Gabrielle Anne Carteris

Sherman Oaks, CA, United States

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Gabrielle Anne Carteris

Current Location:: Sherman Oaks, CA, United States
Birthplace: Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Private and Private
Wife of Private
Mother of Private and Private
Sister of Private

Managed by: Eilat Gordin Levitan
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

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About Gabrielle Anne Carteris

Despite her reputation, life has not always gone according to plan for Carteris. She and her twin brother, James, now a children's clothing designer, were born in Phoenix, the only children of restaurateur Ernest Carteris and his wife, Marlene, a Realtor. Six months later the marriage ended, and Marlene took the kids to San Francisco, where she opened a children's clothing boutique. Her parents, Sidney and Ray, moved in to help raise the children, and Gabrielle became especially close to her grandfather, who died when she was 9. "I still cry when I think about Sidney," she says. "He was a tremendous human being. When my daughter was born, I looked at her, and I knew that he lives on in her."

Although Ernest rejoined the family briefly when Gabrielle and James were teenagers, their parents never reconciled, and Gabrielle resented what she saw as her father's earlier abandonment of them. "It's only now I can say we are really friends," she says. Just recently, she, Charlie and Kelsey flew to New-York City, where Ernest manages a restaurant in Bloomingdale's department store, to introduce him to his new granddaughter.

What might be termed the 90210 phase of Carteris's youth began when she entered Redwood High School in Marin County, Calif. Until then she had been a loner, a voracious bookworm whose only other passion was ballet. "I'd never had a social life with my peers," she says. "So I got into parties and experimentation"—with drugs and alcohol. Jim Carteris laughs at his sister's admission. "Who didn't?" he says. "That's consistent with being a teenager. Gaby is probably the most levelheaded person I know. She had a good reputation with everybody—and we had a school of 3,000 people."

"I was a very good student," Carteris says. "Like Andrea." Sensible Andrea, though, would have never become a mime. Gabrielle did, at 16, touring Europe with an eight-person troupe. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., in 1983, she began performing in regional theater. TV roles followed, including a brief stint as a runaway teen on the NBC soap Another World.

Then, in May 1990, a matchmaking friend suggested that Isaacs, who had been Carteris's stockbroker in Manhattan for three years, lake her out on a date. "Things progressed pretty quickly after that," says Isaacs. So did Carteris's career. Three months later, she was invited to enroll in 90210's fictional West Beverly Hills High School. A bicoastal romance ensued, until Carteris put her fool down. "She's very direct," says Isaacs. "She said, 'The commuting has to stop.' I had to think about whether I wanted this thing to work." In early 1991, Isaacs moved to L.A. to join her, and they wed on May 3, 1992, in a Jewish ceremony at Santa Barbara's Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel attended by all her 90210 cast mates, with the notable exception of Shannen Doherty, with whom Carteris is not close. "I'm sad for her," she says of her cast mate's much-publicized problems. "I think she has a painful road. She's young, I know, but youth is not an excuse."

She still regards the rest of the ensemble as her surrogate family. She is pals with Jason Priestley and Luke Perry, and her closest girlfriend is Jennie Garth, who has already dropped by to see Kelsey. Loyally to the cast kept Carteris working throughout her pregnancy; still, she says, "the last couple of shows were very emotional, very hard to do."

Especially unnerving was the episode in which Andrea finally gives birth, through a cesarean section, to a sickly baby weighing only 2½ lbs. That show was filmed in March, when Carteris was in her seventh month. Her obstetrician, Ruth Cousineau, had warned her that, given Carteris's petite 5'1" frame and the robust fetus she carried, a C-section might be necessary. To preclude that possibility, Dr. Cousineau, to Gabrielle's great relief, decided to induce labor a full week before Carteris's May 17 due date.

At 12:30 a.m. on May 11, at Cedars-Sinai, Carteris was given a shot of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin, and soon her contractions began. At 10 a.m., after Carteris's water broke, Dr. Cousineau prescribed an epidural anesthetic—to be injected into the spinal column to block sensation from the waist down. After receiving the epidural, Carteris felt comfortable enough to entertain visitors, including her mother, who had flown in from San Francisco, and her husband's mother, Hilda, and stepfather, John Whitby, from Pennsylvania. Isaacs shooed them all out around 8 p.m., "so I could be with my wife," he says. That also happened to be when 90210 came on.

When Kelsey finally poked her head out, "there was a real silence," says her mother. "I didn't cry then. I was really happy and proud—and worn out. This was the greatest moment in my life." Two days later, she says, "we were at home. It was 6 in the morning, and I was singing to her. I thought, 'Oh, my God, she's everything in the world.' And that's when I started to cry."

Kelsey does most of the wailing these days—whenever she's hungry or needs changing. In mid-July it's back to work for Carteris—with Kelsey in tow—as 90210 begins its fifth season. For its first working parent the show has built a nursery.

"I feel very blessed," says Carteris. "There are so many women who have to go to work right away and have to leave their child, and I get to go to work and watch my daughter grow up. It's a tribute to the people I work with."

In a world fraught with perils that have left her feeling, at limes, "very helpless and very frightened," she says, she has no fears about bringing up Kelsey. "My child has the potential to truly make a difference in this world," says 90210's most relentless optimist. "Without her, it's one less hope."


JOHN HANNAH in Los Angeles

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Gabrielle Anne Carteris's Timeline

January 2, 1961
Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States