portray Girl in the episode “Four Eyes” of the family fantasy horror “The Nightmare Room”.

She spent most of the decade focused on shooting for “Charmed”, and her following TV series role came in 2010, when cast to play Dr. Cody Black in the unaired pilot of the drama “See Me Through”. From 2010 through 2017, Holly portrayed the supporting character Ella Montgomery in 87 episodes of the critically acclaimed romantic mystery “Pretty Little Liars”, which starred Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale and Ashley Benson, and was created by I. Marlene King. It follows four friends who’ve united against an anonymous foe, and the series won 45 of its 91 award nominations.

Holly’s three most recent TV series roles have been in the 2019 episode “Reunited” of the romantic drama “Grey’s Anatomy”, the 2020 episode “The Pilot” of the drama “Pretty Little Wine Moms Re-Watch”, and the 2020 episode “Wet Suits, Mary Poppins and Pretty Little Wine Moms” of the comedy “Homeward Bound: Surviving the Coronavirus”.

Other credits

Holly received special thanks for the 1996 series “Picket Fences”, the 2006 series “Charmed” and the 2013 TV special “Pretty Little Liars: A Liars Guide to Rosewood”.

She has two writing and 10 producing credits: she wrote the 2009 family comedy film “Mistresses” and the 2014 musical movie “Radical Something: Pure”, while some of her producing credits include the 2014 short musical movie “You Feel Amazing”, the 2016 documentary film “Why Just One?” and the 2018 documentary movie “Sharkwater Extinction”.

Some of her most recent talk-show appearances have been in “Off the Map”, “Ask Jillian” and “The Hollywood Moment”.

Awards and nominations

Holly won a 1993 Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a New Television Series, for her performance in “Picket Fences”.

She was also nominated for two other Young Artist Awards in 1994 and 1995, for her performance in “Picket Fences” and “A Perfect Stranger”, respectively, as well as for a 1995 Screen Actor Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, for her and her colleagues’ performance in “Picket Fences”.

Love life and marriages

Holly’s married thrice. Her first husband was American actor Bryan Travis Smith; they exchanged vows in 1993 and divorced in 1997.

Holly began dating American cameraman and special effects technician David W. Donoho not long after she divorced Bryan, and they eventually married on 14 February 2004. They have three sons,  Finley Arthur Donoho born on 25 April 2004, Riley Edward Donoho on 26 October 2006, and Kelley James Donoho on 26 May 2009. Holly and David divorced in November 2011.

She began dating American restaurateur Mike Ryan in 2016, and they married on 7 September 2019.

Holly’s yet to mention other men whom she’s maybe dated, she’s married to her third husband Mike Ryan as of April 2023, and has three sons with her second husband David W. Donoho.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Holly was the only member of the cast who wanted the series “Charmed” to continue.

She hit her head on a marble table while she was learning to walk, thus the scar on her right eyebrow.

Holly was once close with her “Charmed” co-star Alyssa Milano, and was a bridesmaid at her wedding.

She’s a huge lover of animals and has numerous pets, which include two rabbits, two cats, six dogs, four birds, four fish and three horses – only her rabbits and cats are allowed indoors.

Holly’s acting mentor was the famous American actor, producer and director Tom Skerritt.

Her favorite books are Alice Hoffman’s “Practical Magic” and Ernest Hemingway’s “The Garden of Eden”.

Holly’s favorite actor is Tim Robbins, and some of her favorite movies include “A Perfect Day”, “The Shawshank Redemption”, and “Human Nature”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Holly’s age is 49. She has brown hair and eyes, is 5ft 1in (1.55m) tall and weighs around 110lbs (48kgs).

Holly’s net worth’s been estimated at over $20 million, as of April 2023.

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