When we think about celebrities, we tend to imagine large bank accounts and even bigger houses. Most of the time, our fantasized perspective of what it’s like to be famous is often skewed by the assumption that celebs’ million-dollar fortunes can never run out. Of course, numerous news reports of bankruptcy over the years have brought us back to the sobering reality that celebrities can experience financial trouble just like the rest of us. Still, it’s surprising when one who comes from wealth admits to being broke. Unfortunately, this has been the case for acting veteran Tori Spelling.
Spelling was born on May 16, 1973 in Los Angeles, California. Back in the day, her parents were considered the most influential people in Hollywood. Her father, the famous Aaron Spelling, was the television and film producer responsible for many popular hits of the ’80s and ’90s, including Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place. Tori’s mother is famous author and socialite Candy Spelling.
At age 6, Spelling was provided with an acting coach by her father and took acting lessons throughout her childhood. She eventually landed guest spots on several popular sitcoms including The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and Saved by the Bell. She attended Beverly Hills High School and completed her education at Harvard Westlake in 1991. During her time in high school, her father gave her the role of Donna Martin on Beverly Hills 90210 at the age of 17, a show that he co-produced through his company, Spelling Television.
Spelling portrayed the role for the series’ entire ten seasons from 1990 to 2000, and the popularity of her Donna Martin character helped her land roles in several made-for-TV films in the ’90s including Co-Ed Call Girl, A Friend to Die For, Mother May I Sleep With Danger, The House of Yes, and Trick. After that era, Spelling’s success as an actress slowed down a bit, and it was during that time that she met actor Charlie Shanian. They married in July 2004 only to divorce two years later in 2006.
It was then that Spelling fell in love with actor Dean McDermott in 2005 while filming the made-for-TV movie Mind Over Murder⏤despite the fact she was still married to Shanian. Coincidentally, McDermott was also married to someone else, Mary Jo Eustace. Both Spelling and McDermott broke it off with their respective partners and went on to marry each other soon after.
In 2006, Spelling starred in the 10-episode VH1 sitcom So Notorious, a parody loosely based on her life and public image. In 2007, she and McDermott purchased a bed and breakfast in California called The Chateau La Rue, where they began shooting a reality show called Tori and Dean: Inn Love. After they sold the bed and breakfast, the couple continued producing reality TV content with the spinoffs Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood (2007) and Tori and Dean: Storibook Weddings (2011).
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While their reality TV shows aired, Spelling also found work in other places. She landed a role in the comedy short Hoarders: Untold Stories Tori and voiced the Pirate Princess in the animated film Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Spelling and McDermott then returned for the reality show Tori and Dean: Cabin Fever on HGTV. The show followed Spelling, McDermott, and their children moving into a lakeside cabin in Canada. During this time, Spelling also starred in the ABC Family TV series Mystery Girls alongside former 90210 star Jennie Garth.
After 2014, Spelling’s momentum seemed to stop. Her reality TV days had come to an end, leaving her with just a few projects throughout the year to provide necessary income. In 2016, she starred in the remake of Mother May I Sleep With Danger? alongside Pineapple Express star James Franco and appeared in the 2018 made-for-TV movie The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. Outside of acting, Spelling has created her own line of fashion jewelry that she sells on the Home Shopping Network and also written three books: Tori Telling, Mommywood, and Uncharted Territori.
Unfortunately, those ventures were not enough to keep Spelling and McDermott from experiencing financial hardship. In October 2013, Spelling announced that the couple was broke, prompting her to borrow money from her mother just to pay the rent. According to Spelling herself, the actress claimed to have lost every dollar she made from acting on failed real estate investments and extravagant purchases, which at the time was an estimated $15 to $20 million.
She and McDermott were also hit with numerous lawsuits for unpaid credit card debt and taxes, which altogether formed a sum of over $600,000. When asked about her exact net worth, Spelling replied, “I don’t have one million dollars. We had some income here and there, but no savings apart from our retirement accounts.”
What is Tori Spelling’s net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Spelling shares a small fortune of $1.5 million with husband McDermott. If you split that down the middle, it means that Spelling’s individual net worth is a mere $500,000 and change. It’s actually quite sad, given that she had a name in Hollywood long before she was even born. Currently, her mother Candy Spelling is worth $600 million following the death of her husband Aaron in 2006, but it doesn’t seem like she’s planning on giving any money to her daughter anytime soon.
At the age of 48, Spelling is just one name from the generation of ’90s teen stars who weren’t able to evolve past their iconic roles and become major players behind the scenes. Normally, there would be no chance for redemption at Spelling’s age, but nostalgia for that generation has returned and been at an all-time high for the last few years, prompting multiple reboots including Fuller House and Roseanne. Even fellow ’90s star Alyssa Milano⏤who is also 48 years old⏤is developing a Who’s the Boss? reboot with Tony Danza. With any luck, Spelling may still have a chance to rebuild her fortune and career if she can find a way to reconnect with younger audiences.
Until then, Spelling and McDermott are basically on the same page as many of the rest of us: modestly trying to make ends meet.