Brooke Shields

She caused controversy at 12 for her precociously sexual part in Pretty Baby, quit Hollywood to gain a Princeton degree, and took on Tom Cruise in the world's press. What's next for Brooke?


Brooke Christa Shields was born on 31 May 1965 in New York City to Frank and Terri Shields, who divorced several months after her birth. Her paternal grandmother was Italian princess Donna Marina Torlonia.

She was brought up in the Roman Catholic faith and when she was just five days old, her mother claimed that she wanted her daughter to be active in show business as she was beautiful.

Shields found fame at the age of 12 when she was cast as a teenage prostitute in Louis Malle's Pretty Baby. Although not the first film she had made, Pretty Baby caused a stir among religious and anti-pornography groups in the US when it was released in 1978.

Over the next few years she appeared in Tilt, Wanda Nevada, Endless Love and Just You And Me, Kid. In 1980, she caused another stir when she starred in The Blue Lagoon, a film about two young children stranded on a desert island that fall in love with each other and have a baby. Shields later testified that a body double had been used for nude scenes.

Shields went on to become a top model next and landed big contracts such as commercials for Calvin Klein jeans in which she uttered the provocative statement, "You know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing."

Thanks to her early films and successful modelling career, by the time she was 18 she was one of the most famous faces in America.

Unlike many child stars before and since, however, Shields has dealt with her life's roller coaster ride with large helpings of maturity, intelligence and common sense.
In 1983, she took a four-year sabbatical from movies to attend Princeton as a freshman with waves of both unwanted publicity and criticism. It wasn't until Shields turned in A+ performances in tough courses that the other students protected her as their own and the paparazzi backed off.

Although she returned to movies following her studies, subsequent films never matched the commercial or critical success of her earlier work.

In 1993, Shields met tennis ace Andre Agassi and, after a four-year courtship, the couple married in Carmel, California, in 1997. However, while the couple became media darlings, the marriage ended in divorce in 1999. During this time Shields' career saw somewhat of resurgence with her role in the hit TV show Suddenly Susan between 1996 and 2000.

She married Chris Henchy on 4 April 2001 and they had their first child, daughter Rowan, in 2003. Shields was open about using IVF to conceive and the post-natal depression she experienced after the birth of her daughter. Having talked publicly about her struggle with post-natal depression, her book Down Came The Rain (2005) debuted at number six on The New York Times Bestsellers list. Shields' openness about the drugs that helped her beat her depression led to a public spat with actor Tom Cruise, who accused her of being "misguided".

She had a second daughter called Grier Hammond the following year, born 18 April 2006. Recent years have seen Shields take to the stage as Roxie Hart in Chicago in London's West End and in Wonderful Town in New York.

She has also returned to TV, appearing in the mini-series Widows' in 2002, in seven episodes of That '70s Show in 2004, Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2006), Nip/Tuck (2006) and Two And A Half Men (2007). Shields also enjoyed one of the main parts in the comedy drama Lipstick Jungle between 2008 and 2009, while playing Miley's mum in Hannah Montana between 2007 and 2009.

In 2011, she appeared in the film The Greening of Whitney Brown and she starred in The Hot Flashes with Daryl Hannah in 2013.