Best-known for playing Brenda Walsh on the original Beverly Hills 90210, Shannen Doherty shocked fans several years ago when she revealed she was battling breast cancer. Since then, the 50-year-old actress has endured many treatments, as well as a period of remission. Through it all, she has had the support of her ride-or-die husband, Kurt Iswarienko. Here’s everything you need to know about Shannen Doherty’s spouse.
Shannen Doherty’s Husband Is Kurt Iswarienko
After a year-long marriage to Ashley Hamilton in the early ‘90s and an annulled nine-month union with Rick Solomon in 2003, Shannen Doherty finally found her soul mate in photographer Kurt Iswarienko. The couple tied in the knot back in 2011, with their nuptials serving as the subject for the WE tv reality show, Shannen Says. The eight-episode show followed Doherty and her fiancé as they navigated the trials and tribulations of planning a wedding.
Like his well-known wife, Iswarienko has been a part of the Hollywood scene for more than two decades. However, his work has been behind the scenes. He spent years working as a cameraman and electrician on TV and movie sets, including Clockstoppers, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Grosse Point, and The Pandora Project.
Shannen Doherty Was Diagnosed With Cancer In 2015
Four years into their marriage, Doherty received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. She went public with the diagnosis 2016, and after trying an unsuccessful anti-estrogen treatment to shrink the tumor, had a single mastectomy in May of that year. The surgery revealed that the cancer cells had spread, forcing Doherty to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy soon after.
“The unknown is always the scariest part,” Doherty shared back in 2016. “Is the chemo going to work? Is the radiation going to work? You know, am I going to have to go through this again, or am I going to get secondary cancer? Everything else is manageable. Pain is manageable, you know living without a breast is manageable, it’s the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love.”
Fortunately, the procedures were successful and the actress happily announced that her cancer had gone into remission in 2017. She went on to star in the successful BH90210 reboot, as well as appear on an episode of Riverdale to honor her late 90210 costar, Luke Perry.
But cancer is insidious, and in 2019, Doherty learned her disease had returned. She kept the news private until early 2020, when she revealed the cancer had metastasized and was now in stage four. “I don’t think I’ve processed it,” she admitted when she shared the news on Good Morning America. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways.”
Kurt Iswarienko Has Been A Source Of Strength For Shannen Doherty
Now married for more than a decade, Iswarienko has stood by his ailing wife’s side every step of the way. And Doherty says she recognizes how her illness has affected her partner just as much as it has affected her.
“For anybody to think that the only person altered by cancer is the person with cancer is incredibly wrong,” she said in a 2019 interview with People. “Cancer alters the people in your life. And it’s shaped both of us. We look at life very differently now.”
The Charmed star also admitted that while her unrelenting illness has been a struggle for both of them, it’s also strengthened their bond as a couple.
“Cancer solidified us,” she told People. “Kurt and I look at each other with such profound respect now. He was my rock in every way possible, and he made sure I knew how much he loved and valued me. We have a much deeper appreciation [for each other] now, and a much larger capacity for forgiveness.”
Iswarienko’s love and support have clearly made a huge impact on Doherty, who recently revealed she went back to work despite her stage four diagnosis. We’re so glad Doherty has such a supportive spouse to help her get through these trying times!