Holly Marie Combs portrayed Piper Halliwell in every episode from the Unaired Pilot to the Season 8 of Charmed, making her the only actress to appear in every episode with a difference of one episode with Alyssa Milano.

She also portrayed P. Baxter in Season 2 and the various beings that have used her main character's appearance, including Cynda, Terra, Zile, the Zen Master, Cole Turner, Leo Wyatt, Mabel Stillman, Zankou and Pilar.


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.

Personal life


Holly and her husband Mike Ryan.

In February 1993, Combs married Brian "Travis" Smith who she has been dating since 1992. They divorced in 1997.

In May 2003, Holly started dating Charmed key grip, David Donoho. They got married on February 14, 2004. They have three boys: Finley Arthur Donoho (born April 26, 2004), Riley Edward Donoho (born October 26, 2006) and Kelley James Donoho (born, May 26, 2009). Holly filed for divorce for her second marriage on November 11, 2011, citing irreconcilable differences.

Holly got married for a third time on September 7th, 2019 to Mike Ryan. Besides her own children, Holly now has a stepdaughter. The pair started dating in 2016 and took things slow because of their children. However, Mike proposed to Holly only a year later.


Combs was with her friend Shannen Doherty when Doherty was given the pilot script for Charmed. Doherty took Combs along to the audition when Combs said she wanted to take part in the audition. When they did, Combs auditioned for the role of Prue Halliwell and Doherty for Piper Halliwell, apparently because Spelling still saw them as little girls, but after some time he decided to give Doherty the part of Prue, and Combs the part of Piper. Alyssa Milano and Combs both became producers for Charmed during the fifth season. For the first three seasons of Charmed (debuted in 1998 and was a hit TV series, which ended in May 2006), Combs played the second oldest of the three sisters. When the eldest, Doherty, left after the third season and Rose McGowan joined the cast, Combs played the eldest sister for the remaining five seasons of the show, even though she was the youngest of the four actresses.

Holly Marie Combs is also widely known for her multi-award-winning role as Kimberly Brock in "Picket Fences".

Combs portrayed Ella Montgomery (the mother of one of the main characters, Aria) in the Freeform series Pretty Little Liars from 2010-2017.



  • Walls of Glass (1985)
  • Sweet Hearts Dance (1988)
  • New York Stories (1989)
  • Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
  • Hotel Terror (1990)
  • Nobody Can Hear You Scream (1991)
  • Simple Men (1992)
  • Dr. Giggles (1992)
  • Chain of Desire (1992)
  • A Perfect Stranger (1994)
  • Island City (1994)
  • A Reason to Believe (1995)
  • Speed Dating (1995)
  • Evil in the Basement (1995)
  • Sins Of Silence (1996)
  • Our Mother's Murder (1997)
  • Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder (1997)
  • Ocean's Eleven (2001)
  • Loomis (2001)
  • See Jane Date (2003)
  • Panic Button (2007)
  • Love's Complicated (2016)


  • The Guiding Light (1990)
  • As the World Turns (1991, 1994)
  • Rockenwagner (1991)
  • Mr Right (1992)
  • Picket Fences (1992-1996)
  • Friends for Life (1996)
  • Relativity (1997)
  • Charmed (1998–2006)
  • Mistresses (2009)
  • Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017)
  • Grey's Anatomy (2019)

Reality Television

  • Off the Map With Shannen & Holly - Great American Country (2015)


  • Charmed (2002-2006)
  • Mistresses (2009)


  • Mistresses (2009)

Image Gallery

Small triquetra The Holly Marie Combs article has a Photo Gallery.

Opening Credits

For the first 3 seasons of 'Charmed', Holly Marie Combs had third billing, therefore was credited between Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano in the opening credits. In Season 4, Holly acquired second billing and was the last of the three main actresses to be credited for the rest of the show's run; her credit reading "and Holly Marie Combs as 'Piper'"


  • Holly has a scar on her right eyebrow from when she hit a marble table at the age of three.
  • Holly is Protestant.
  • Holly is 5 feet 2 inches (157 cm) tall.
  • Both Alyssa and Holly married a David, although Holly divorced her David in 2011.
  • Holly Combs has smoked since she was fifteen, but only when she was nervous. She quit when she was pregnant with Finley.
  • Holly has two younger half-sisters through her father.
  • Her favorite color is blue.
  • Her favorite books are The Garden of Eden (Ernest Hemingway) and Practical Magic (Alice Hoffman).
  • Her favorite band is Remy Zero.
  • Holly kept her third pregnancy a secret due to it being high risk with a delivery at 35 weeks.
  • All three of her sons were born on the 26th and all by C-section, Kelly by emergency C-section, at 35 weeks.
  • Holly has four tattoos: she has a rose on her right shoulder blade, a butterfly on the inside of her right wrist, an Anglo-Saxon design around her left wrist, and a Tribal design around her right wrist
  • When asked on Twitter if people actually called her Piper in real life, Holly answered: "'Pipe down Piper' is sadly one of my [ex-]husband's favorite sayings." However, she tweeted that he didn't tell her this when she started boxing.
  • Says that the Glinda costume in "All Halliwell's Eve" was "the worst costume ever". Holly says there's a Polaroid of her wearing the dress, laying in the grass with the dress all over her.
  • Holly suffers from vitiligo in both of her hands. It's quite visible in some pictures and episodes of Charmed.
  • Holly refuses to watch any of the eight season finales of Charmed because she has a superstition that something bad will happen, even now (nine years after the show had finished) she has not seen a full season finale.
  • She loves country music.                                                                          
  • Holly enjoys horror movies.

Holly with her Charmed-family, Drew Fuller and Brian Krause.


Holly with Charisma.

  • She remains best friends with Shannen Doherty
  • She remains good friends with Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause, Drew Fuller, Wes Ramsey, Finola Hughes, Charisma Carpenter and Kaley Cuoco.
  • Holly is the only cast member to have appeared in every Charmed episode.
  • Holly's stunt double in Charmed is Nancy Thurston.
  • Nearly every season of Charmed, for promotional photos, Holly is photographed by the doorstep.
  • In her teenage years, Holly was quite rebellious. She was often mean to her mom and was punished by her teachers. Holly once said, "Black clothes, black makeup, I guess I was an angry teen."
  • Holly's favorite Charmed episodes are Awakened and Sword and the City. She also enjoyed the Unaired Pilot with Lori Rom.
  • Holly currently uses an iPhone. She used to use BlackBerry.
  • During season 6 Alyssa called Brad Kern and said that Holly was pregnant, his reply was "she's a season too late." This is why Chris was created and became Piper and Leo's son who traveled from the future instead of Wyatt.
  • Although she portrays the second oldest and oldest sister on Charmed Holly was the youngest of the four leading actresses. Holly is younger than Rose McGowan by about 3 months in real-life.
  • She stated in an interview that she has dinner with Rose a couple of times a year and Alyssa lives just down the street from her.
  • Her hobbies include; Gardening and Horseback Riding.
  • Her Pets:- 3 horses - Jake, Jezebel and Jesse. 4 fish - all unnamed. 4 birds - only two of which are named, Lollie and Flower. 6 dogs - Travis, Hugo, Sugar, Thunder, Lola and Fly Guy. 2 Cats - Lou and Selena. 2 rabbits - Thumper and Jack. The cats and rabbits are the only pets that live indoors. In 2010, one of her pets, a cat named Blue, was attacked by a Coyote.
  • Holly stated she still has the coat Piper worn as the Angel of Death.
  • Holly, along with Shannen Doherty were bridesmaids at the wedding of friend and co-star Alyssa Milano in 1999.
  • Filmed an unaired pilot called Rockenwagner.
  • She (along with actresses Tangi Miller and Alyson Hannigan) is a spokesperson for breast cancer, she appeared in a four-page brochure (featured in Vogue, Glamour, Self, Mademoiselle, and Women's Sports and Fitness) to raise awareness about the disease.
  • Turned down a role in The Craft to do Sins of Silence. Ironically theme song for the show Charmed is the same song as featured in the soundtrack of the movie. The movie also had the same theme as Charmed which was witchcraft.
  • Has considered removing her tattoos.

Brian Krause and Holly Marie Combs in 2019.

  • In The Men of Charmed Documentary on the Limited Edition Book of Shadows DVD set, Holly stated that during the final season when Brian Krause wasn't around it was like losing her right arm.
  • Agreed to her likeness being used for the Charmed comics in early 2010.
  • On October 7, 2010, the 12th anniversary of the first episode of Charmed, Holly tweeted "I will never forget the thrill I got watching the credits for the first time with Shannen. It was a feeling I had never felt before or since."
  • Her work on Charmed won her sixth place in Huffington Post's Top 10 Best Witches of All Time category in 2016. She also won sixth place in E! Online's Top 10 Most Bitchen' Witches category in 2011.
  • When asked which character she would chose from the show. Holly answered Kyra.[1][2]
  • Holly did a quiz on BuzzFeed. Her result was Piper Halliwell.[3]
  • On October 10, 2019, Holly and Alyssa guest starred on Grey's Anatomy for ABC's Cast from the Past week, reuniting with Krista Vernoff and Andy Reaser, both of whom worked on Charmed as writers. In the episode, Holly and Alyssa again played sisters, whose other sister was brain-dead and they were forced to decide whether to keep her on life support or pull the plug.
    • On Charmed, the actresses' characters have the initials PH. On Grey's Anatomy, their characters have the initials HP.
    • Holly plays Heidi and Alyssa plays Haylee. The third sister is called Heather and might be a nod to the 1988 movie Heathers, which starred Shannen Doherty.
    • Coincidentally, Eric Dane (Jason Dean) was a regular on the show between 2006-2012.


External links