Jamie McCarthy/Getty
November 09, 2010 07:00 AM

As Shannen Doherty told PEOPLE last March, she was inspired to take on the challenge of Dancing with the Stars after her father suffered a devastating stroke on Christmas Day.

Now, the former 90210 actress, 39, has released a statement with the sad news that her dad, John Thomas Doherty, died on Friday. He was 66.

In her statement, issued through her publicist, Doherty called her father the “greatest man in the world . . . I love him with every inch of my being and cannot imagine life without him.”

John Thomas Doherty worked in a Memphis bank while his wife, Rosa, owned a beauty parlor at the time Shannen was born. (A brother, Sean, is four years older than Shannen.) When the future actress was 7, the family moved to Los Angeles, where John started a transportation business.

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