Model-turned-actress Brooke Shields initially received recognition after portraying a young New Orleans prostitute named Violet in the movie Pretty Baby (1978) and Emmeline in the box office hit The Blue Lagoon (1980, won a Razzie Award for Worst Actress). Shields even received more recognition when she was cast as Susan Keane Browne in the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan (1996). Her spectacular performance awarded her with a Favorite Female in a New Series at the People's Choice Awards in 1997 and she received nominations at the Golden Globe for Best Performance in a TV-Series Comedy/Musical in 1997 and 1998. Shields' trademark eyebrows are also well remembered as Nina in the drama The Weekend, for which she was honored with a Citation of Excellence for Ensemble Cast Performance at the New American Cinema Awards in 2000.
On stage, Shields' outstanding performance as rebellious Betty Rizzo in the Broadway musical production of Grease handed her critical accolades at the Theater World Awards in 1995.
Off screen, 6 foot tall Shields was listed as one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1996 and 2000 and one of the most intriguing people in 1978, 1980 and 1996. As for her romantic life, Shields had dated several men including Prince Albert of Monaco, actor Woody Harrelson, actor Dean Cain, singer Michael Jackson, actor Liam Neeson, and actor John Travolta. She was once married to pro tennis player Andre Agassi, but she is now the wife of writer and producer Chris Henchy.
Childhood and Family:
In New York, Brooke Christa Shields was born on May 31, 1965. Her father, Frank Shields (Revlon cosmetics executive) and mother, Teri Shields (model and Brooke's manager), divorced. A blend of English, Italian and German, Brooke has one half sister named Marina Shield (older).
11-month young Brooke, whose nickname is Brookie, became one of the most beautiful babies in America when her mother took her to appear on camera as a model for the Ivory Snow Baby ads. A runway model by age three, eleven-year-old Brooke was the first child model at the Eileen Ford agency. During the 1980s, Brooke appeared on more than 300 magazines covers internationally and became the youngest model ever to grace the cover of Cosmopolitan. While working as a model, young Brooke also added acting to her endeavors.
Graduating from the same school as actress Mira Sorvino, Dwight Englewood High School in Englewood, New Jersey, Brooke held back her acting career in order to continue her studies at Princeton University where she graduated in 1988.
Off screen, Brooke married pro tennis player Andre Agassi on April 19, 1997, in Pebble Beach, California, but the couple divorced on April 1999 in Las Vegas. She married writer/producer Chris Henchy (born on March 23, 1964) in April 2001. Brooke is now the mother of one daughter, Rowan (born in 2003). During her off time, Brooke, who has a tattoo of her husband's name on her ankle (Chris), spends most of her time writing poetry.
The Blue Lagoon
Brooke was launched by her mother as a TV commercial model for Ivory Snow soap at 11 months of age and subsequently worked as a runway model and appeared in TV advertisements for Richard Avedon's Colgate and Breck shampoo. She also worked as a model for the Eileen Ford agency by the time when she was 11.
While pursuing her modeling career, Shields also tried her hand in acting by playing a role in the TV movie After the Fall (1974). She then debuted on the wide screen in Communion (1976) before taking part in The Prince of Central Park (1977, TV) and King of the Gypsies (1978).
Shields' break out role eventually came when she was cast as juvenile New Orleans prostitute Violet in Louis Malle's 1978 film Pretty Baby. Her controversial nude scene helped promote the film. Commenting about her role, she said, "It's only a role. I'm not going to grow up to be a prostitute. If I were in a Walt Disney movie people would never ask if the part would affect my life."
Afterward, Shields teamed up with Charles Durning in Tilt (1979), playing pinball expert Brenda Louise Davenport, then had a leading role in Wanda Nevada (1979) and costarred with her idol George Burns in Just You and Me, Kid (1979).
In the year of 1980, Shields received another big break when she won a leading role in box office hit The Blue Lagoon (opposite Christopher Atkins). The film, a tale about inexperience and young love, capitalized on the titillating frolics between Shields and Atkins amidst tropical island scenery and partially clad bodies. Though Shields was chosen as The Worst Actress at the Razzie Awards for her role, she acquired worldwide fame.
That same year, Shields again drew the public's attention through her provocative ads for Calvin Kline Jeans. Shields emerged on the TV screen and whispered seductively, "Wanna know what comes between me and my Calvins... nothing." This was in contrast to other ads where she advised young girls to desist from sex or campaigned against smoking.
Trying to make a name for herself in more serious roles, Shields played the character of Jade in Endless Love (1981) and Dale in Sahara (1983). After little success with the roles, Brooke then held back on her acting career and decided to continue her studies. While in college, Shields acted in the Off-Broadway repertory production of Marguerite Duras' The Eden Cinema (1986). Upon her graduation, Shields returned to perform in the films The Diamond Trap (1988), Speed Zone (1989) and Brenda Starr (1989).
During the first half of the 1990s, Shields could be seen in Backstreet Dreams (1990), Running Wild (1992), Freaked (1993) and The Seventh Floor (1994). She also worked for such small screen projects as I Can Make You Love Me (1993), Amore Americano, Un (1994) and playing Dr. Beth Taft in Nothing Lasts Forever (1995).
On stage, Shields played a role in Love Letters (1992, along with David Keith) and reprised her role in Love Letters (costarring Martin Hewitt) at the New Mexico Rep in 1993. In 1995, Shields won critical acclaim at the Theater World Awards for her portrayal of disobedient Betty Rizzo in the Broadway musical Grease.
Entering the second half of the 1990s, Shields made impressive guest appearances in a two-part episode of the NBC sitcom Friends (1996), portraying a fanatical soap opera fan pursuing actor Joey Tribiani (Matt LeBlanc), then played Mimi Wolverton in Freeway (1996) before being cast as inexperienced Susan Keane Browne in the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan (1996). Through her role as a single career woman struggling to reconstruct her life following her break-up with her rich fiancé, Shields won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Female in 1997. Additionally, she received nominations at the Golden Globes for Best Performance in a TV-Series-Comedy/Musical in 1997 and 1998.
During her four-year involvement with the show, Shields was also kept busy with the documentary film Scratching the Surface (along with Bridget Fonda and Whitney Houston), playing Cyndee Lafrance in The Almost Perfect Bank Robbery (1998, TV), as Lily in The Misadventures of Margaret (1998), portraying Nina in The Weekend (1999), playing the role of Sam Donager in Black and White (1999, costarring Robert Downey Jr. and Claudia Schiffer) and as Buckley Hale-Windsor in The Bachelor (1999, opposite Renee Zellweger and Chris O'Donnell). Shield's bright performance in The Weekend garnered her with a Citation of Excellence for Ensemble Cast Performance at the New American Cinema Awards in 2000.
Entering the new millennium, Shields added to her acting resume films like After Sex (2000) and Mariti in affitto (2004). She also came to the tube with What Makes a Family (2001), Widows (2002), Gone But Not Forgotten (2004), and lent her voice for Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids (2003).
Shields performed in the L.A. stage production of The Vagina Monologues (2001) and appeared in the Broadway production of Cabaret (2001, replaced Gina Gershon).
Recently, Shield did voice work for The Easter Egg Adventure (2005, as Horrible Harriet Hare) and played character Anne Jamieson in Bob the Butler (2005).
- New American Cinema: Citation of Excellence for Ensemble Cast Performance, The Weekend, 2000
- People's Choice: Favorite Female in a New Series, Suddenly Susan, 1997
- Theater World: Grease, 1995