The 90210 alum has a kindred spirit in her character in the latest Karen Kingsbury novel film adaptation--a mother who loves her kids above all else.
- Posted on May 12, 2016
What is actress Jennie Garth up to these days? If you’re a fan of writer Karen Kingsbury or the Hallmark channel, you’re probably going to be interested in the answer.
Garth, who rocketed to fame as Kelly Taylor on the show about the 90s’ favorite zip code, 90210, has the starring role in A Time to Dance, the TV movie based on the novel by New York Times and Guideposts best-selling author Karen Kingsbury. The film premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries this Sunday at 9/8 p.m.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
A Time to Dance tells the story of seemingly perfect couple Abby (Garth) and John Reynolds (Dan Payne), two high school sweethearts who get married, have kids, and along the way, lose their connection as husband and wife. They decide to throw in the towel, but before they can break the news to their grown children, their oldest daughter announces her engagement—along with the news that she plans to get married on her parents’ 22nd anniversary.
Abby and John agree to delay the news of their split until after the wedding in order to avoid tainting their daughter’s special day. “Life interrupts their plan to divorce,” Garth tells Guideposts.org. “And time allows them to revisit memories and remember why they fell in love.”
Garth describes the personal struggle her character went through after sacrificing her own ambitions for her children:
“Abby had sort of given up on her life [ambition] in order to raise her kids and be her husband’s wife,” she explains. “She took a backseat to her husband, who is a prominent high school football coach in their community. [Now] she wants to have her own story, too.”
A mother of three daughters ages 18, 13, and 9, Garth knows what it's like to prioritize family. She also says she felt drawn to this project because the faith element in Kingsbury’s novels reminded her of her father, a man of strong faith. “It was a calling to do the project for [him],” she says.
Now that the film has wrapped, Garth has a little down time for her other passions.
In the past couple of months, she’s vacationed with her family, grown vegetables in her own garden, and devoted time to her photography website. Other days might find her whipping up homemade recipes for her hubby, hand making crafts with her daughters, or even crocheting “matchy matchy sweaters” for her Miki pups, Roxy and Pinky.
She also volunteers with the American Heart Association--another calling based on her close relationship with her father, who passed away in 2008 after years of battling heart disease. She and her daughters also work with the organization Feeding America: “We go down to the local food bank,” Garth says. “The girls pack boxes of food; they love doing that."
The joy she and her children find in giving back is something she hopes all parents can experience with their kids.
"I wish everyone had the opportunity to do something like that on a regular basis—to do some sort of neighborhood outreach or have some way of giving back," she says. "It puts things in perspective for your kids."