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Brooke Shields Bio
Brooke Shields (born May 31, 1965) is an American actress and model. She was initially a child model and gained critical acclaim at age 12 for her leading role in Louis Malle’s film Pretty Baby (1978), in which she played a child prostitute in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century. Shields garnered widespread notoriety in the role, and she continued to model into her late teenage years and starred in several dramas in the 1980s, including The Blue Lagoon (1980), and Franco Zeffirelli’s Endless Love (1981).
In 1983, Shields suspended her career as a model to attend Princeton University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages. In the 1990s, Shields returned to acting and appeared in minor roles in films. She also starred in the NBC sitcoms Suddenly Susan (1996-2000), for which she received two Golden Globe nominations, and Lipstick Jungle (2008-2009). In 2017, Shields returned to NBC with a major recurring role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in the show’s 19th season. Since 2014, Shields has voiced Beverly Goodman in the Adult Swim animated series Mr. Pickles.
Shields began her career as a model when she was 11 months old in 1966. Her first job was for Ivory Soap, when she was shot by Francesco Scavullo. She continued as a successful child model with model agent Eileen Ford, who, in her Lifetime Network biography, stated that she started her children’s division just for Shields. In 1978, when she was 12-years-old, Shields played a child prostitute in the controversial film Pretty Baby. Eileen Ford, founder of the Ford Modeling Agency, said of Brooke Shields: “She is a professional child and unique. She looks like an adult and thinks like one.”
In 1980, the 14-year-old Shields was the youngest fashion model ever to appear on the cover of Vogue. Later that same year, Shields appeared in controversial print and TV ads for Calvin Klein jeans. The TV ad included her saying the famous tagline, “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” Brooke Shields ads would help catapult Klein’s career to super-designer status.
From 1981 to 1983, Shields, her mother, photographer Garry Gross, and Playboy Press were involved in litigation in the New York City Courts over the rights to photographs her mother had signed away to Gross (when dealing with models who are minors, a parent or legal guardian must sign such a release form while other agreements are subject to negotiation). Gross was the photographer of a controversial set of nude images taken in 1975 of a then ten-year-old Brooke Shields with the consent of her mother, Teri Shields, for the Playboy Press publication Sugar ‘n’ Spice. The images portray Shields nude, standing and sitting in a bathtub, wearing makeup and covered in oil. The courts ruled in favor of the photographer due to a strange twist in New York law. It would have been otherwise had Brooke Shields been considered a child “performer” rather than a model.
By the age of 16, Shields had become one of the most recognizable faces in the United States, because of her dual career as a provocative fashion model and child actress. Time magazine reported in its February 9, 1981 cover story that her day rate as a model was $10,000. In 1983, Shields appeared on the cover of the September issue of Paris Vogue, the October and November issues of American Vogue and the December edition of Italian Vogue. During that period Shields became a regular at New York City’s nightclub Studio 54. In 2009, a picture of a naked Brooke Shields taken when she was 10 and included in a work by Richard Prince, Spiritual America, created a row. It was removed from an exhibition at the Tate Modern after a warning from the police.
Shields’ first major film role was as a lead actress in Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby (1978), a movie in which she played a child named Violet who lived in a brothel (in which there were numerous nude scenes). She was only 12 years old when the film was released, and controversy regarding child pornography arose. This was followed by a slightly less controversial and less notable film, Wanda Nevada (1979).
After two decades of movies, her best known films are still arguably The Blue Lagoon (1980), which included nude scenes between teenage lovers on a tropical island (Shields later testified before a U.S. Congressional inquiry that older body doubles were used in some of them), and Endless Love (1981). The MPAA initially rated Endless Love with an X rating. The film was re-edited to earn an R rating. She won the People’s Choice Award in the category of Favorite Young Performer in four consecutive years from 1981 to 1984. In 1998, she played a lesbian, Lily, in The Misadventures of Margaret.
In 2001, Lifetime aired the film What Makes a Family, starring Shields and Cherry Jones in a true story of a lesbian couple who fought the adoption laws of Florida.
Shields began her television career at an early age. In 1980, she was the youngest guest star to ever appear on The Muppet Show, in which she and the Muppets put on their own version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. She was also the youngest person to host ABC’s Fridays, a Saturday Night Live-like sketch comedy show, in 1981. In one episode of the popular comedy sitcom Friends, Shields played Joey‘s stalker. This role led directly to her being cast in the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan, in which she starred from 1996 until 2000, and which earned a People’s Choice Award in the category of Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series for her, in 1997, and two Golden Globe nominations.
In the early 1980s, she starred in the USPHS PSA sponsored by the American Lung Association as an initiative that VIPs should become examples and advocates of non-smoking. In the mid-1980s, Brooke began her support of the USO by touring with Bob Hope.
Shields made a couple of guest appearances on That ’70s Show. She played Pam Burkhart, Jackie’s (Mila Kunis) mother, who later was briefly involved with Donna’s (Laura Prepon) father (played by Don Stark). Shields left That ’70s Show when her character was written out. Shields recorded the narration for the Sony/BMG recording of The Runaway Bunny, a concerto for violin, orchestra, and reader, by Glen Roven. It was performed by the Royal Philharmonic and Ittai Shapira.
In the late 2000s, Shields guest-starred on shows like FX’s Nip/Tuck and CBS’ Two and a Half Men. In 2005, Shields appeared in a season-two episode of HBO’s Entourage, entitled “Blue Balls Lagoon.” In 2007, she made a guest appearance on Disney‘s Hannah Montana, playing Susan Stewart, Miley and Jackson’s mother, who died in 2004. In 2008, she returned in the primetime drama Lipstick Jungle. The series ended a year later.
Starting in 2010, she made guest appearances on The Middle as the mother of a brood of terror-inducing children and the nemesis of Frankie Heck (played by Patricia Heaton). She also appeared as a featured celebrity in NBC’s genealogy documentary reality series, Who Do You Think You Are?, where it was revealed that, through her father’s ancestry, she is the distant cousin (many generations removed) of King Louis XIV of France, and thus a descendant of both Saint Louis and Henry IV of France.
Starting in 2013, Shields has been an occasional guest co-host in the 9:00 hour of Today on NBC.
Shields has appeared in several Broadway theater productions, including the musicals Grease (1994 revival) as Betty Rizzo, the 1998 revival of Cabaret (in 2001), the 2003 revival of Wonderful Town (in 2004–2005) and Chicago. She also performed in Chicago in London’s West End. She took over the role of Morticia Addams in the Broadway musical The Addams Family on June 28, 2011.
Brooke Shields (age: 54) is an American actress and model known for her leading role in Pretty Baby, The Blue Lagoon, Endless Love, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Other Guys, Furry Vengeance, The Hot Flashes and TV Suddenly Susan, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Lipstick Jungle.