When Brooke was barely a teenager she got her big break to star in the controversial film, Pretty Baby. Controversy didn’t stop there and she went on to star in one of the most successful films in the 80’s, The Blue Lagoon, which was racy in its own way. Her mother, who became her manager, was under a lot of criticism for letting her daughter appear in risque and semi-nude scenes. When Brooke turned 21, she did what many models at the time did and posed for Playboy. It seemed like the young model and actress was just chasing one storm after the other. In terms of her love life, she also didn’t have it easy and her notorious marriage to tennis star, Andre Agassi, was packed with drama.
Brooke Shields has known many ups and downs including the loss of both her parents and sinking into depression after her daughter was born, however, she always seemed to stay positive and look for the next project that will make her happy. It seems now, at the age of 52, she is happier than ever and feels the best she ever did with her family, however, Brooke Shields’’ life was far from perfect. Here are the things you didn’t know about the stunning actress.
Beauty runs in her family
Brooke Shields was born in Manhattan straight into the high life of the upper east side with her socialite mother and Revlon businessman father. Teri Shields, Brooke’s mother, was also an actress, so it wasn’t only her beauty that she passed to her daughter. It was also her acting talent. However, Brooke’s life as we know it almost didn’t happen as her father’s family paid Brookes’s mother to terminate the pregnancy. Teri decided to give birth anyway, a decision which changed the family’s life forever. Brooke’s parents divorced when she was just five months old.
Brooke hasn’t even turned one, and her future was already determined by her parent’s split. Apart from her parents’ decision to divorce and go their separate ways, another life-altering decision that Brooke faced was the fact that she was cast in her first ever commercial when she was just a baby. It was an Ivory Soap ad and you could tell Brooke was a natural from an early age. She was even named ‘The Most Beautiful Baby in America’. That was just the beginning of a long and rich Hollywood career.
It was all perfect
Before she knew it Brooke had turned into a real gem. She wasn’t only easy on the eyes – to say the least – but also she established her status as rising child star. All she really wanted was to live a simple and peaceful life. She did the things any girl her age would. She took ballet, played the piano, and loved horseback riding. The thing that was most special about her is that she went on to pursue her modeling career but didn’t neglect those ‘normal’ aspects of her life. Everything was just perfect, or so it seemed.
She was a mess
However it wasn’t all perfect. She might have seemed like all smiles and laughs on the outside, but the truth of the matter was that she was a big mess on the inside. Her mother, Teri, who wanted to push her daughter into the direction of show business, started acting like the ultimate mom-ager. According to Teri, she did it for her daughter’s sake as she knew what was best for her child. The pressure of managing her own daughter took its toll on Teri and she soon found comfort in alcohol. Teri pretty much took over her daughter’s life both personally and professionally.
The straw which broke the camel’s back for Teri’s emotional state was all the criticism she had received for allowing her daughter be part of the controversial film Pretty Baby. When she was only 11 years old, Brooke was cast in the 1978 film and was part of some very questionable scenes. This caused a lot negative attention and the reviews were contradicting. Seeing a minor play in such a film was definitely groundbreaking for the industry, however, it was also perceived as completely inappropriate. Teri’s motherly and management skills were starting to be questioned.
Her Happy Days
Just like any other teenager, Brooke eventually experienced her first love. The fact that there were rumors running around regarding an alleged romance with another child star, Happy Days’ actor, Scott Baio, didn’t help people’s opinion on how she had burst into the adult sphere way too early. Years later, it was revealed by Brooke herself that she was Baio’s first real girlfriend and they had a young puppy love going on in the 70’s.
The most beautiful girl in the world
Brooke became a sensation and she was unstoppable. She kept booking one job after the other, but her big break came when she was featured on the prominent Seventeen cover in 1978. This earned her great exposure and she soon caught the attention of the all-American and legendary designer Calvin Klein. When the designer saw Brooke he knew he had his next It Girl. He referred to his new denim model as ‘the most beautiful girl in the world.’
A racy decision
Once Brooke was established as child star and her controversial appearance was out in the open, she had nothing to hide at this point. As part of her Calvin Klein commercial, Brooke had to say a line, which wasn’t socially accepted. Her line was ‘you want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.’ This caused two networks to literally ban the commercial as they claimed that it was way too suggestive and explicit.
Some would say that the stunning actress hit puberty a bit too early, and the worst thing was that it happened in front of the camera. Brooke took on another controversial part when she was cast in The Blue Lagoon alongside Christopher Atkins. The adventure movie was filmed on Turtle Island in Fiji. It told the story of two young kids who happened to be on the tropical island without any boundaries nor society restrictions. It showed how their emotions evolved and while falling in love they also started exploring their physical selves. They reached puberty on camera and it was beautiful and cringe-worthy at the same time.
An R rated hit
She might have had a double for some scenes, but there were still some shots that were perceived as too risque. In fact, Brooke used her long and luscious hair to cover her front part. The movie was therefore rated R across the U.S. Taking into account the controversial hype that surrounded the movie as well as the fact that it was based on a famous novel, and the film was a huge box office success. The Movie grossed nearly $60 million back in North America alone including Canada.
Feeling bad with her actions
The last thing anyone could say about Brooke was that she was shy, especially taking into account her previous film roles. However, when it came to celibacy, it was always a big deal for the young actress. In fact both she and her mother had strong feelings towards the issue. After her night with Caine, Brooke told how she felt overwhelmed to the point that she ran out of the room with mixed emotions. She was 22 years old then, mature enough, however she still felt guilt and ashamed. In the same interview, the actor said: ”There was nothing I did to her that I’m ashamed of in any shape or form.”
Brooke was also a feminist at heart. The actress used to promote fitness as an inseparable part of femininity claiming that a woman can be both feminine and athletic at the same time. Brooke certainly had everything going for her, the looks and the platform to promote her agenda and she really just wanted to show a different side to her. She was everywhere, in lifestyle magazines and talk shows where she talked much about her eating habits and training routines.
Her secret talent
The beautiful actress has already proven her acting skills, her modeling as well as her athletic side. She did, however, feel like there was a whole new part of her that was just waiting to burst out. She decided to put her fashion career on hold and try and pursue a career one the small screen. Her personality really shined when she hosted in the Golden Globe nominated show Suddenly Susan. Brooke had established herself as a respected sitcom actress.
Stepping out of her comfort zone
If there was one thing Brooke wasn’t afraid of it was stepping out of her comfort zone to prove to everyone that she was more than just a beautiful face. She decided to try her luck on stage and went on to appear in several Broadway productions such as Chicago, Grease, and Cabaret. One of her more memorable roles was when she played Morticia Addams in the musical version of The Addams Family back in 2011. When Shields ended her role as the stage version of the Addams Family matriarch, she said goodbye to the stage as well as to New York, selling her Broadway apartment.
A second chance at love
Brooke certainly didn’t expect to find love again after her drama-packed relationship with Andre Agassi ended, let alone get married. However, Brooke decided to give love a second chance when she let her friends set her up with the man who would later become her husband. She was introduced to producer Chris Henchy, and the two instantly had an irresistible chemistry. After dating for just eight months the couple tied the knot in an intimate and a rather low-key ceremony.
Why did they elope?
The actress who had already done a big fat wedding with the whole shebang didn’t want to make a big deal of her second wedding. Brooke and Chris decided to surprise their closest family and friends with an impulsive dinner-turned-ceremony. The marriage took place on Catalina Island and shocked everyone in Hollywood by the quick wedding. It seems like it was a smart move on the couple’s part as they are still together and going strong.
Her big loss
Frank Shields might not have been in the public eye like Brooke’s mother Teri was, yet he was still successful in his own right. Frank was an American businessman who also had a very important job as an executive at the New York office of Revlon. After Frank passed away in 2003 at the age of 61, Brooke appeared on the television show, Who Do You Think You Are where she commented on her father’s death saying: ‘Loss after loss after loss, it takes a toll on your soul.’
The circle of life
After her father’s premature death Brooke was having a hard time trying to bounce back. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as the actress was pregnant with her first baby and was a few months away from delivery. Eventually, Shields gave birth to her first daughter just three weeks after her father’s passing. Welcoming a baby is a roller coaster of emotions and Brooke, who had just faced the loss of her father, was a big mess inside and she started losing any touch with reality. Soon, depression kicked in, and Brooke was at the worst state in her life.
Trying to take care of her newborn baby while coping inside with the death of her father caused the actress to sink into great depression. She couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and her world was pretty much falling apart, and she had no idea how she would come out of this dark phase. She felt sad, empty and depressed. Even the one thing that was supposed to make her the happiest, her daughter, wasn’t helping. One year later Brooke was diagnosed with postpartum depression, which is very common among mothers across the world.
Postpartum depression is definitely a state that is not talked about enough, not for how common it is among women who gave birth. Brooke worked hard on making herself better: she went to therapy, she appeared on different shows including the Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about her condition, and even released a book called Down Came the Rain. During her worst moments she had suicidal thoughts and was unable to bond with her daughter. By talking about everything she was feeling, it enabled her to deal with her struggle better.
Tom vs. Brooke
Dealing with her postpartum depression was tough enough on the actress and she didn’t need anything or anyone else to make things worse or make her feel bad about it. Two years after she gave birth to her daughter, Tom Cruise criticized the actress for speaking so positively about antidepressant pills. He said: ‘Here is a woman – and I care about Brooke Shields because I think she is an incredibly talented woman – you look at [and think], where has her career gone?’. Brooke in response, said that his comments were dangerous and irresponsible.
War of words
Brooke was obviously upset and furious by Cruise’s comments and she decided to speak her mind. In response to his comments, Brooke said that the actor should probably ‘stick to fighting aliens’ which had a brilliant double meaning implying the actor’s role in War of the Worlds as well as his beliefs in his sci -fi church started by Elron Hubbard. Brooke didn’t feel like she made her point and she decided to express how she really thought in the most honorable way she could think of.
Taking it to the paper
In an attempt to express how she really felt, Brooke published a piece of writing in The New York Times where in short she said “In a strange way, it was comforting to me when my obstetrician told me that my feelings of extreme despair and my suicidal thoughts were directly tied to a biochemical shift in my body. Once we admit that postpartum is a serious medical condition, then the treatment becomes more available and socially acceptable […] Without it, I wouldn’t have become the loving parent I am today.”
From ‘sorry’ to ‘I Do’
Tom Cruise had allegedly apologized to Brooke and the media went into a frenzy over any piece of information they could get. Everyone wanted Brooke’s response to the incident and she was quoted saying that she felt Cruise’s apology was sincere and “heartfelt.” Not sure if it was all one big show for the cameras or not, in an interesting turn of events, Brooke and her hubby ended up attending one of the most talked about weddings in Hollywood history, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s wedding three months after everything that happened.
It’s a jungle out there
Motherhood was never easy on the workaholic mother that Brooke was. In 2006, the actress gave birth to her second daughter, Grier. Giving birth and its following struggles took their toll, however, Brooke decided to give television another chance. She ended up landing the role of Wendy on NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, a show that was written by Candace Bushnell. The series didn’t do as well as its sister-series, and it was canceled after one season.
The loss of innocence
Brooke had to face loss once again in 2012 when her mother passed away. It was a difficult year for the actress who was also known to have a stormy yet loving relationship with her mother. Teri was a very influential figure in Shields’ life, both on a professional and a personal level. From facing criticism for her racy roles at a vey young age, Brooke had lost her childhood all over again when her mother passed and when she didn’t confront her regarding their thorny relationship.
A star at five days old
Two years after her mother’s passing, Brooke released her memoire called There Was a Little Girl, where she went into details about her complex childhood of not only being raised by her over-controlling mother but also working closely with her. She did however, idolize her mother when she was younger. Brooke wrote about how when she was only a few days old, her mother saw the potential in her daughter and she wasn’t afraid to express how much she wanted her in the show business. “She’s the most beautiful child and I’m going to help her with her career.”
She learned her lesson
When Brooke’s father passed away she had a hard time coping with the new situation in her life, and Brooke was determined not to fall in that deep black hole once again after her mother passed away. She decided to focus her energy on being the best mom she could be and provide her daughters with the most stable and normal upbringing she could. Brooke wanted them to have a healthy childhood, something she missed growing up in her family.
In an attempt to not repeat her past mistakes with her own family, Brooke did everything that she can not to expose her girls to the same world she brought into. Shields made sure that to make a clear message to the press, “We shouldn’t just see 15-year-old bodies…I don’t want a 15-year-old body. I don’t want to look like a little boy.” Shields, who was a model when she was younger and appeared in the most controversial of films, has made it very clear to her daughters that they would not step foot in the industry until after college.
When Brooke was asked to explain her decisive choice she said ”It’s a cutthroat and demoralizing business. Plus, they want you when they want you, and you have to be there for auditions and work, and my kids aren’t missing school. If I hadn’t had the intellectual piece as my friend, I would have been more devoured by an industry that has no loyalty whatsoever. You do think because you’ve been in the industry all of your life it will be loyal, but it’s the antithesis of that.”
The creepy reality
While Hollywood may seem like a it’s all just about fame and the glitz and glam, it wasn’t the case at all for the talented actress growing up. Shields had to battle many demons to get to the peaceful place she is today. One of her most horrifying incidents was when she had to John Rinaldi, a stalker who wouldn’t leave her alone. Apparently, Rinaldi was once friends with Brooke’s mother many years ago, and he just wanted to get close to the famous daughter. Creepy.
His childhood crush
John Rinaldi was later charged and in his trial he admitted to having a (quite creepy) crush on the actress since she first appeared on screen as a child. In fact, he has been infatuated with the actress for the three decades she was active for. He started feeling all kinds of feelings towards her when he was 12, but tried to justify it by saying that it was ”typical of any kid with a crush… [He] thought Brooke was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in the world.”
The final ruling
Judgment day finally arrived in June of 2016 and Rinaldi, who was 49 at the time, was convicted on four different misdemeanor cases of harassing and stalking the famous actress. He ended up getting 60 days inside at New York City’s Rikers Island. John, however, eventually served only half that time and has stated that Shields had wrongly accused him. In a different interview, Rinaldi said ”I am not obsessed with her and the funny thing is that it seems to be narcissistic on her end.”
A female figure
Brooke Shields’s beauty is something that has been discussed since she was just a few days old. When her mother saw the potential in her daughter at such a young age, she had quite the motherly instinct because as it turned out, Brooke became the talented and stunning actress that she is. Shields has worked extremely hard on her looks and fit figure and she makes sure to keep her extensive fanbase updated on social media with pictures of her toned body. Brooke is a big fan of healthy eating and is also the spokesperson for Tupperware’s Chain of Confidence SMART Girls campaign, which helps teach young girls the importance of nurturing their well-being.
She doesn’t want drama
After struggling for so many years with media scrutiny, her complicated relations with her mother, the loss of both her parents and depression, Brooke has decided to start looking at life in a more positive way. She dedicated much of her time to supporting good causes such as American Cancer Society and to AIDS research. In the search for her next role, Brooke has decided to go for drama-free roles and she will always prefer fun and light roles as her next project.
The actress’s 50th birthday was definitely the party of her lifetime and it was worth the wait. In order to commemorate that milestone, Brooke threw a party and invited her closest circle of friends and family. The party took place at a New York City rooftop bar and it was nothing but glamorous. Her husband, Chris, was also very emotional at his wife’s party and broke down in tears when he spoke about her. He said that she was just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.
She raised an eyebrow
Shields is definitely one to be envy of. The way she looks at 50 is pretty remarkable, however, she is still human after all and all that beauty doesn’t just happen with no help. One of the beauty’s iconic features are her thick eyebrows and while she tried to keep a natural look, her eyebrows do get groomed from time to time. ”I don’t wax. If there’s a rogue hair, I’ll probably pluck it or if a makeup artist sees one they must get at, I’ll let them, but I don’t do too much.”
Brooke couldn’t take it anymore
One of the things people may not know about the actress is the fact that she suffers from a contracted toe deformity. She’s had it for years and she was in serious pain all that time. In 2008, the media went crazy about the fact that the actress was supposed to undergo surgery. Brooke couldn’t put up with the pain any longer. ”Just walking, I’m in pain and when I work I have to wear high heels all the time. The surgery was unplanned but very much necessary.”
She’s here to stay
Brooke Shields is definitely unstoppable and she’s certainly not afraid to put herself out there, in all kinds of different roles. Some of her roles in recent years included a recurring role on the successful sitcom The Middle where she played Rita. In 2013 she did some voice over work when she voiced Mrs. Goodman in the animated Mr. Pickles. In 2017 she appeared on Michael Bolton’s show. In a nutshell, it’s safe to say that Brooke Shields will appear on our screen for many years to come. The actress is here to stay.
A double fault
The 90’s were big for the actress who dated some of Hollywood’s most eligible men including famous singer Michael Bolton and actor Liam Neeson. Both of these relationships ended before they even started, and after she was tired if dating Hollywood men, Brooke found love with professional tennis player Andre Agassi. The couple seemed to have it all, but after they said their I Do’s in 1997, it all fell apart quickly and the couple divorced after two years.
Things fell apart
The actress’s complicated relationship with her mother, Teri, was no secret. The two knew many ups and downs throughout the years and it was only a matter of time till something exploded. Teri, who was strongly against her daughter’s relationship with her new husband, didn’t hide her feelings. The two started drifting apart and the peak was when Brooke fired her own mother after 30 years of working together. Before their public divorce, Andre confessed to his wife that he addicted to drugs, a fact he was hiding from her.
BFF with the King
While many fans hopes there would be more to the bizarre friendship between the stunning actress and the late King of Pop, the reality was that the two were simply just close friends. They had more in common than people knew as the two came from broken homes with over-controlling of parents. Their friendship started drifting apart after 11 years, perhaps sue to Shield’s interview with Rolling Stone magazine where she referred to Jackson as ‘asexual.’
A one way love
It turned out that the late singer didn’t quite feel the same as Shields. In an interview Michael Jackson gave years ago, he said: ”That was one of the loves of my life […] Her pictures were all over my wall, my mirror, everything. I went to the Academy Awards and this girl walks up to me and says ‘Hi, I’m Brooke Shields. Are you going to the after-party?’ I go, ‘Yeah,’ thinking ‘Oh my God, does she know she’s all over my room?’ Man, we exchanged numbers and I was up all night, singing, spinning around my room, just so happy.”
When Brooke turned 21, a special milestone among youngsters in America, Brooke decided to celebrate that landmark by appearing on the notorious but probably most famous men’s magazine, Playboy. That was another way for the actress to break boundaries as the pictures really didn’t leave much to the reader’s imagination. However, the actress had still received less negative feedback than when she playing her racy role in Pretty Baby. It seemed at the time that Brooke was just chasing scandals.
A superhero love
At Princeton, Brooke met her (first) Prince Charming and her real-life superman, actor Dean Cain. In her very revealing autobiography, There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me, the actress goes into details about the night she spent with the actor. Brooke has been very open about her thoughts about abstinence, so that was a bit of a surprise. In an interview which took place years later, Cain was asked about his relationship with Shields and he said ”I was in love with her certainly, we were in college, sweethearts.”
In the friend zone?
When Brooke Shields spoke at theMichael Jackson’s memorial service, people were somewhat furious and even called her fake. In their eyes, the references she made to their friendship were portrayed in a non-platonic manner. Some of Brooke’s statements included, “thinking back to when we met and the many times that we spent together, there would be a caption of some kind, which would usually say something like ‘an odd couple’ or ‘an unlikely pair,’ but to us it was the most natural and easiest of friendships.”
It wasn’t fur
One things Brooke didn’t hide from her fans was her love for animals and being a vegan. She was also an avoid animal rights activist and that issue was very close to her heart. Moreover, she even spoke against the fur industry back in the late 80’s. However, Brooke has shocked the world when she, quite hypocritically, traveled to Copenhagen to create a mink fur coat. She received a lot of negative attention and came under the scrutiny of PETA and other animal rights organizations.
George Michael’s rejection
Brooke exposes herself a lot in her memoir There Was a Little Girl. In it she describes her relationship with George Michael in the 80s, when he was an icon and had yet to come out of the closet. On the night that Michael broke up with her, Brooke thought that he was going to take her virginity. She said, “I thought, ‘Oh God, I’m going to have my first time with George Michael in the back of a limo.’” George instead told her that it wasn’t working out and that he wanted to focus on his career. Little did Brook know it really wasn’t her but him.
Brooke hit stardom at such a young age, not really by choice, but she felt like she had more to give than just her pretty face. She dated John Travolta occasionally and her name was even linked to Monaco’s Prince Albert, so she really was in the spotlight her entire mature life. At some point, Brooke felt a bit exhausted from that superficiality and pursued her Bachelor degree. After graduating from Dwight-Englewood preparatory school, Brooke enrolled at the prestigious Princeton University where she completed her romance languages studies.