Dec. 3rd, 1973
San Diego, California, USA
Holly Marie Combs' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Holly Marie Combs (born December 3, 1973) is an American actress and television producer, best known for her role as Piper Halliwell on The WB television series Charmed (1998–2006).
Combs was born in San Diego, California. At the time of her birth, her mother, Lauralei Combs (née Berckhem), was sixteen years old and her father was seventeen. Combs' biological parents married, but the two split up after two years, feeling they were too young to make a marriage work. While Combs was learning to walk, she hit her head on a marble table, resulting in a scar over her right eyebrow. She went through many different homes with her mother, near the beach in San Diego often having very little privacy, while her mother attempted to pursue an acting career. When Combs was seven, she and her mother moved to New York City. She was 12 when her mother married her stepfather.
In New York City, Combs attended Beekman Hill Elementary and then the Professional Children's School. When she was 13 years old, Combs landed her first major role in Sweet Hearts Dance (1988), a comedy drama film directed by Robert Greenwald. She portrayed the role of Debs Boon, the daughter of Wiley Boon (played by Don Johnson) and Sandra Boon (played by Susan Sarandon). Her next major role was in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July (1989), a film adaptation of the best selling autobiography of the same name by Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic. Combs portrayed the role of Jenny in the film, which also starred 'Tom Cruise'.
Her other roles included Helena in the 1989 anthology film New York Stories, and Kim Fields in Hal Hartley's Simple Men (1992). Also in 1992, Combs made an appearance in Temístocles López's Chain of Desire as Diana, and in the slasher film Dr. Giggles, for which she portrayed the role of Jennifer Campbell, the 19 year-old daughter of Tom Campbell (played by Cliff De Young and girlfriend of Max Anderson (played by Glenn Quinn).
Combs' first major breakthrough as an actress came at the age of 18, in the CBS television series Picket Fences. She portrayed the role of Kimberly Brock, the daughter of Sheriff Jimmy Brock (played by Tom Skerritt) and Dr. Jill Brock (played by Kathy Baker), for the show's four seasons (1992–96). Combs auditioned for the role in New York. The casting agent told her that she wasn't right for the part because she "didn't have a big enough heart." Combs retorted, "If you're looking for someone with a big heart, what the hell are you doing in New York?". She was later called back and offered the job. Combs won a Young Artist Award for her performance on the show.
During 1996, Combs starred as Sophie DiMatteo in Sins of Silence, a drama/horror television film directed by Sam Pillsbury. The following year, Combs portrayed real-life convicted murderess Diane Zamora in the television film Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder, and appeared in the fact-based drama film Daughters as Alex Morell.
In 1998, Combs landed a lead role in The WB television series Charmed, for which she portrayed Piper Halliwell, the middle of three sisters who discover they are witches. Combs' friend 'Shannen Doherty' portrayed the role of the eldest sister Prue Halliwell, while 'Alyssa Milano' starred as the youngest sister Phoebe Halliwell. Following Doherty's departure after the third season (2000–01), resulting in her character's death, Combs became the eldest sister for the remaining five seasons of the show, and 'Rose McGowan' was cast as Doherty's replacement Paige Matthews in the fourth season (2001–02). Combs became a producer for Charmed from the fifth season (2002–03) and onwards. The series ended its run on May 21, 2006. In 2008, AOL named Combs' character Piper the third greatest witch in television history. Combs is the only cast member to appear in the unaired pilot and every episode of the series.
During Charmed, Combs made a cameo appearance in Ocean's Eleven (2001), and in the romantic comedy film See Jane Date (2003). In 2007, she starred in the Lifetime television film Panic Button as Kathy Alden. In 2010, Combs was cast in the ABC Family television series Pretty Little Liars.
In 1993, Combs married Bryan Travis Smith; they divorced in 1997. She then went on to marry former Charmed key-grip and long-time boyfriend 'David Donoho' (February 14, 2004). They are the parents of three sons: Finley Arthur Donoho, (b. April 26, 2004), Riley Edward Donoho, (b. October 26, 2006) and Kelley James Donoho, (b. May 26, 2009), all born by caesarian section (with Kelley being an emergency C-section). Combs kept her third pregnancy a secret because it was high risk, with a delivery at 35 weeks. In November 2011, she filed for divorce from her second marriage, citing irreconcilable differences.
- (2002) #62 in FHM's 100 sexiest women countdown
- Was the only cast member of Charmed to want the show to continue.
- (1999) Was a bridesmaid at the wedding of 'Alyssa Milano' (qv).
- Is good friends with 'Charisma Carpenter' (qv).
- (May 2000) She (along with actresses 'Tangi Miller' (qv) and 'Alyson Hannigan' (qv)) is a spokesperson for breast cancer, and will appear in a new four page brochure (to be featured in Vogue, Glamour, Self, Mademoiselle, and Women's Sports and Fitness) to raise awareness about the disease.
- Her mother had her when she was only 16.
- Education: Professional Children's School N.Y. Coached by the great Ernie Martin
- Daughter of David Combs and 'Lauralei Combs' (qv).