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'Beverly Hills, 90210' cast celebrates 30th anniversary with epic reunion

Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Gabrielle Carteris, Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green gathered virtually to share memories.
Image: Cast of Beverly Hills, 90210
Cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 (Photo by mikel roberts/Sygma via Getty Images)Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

“Beverly Hills, 90210” turned 30 Sunday, and many of its stars gathered virtually for an elaborate anniversary reunion that featured more than three dozen actors, producers and writers who worked on the beloved teen drama.

Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Gabrielle Carteris, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green and creator Darren Star all appeared to celebrate the milestone.

“I’m so happy to see everybody, I’m crying,” said Carteris, who played brainy Andrea Zuckerman.

“We were just having fun,” Star said, looking back at the launch of “90210,” which premiered on Oct. 4, 1990. “We didn’t know what we were doing. I don’t think we had these gigantic expectations for what was going to happen for the show.”

“Until Jason got cast (as Minnesota transplant Brandon Walsh), it almost didn’t happen; he got cast in the 11th hour,” Star added. “Literally the Friday before we were going to start filming, Jason was cast. And it was like, if Jason wasn’t cast, it was like they weren’t going to make it. So, thank you, Jason.”

“It was so much fun doing our show,” said Garth, who played Kelly Taylor for all 10 seasons. “What a blast we all had, and such great memories, and so many beautiful friendships and bonds made that we’ll never ever, ever sever.”

The 3 1/2-hour event was part of “The Beverly Hills, 90210 Show Videocast,” a series in which writers/producers Charles Rosin and Larry Mollin and host Peter Ferriero regularly discuss the show alongside visits from cast, writers and fans.

Garth revealed that she and Spelling are planning to launch their own “90210” podcast, in which they’ll rewatch each episode and share memories of filming.

Asked if any of Kelly’s storylines — which include being shot, stalked, burned during a house fire, brainwashed by a cult and addicted to cocaine and diet pills — were “too much,” Garth replied, “I guess you guys realized that I could cry or something, on camera. I’ve got a lot of emotions in me.”

BEVERLY HILLS 90210, Jennie Garth, 1990-2000. (C) Aaron Spelling Prod. / Courtesy: Everett Collection
Jennie Garth revisited some of Kelly Taylor's wilder storylines.Everett Collection

Another panel during the episode saw Carol Potter (Cindy Walsh), James Eckhouse (Jim Walsh), Ann Gillespie (Jackie Taylor), Matthew Laurance (Mel Silver) and Katherine Cannon (Felice Martin) reminisce about what it was like playing the parents on the show.

Laurance’s character famously served son David and his pals champagne before their senior prom, which led to Donna’s suspension and the unforgettable “Donna Martin graduates!” rallying cry.

“Thirty years later, when somebody finds out I was on ‘90210,’ I still get, ‘How could you get them drunk?’ I didn’t. I always explain, I left the room. They came back! They grabbed the champagne. I have to fight for this stuff.”

Douglas Emerson, whose character, Scott Scanlon, died after accidentally shooting himself at his own birthday party in season two, revealed that he originally auditioned for the part of David Silver.

“I wish I took more pictures,” said Emerson, reflecting on his time on the show.

Beverly Hills, 90210
Douglas Emerson (right), whose character was killed off in season two, reflected on his time on the show.Spelling Television / Everett Collection

Emerson was joined by his TV mother, Jenny O’Hara, and joked, “You should’ve looked out for me more.”

Other actors revisiting their time on “90210” included Mark Damon Espinoza (Jesse Vasquez), Jamie Walters (Ray Pruit), Christine Elise (Emily Valentine), Denise Dowse (vice principal Mrs. Teasley), Jennifer Grant (Celeste) and Dana Barron (Nikki).

And the actors behind various fan-favorite characters (among them, Morton Muntz, New Evolution leader Professor Finley and Alison Lash, who developed feelings for Kelly after both were burned in the aforementioned house fire) appeared in character to give life updates on where they ended up.

Luke Perry was remembered by two actors who played members of the McKay family.
Luke Perry was remembered by two actors who played members of the McKay family.REX via Shutterstock

Of course, any celebration of “90210” wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging Luke Perry, who died in March 2019.

Both Josh Taylor, who played Dylan McKay’s dad, and Noley Thornton, who played Dylan’s young half sister, Erica, in seasons four and five, offered moving tributes to the late actor.

“He was one of the nicest people I ever worked with,” said Thornton. “Not just worked with, but in life. And everything everyone has said about him is true. He was one of the kindest people. He was so sweet, so kind, so generous, so welcoming. He was really protective of me, treated me like I really was his little sister.”