Following guest appearances on shows such as 21 Jump Street, MacGyver, and Quantum Leap, Priestley landed a recurring role as an orphan on the short-lived sitcom Sister Kate in 1989. In the fall of 1990, Priestley starred in Beverly Hills, 90210—a primetime drama created by super producer Aaron Spelling. He played Brandon Walsh, a wholesome teenager who moves to Beverly Hills from Minnesota with his parents and twin sister Brenda, played by Shannen Doherty. During the show’s run, it tackled numerous issues, such as sex, peer pressure, drinking, and drug abuse. In 1993, Priestley earned his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama for his portrayal of Brandon, a nomination he also received in 1995.
While on the series, Priestley appeared in various films, including Tombstone (1993), Calendar Girl (1993), and Love and Death on Long Island (1997) with John Hurt, the latter of which received mostly positive reviews. Priestley also tried his hand at directing, taking the reins of several episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 and several music videos, including the one for the song “The Old Apartment” by the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies in 1996. Priestley left the show in 1998 and in 1999 appeared in the cable television movie, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, which he also directed and executive produced.
Priestley directed a documentary about Barenaked Ladies entitled Barenaked in America. In 2000, Priestley appeared on stage in the London production of Side Man, the Tony Award-winning play by Warren Leight. He played Clifford, the son of a jazz musician, and an alcoholic. Edie Falco of The Sopranos fame played his mother. That same year, he returned to his old television stomping grounds — Beverly Hills, 90210 — for the series finale. In addition to acting, Priestley pursued a career as a race car driver. Priestley starred as the title character in the 2010 Canadian dark comedy Call Me Fitz.
- She Came In Through The Bathroom Window • And Did It... My Way • The Time Has Come Today
Things That Go Bang In The Night • Must Be a Guy Thing • Angels We Have Heard On High • Fade In, Fade Out
Bleeding Hearts • Jobbed • With This Ring • Sweating It Out • If I Had a Hammer • Graduation Day: Part 1
Graduation Day: Part 2
- Brother of actor Justine Priestley.
- Priestley was a producer on Beverly Hills, 90210 for the duration of seasons 6 and 7. He was an executive producer during Season 8