OWN
07/30/2015 08:37 am ET Updated Jul 30, 2015

'Sharknado' Star Bases His Career Decisions On 1 Important Factor

After four decades in Hollywood, he's still just a regular guy.

"Sharknado" star Ian Ziering has had a lengthy career in Hollywood. Before he got involved with the murderous-shark-cyclone franchise, the 51-year-old actor was best known for portraying "90210" heartthrob Steve Sanders, but these gigs aren't Ziering's only claims to fame. He had a role on "Guiding Light," appeared in shows like "The Love Boat" and "CSI: NY," and did voice work for both video games and animated projects like "Mighty Ducks" and "Spider-Man." In all, Ziering's been working steadily since the age of 12, and yet, he's remained grounded throughout his decades in the entertainment industry.

Speaking with "Oprah: Where Are They Now -- Extra," Ziering opens up how he has managed to stay so down-to-earth, crediting his parents with teaching him important lessons that have shaped him into the hardworking family man he is today.

"I stay grounded by remembering all the things that my parents taught me," Ziering says in the above video. "My mom always taught me manners; she was always very insistent that I [say], 'Ladies first' and open the door and be a gentleman. My father taught me a very strong work ethic; Dad worked three jobs raising his family."

Manners and working hard were priorities in the Ziering household, but, as Ziering says, nothing was more important than family.

"Where I grew up, family was the most important thing, irrespective of what anyone was doing for a living," he says. "It's all for the family."

This is a priority that Ziering has carried with him into his adult life, as a married man with two children of his own. While some celebrities may make decisions designed to catapult their star status, Ziering focuses on his loved ones.

"I don't do anything unless it benefits my family, or unless I can share it with them," he says. "They're my 'why' for everything."

It's a strategy that Ziering has seen pay off.

"I've got so much joy, it's coming out of my ears right now," he says, smiling. "I couldn't possibly forget that."

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" returns to OWN on Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET, beginning September 19.

 

Also On HuffPost:

PHOTO GALLERY
When TV Stars Reunite!
CONVERSATIONS