Brooke is the daughter of minor actress Teri Shields and the grand-daughter of Frank Shields, a good-looking and flamboyant amateur tennis champion who had some movie parts in the mid-1930s. She is also a second cousin of Glenn Close. Through her grandmother, Marina Torlonia, Brooke is descended from…more
Brooke is ranked #35 in the "100 Hottest Brunettes of AIM".
In May 2008, Brooke began promoting Royal Velvet towels and other products for the chain of stores, Bed, Bath and Beyond.
In 2006, was ranked #15 in the countdown 100 Greatest Teen Stars.
Brooke was chosen as one of the 100 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 2006.
She attended her high school prom with Ted McGinley, who was seven years her senior.
Her measurements are 34 1/4B-25 1/4-35.
She was paid one million dollars in 1981 to endorse Wella Balsam shampoo.
While filming The Blue Lagoon in 1980, she had to have her hair glued to her breasts so nothing would show.
While starring in Suddenly Susan, Brooke appeared in 7 public service announcements for NBC's The More You Know. Her topics were a teacher tribute, reading, child encouragement, mentoring, parental involvement, library cards, and substance abuse.
In a coincidence that could only happen in Hollywood, Brooke gave birth to her second daughter, Grier, in the same hospital, on the same day and on the same floor and only hours apart as Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were having their child, Suri.
As you may recall, Tom and Brooke had a very public spat after Tom publicly criticized her for promoting the use of the drug Paxil and for using the drug herself to overcome her depression.
Brooke gave birth to her second daughter, Grier Hammond Henchy on April 19, 2006. Grier arrived in the morning, weighing 7 pounds (3.18 kg.).
In 1988, she dated Dean Cain while in college.
She was a cheerleader in high school.
In 1996 and 2000, she was picked as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine.
In 1978, 1980 and 1996, she was chosen as one of the most intriguing people of the year by People Magazine.
Brooke is 6 feet tall or 1.68 meters.
Brooke is a Roman Catholic.
Her autobiography, On My Own was written when she was sixteen
She dated Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Every year from 1981 to 1984, she won a People's Choice Award in the category of Favorite Young Performer.
She won Golden Raspberry (Razzie) Award as Worst Actress for Speed Zone in 1989.
Brooke's mother, Maria Theresia Schmonn, married her father Francis Alexander Shields in 1964. Maria was born in California and is most noted as Brooke's manager as Terri Shields. Terri has managed Brooke's career since birth.
Brooke has quite a colorful and noble heritage:
" Her second cousin, Sibilla Weiller, married in 1994 Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg who is the younger brother of the reigning Grand Duke of Luxembourg.
" Her grandmother was an Italian princess.
" Through her grandmother, she is the descendant of
" Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI.
" Charles V, First King Of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor.
" Honoré I of Monaco.
" Henry IV of France, the first Bourbon kings of France.
" Through her great-grandmother, Brooke is a a 23rd generation descendant of Francesco I Gattilusio, which ruled the Greek island of Lesbos from 1355-1462.
" Other descendants of Gattilusio include Prince Rainier of Monaco, Dr. Otto von Habsburg, and the Marquis de Sade.
Brooke has three sisters, Marina, Olimpia and Christina.
Brooke's grandmother was Donna Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi, an Italian princess who was born in Rome and the youngest daughter of Prince Marino Torlonia, 4th prince of Civitella-Cesi who is famous for introducing the first motor car to Rome in 1892. Brooke's grandmother married her grandfather, Francis Xavier Shields on November 18, 1909 in New York City after they met in Rome at a tennis championship.
Brooke's grandfather was Francis Xavier Shields, who was an American tennis player. His accomplishments include being a Wimbledon finalist, being ranked eight times in the U.S. Top Ten, including #1 in 1933 and #2 in 1930. Francis also appeared in seven films in the early 1970s. In 1940 he married the Italian Princess Donna Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi and they had two children, including Brooke's father Francis Alexander Shields.
Brooke's father was Francis Alexander Shields, who was an aristocrat American Republican born in New York City. Francis was a very high-level executive at Revlon in New York. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and spent much of his free time in Palm Beach, Florida. Francis Shields died in Palm Beach on April 27, 2003, just three weeks before Brooke delivered her first child, Rowan Francis.
Brooke's nickname is "Brookie".
Brooke's legs are reportedly insured through Lloyd's of London.
Brooke's primary residence is in New York City, NY.
During Brooke's spat with former co-star Tom Cruise over her use and promotion of the drug Paxil to overcome her postpartum depression, several other celebrities came to her defense. Among them were Marie Osmond and Carnie Wilson, both of whom had battled the illness themselves.
After Brooke appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to discuss her battles with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter Rowan, former co-star Tom Cruise, publicly criticized her for promoting the use of the drug Paxil and for using the drug herself to overcome her depression. Tom's comments were based on his beliefs as a Scientologist. Scientology is publicly and vehemently opposed to psychiatry and psychology.
Brooke responded to Cruise's statements publicly, stating that his comments were "irresponsible" and "dangerous." She encouraged Tom to "stick to fighting aliens", which most believe to be a reference to his starring role in the film War Of The Worlds, but also to the teachings of Scientology and their belief in the alien being "Xenu". Brooke also published an essay in "The New York Times" on July 1, 2005, to further respond to Cruise's attack. In the article she explained that it was up to mothers to decide the best course of treatment for postpartum depression.
Based on her battles with postpartum depression, Brooke wrote the book Down Came the Rain : My Journey Through Postpartum Depression. The book is a brave memoir that doesn't shy away from Brooke's most difficult moments, including her thoughts of suicide.
After the birth of her daughter, Rowan Francis, Brooke suffered a severe case of postpartum depression. She kept her battle with this condition until 2005, when she spoke to several magazines and appeared on the "The Oprah Winfrey Show". On the show, Brooke admitted to bouts of depression, thoughts of suicide and even disturbing thoughts concerning the welfare of her child. There are several theories as to the cause of the illness ranging from the traumatic labor and delivery of her child, to the death of her father three weeks earlier as well as the stress from in vitro fertilization.
Brooke and her husband Chris Henchy currently has one child, daughter Rowan Francis who was born on May 15, 2003.
On April 19, 1997, Brooke married tennis star Andre Agassi. The two divorced two years later on April 9, 1999.
Brooke ended her limited run as Roxy Velma in the Broadway hit musical Chicago on November 1, 2005. A party with the entire cast was held in her honor at the Soho Grande Hotel and included such guests as Huey Lewis, who just signed on to play Billy Flynn in the production. There were no champagne toasts however, because Brooke is currently pregnant with her second child.
Brooke has had great success in both television and film, but when she attended Princeton University, she tried her hand at the theater by joining the Princeton Triangle Club theatre troupe. This prestigious musical-comedy troupe has such notable alumni as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jimmy Stewart.
Brooke has appeared in Grease, Cabaret and A Wonderful Town. In the role of Roxie Hart, Brooke performed in the hit musical Chicago on Broadway and also in London's West End.
Even though Brooke won the People's Choice Award in 1997 for her work in Suddenly Susan in 1997, she was no stranger to the award. Over a decade before, Brooke won the award in the category of "Favorite Young Performer" for four consecutive years from 1981 to 1984.
After 18 films and numerous television appearances, Brooke made move to sitcoms when she starred in the NBC sticom "Suddenly Susan" which ran from 1996 to 2000. For her role as Susan Keane Browne, Brooke won the People's Choice award for "Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series" in 1997.
Just a few years after Pretty Baby (1978), Brooke released two films which would become some of her best known work on film - The Blue Lagoon (1980) and Endless Love (1981). Both films featured nudity, but Brooke admitted that body doubles were used in some scenes.
Although Brooke had much success as a child with top fashion photographers, her first notoriety came when she starred in Louis Malle's controversial film, Pretty Baby in 1978. In the film Brooke, then 12 (and possibly 11 when the film was shot) played a child living in a brothel and she had several nude scenes.
Brooke's career began at a very early age. By the age of 10, she was a sought after child model for some of the top fashion photographers in New York at the time.
Brooke made national headlines with a television ad campaign for Calvin Klein jeans in 1980. In the ad, Brooks says the now infamous line, "Want to know what gets between me and my Calvins? Nothing." In addition, she was also featured in several print ads featuring the same outfit from the TV spot.
Brooke is a big fan of John Mese's "Flippy & Toadpole" series of children's books. The two worked together on the made-for-TV movie Gone But Not Forgotten in 2004 after Brooke had just had her first child. She and daughter loves the books so much, she even provided a testimonial for the Flippy and Toadpole web site.
Brooke: They're the only books my daughter makes me put in her crib when she goes to sleep. She won't go to sleep without one of them... Her little blanket and her little Flippy books. She just loves them.
Also, when Brooke appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to discuss her battle with postpartum depression, the interview included video segments of she and her daughter. In one segment, you can see her daughter walking down the stairs holding the "Flippy & Toadpole" book and in another you can see Brooke reading the book to her.
Brooke is a Princeton graduate in French Literature. She is also a second cousin to Glenn Close.
Brooke: So much of my success in the past was based on my looks. It didn't feel like it had anything to do with me. I wasn't exactly doing The Seagull or Anne Frank. The ceiling was pretty low for me, and I went along with it. But being famous for having eyebrows seemed silly to me even then.
Brooke: It's so odd. In Hollywood, I was always the youngest person, and now I'm not. I'm just coming to terms with it.
Brooke: You don't necessarily have to be in misery to be talented.
Brooke: What does good in bed mean to me? When I'm sick and I stay home from school propped up with lots of pillows watching TV and my mom brings me soup - that's good in bed.
Brooke: Too many people use abortion as a form of birth control. And that's very wrong. I could never, ever have an abortion.
Brooke: The very damaging, frightening part of postpartum is the lack of perspective and the lack of priority and understanding what is really important.
Brooke: The thing I'm the most proud of in my personal life is that my daughter actually thinks that I'm fabulous.
Brooke: The thing about Broadway, they always welcome you with open arms.
Brooke: The most rewarding thing is being on Broadway. I went into Cabaret as a replacement and was really challenged beyond anything I could have imagined.
Brooke: The difficulty of IVF or of any fertility issues is the hope and the shattered hope, the dream that it might happen this time and then it doesn't happen.
Brooke: (On why she keeps reinventing herself for her career) It's about circumstance. When one environment stops welcoming me, I move on to the next. After college, I wasn't getting the kind of movie offers I'd been getting, and I knew I wasn't going to be a top model anymore; I'd already done that. So when Broadway opened its arms to me, I went for it. Then TV wanted me, and I decided to make the most of that. I capitalize on everything available to me.
Brooke: My younger years of modeling were really just filled with fun trips. I was doing catalogues for Alexander's and Bloomingdale's.
Brooke: My father's death, my move, and my frightening and difficult delivery created a tremendous amount of stress, pain, and sadness for me. I was practically devastated beyond recovery.
Brooke: Modeling is the world that I feel most welcome in.
Brooke: It was my mom and I against the world. We lived in New York in this bohemian lifestyle where an extended group of artists and photographers were like my aunts and uncles.
Brooke: I'm just starting to realize the type of work that I want to do. Not everyone can fit into the sitcom world because it's so fast-paced, but it feels comfortable to me.
Brooke: I think I'm going to have to live vicariously through my daughter's rebellion because I certainly never did go through adolescence.
Brooke: I hope this will help new moms not feel alone or desperate, and that there is no shame in their feelings. PPD is out of their control, but the treatment and healing process is not.
Brooke: I have a place in the Broadway community that can only be earned.
Brooke: (On her TV series "Lipstick Jungle") Before I knew they were thinking about making it into a series, I read the book and identified with the women in it so much: They're smart, strong, and flawed! So when I heard they were making it into a series, I was thrilled...until I realized they couldn't hire me, I was pregnant. But by the time they were ready to shoot the pilot, I'd given birth to Grier. It worked out perfectly.
Brooke: Have faith in your own thoughts.
Brooke: Eight shows a week is daunting, and it can be terrifying. But it just instills such a sense of confidence and growth.
Brooke: Don't waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window-or break down a door.
Brooke: At Princeton I gained a great deal of pleasure from success in my classes. knowing that I could accomplish those things, and I realized that my success was directly proportionate to the work I put in.
Brooke: If my jeans could talk, would I be embarrassed? If my jeans could talk, I'd be ruined.
Brooke: I'm so naive about finances. Once when my mother mentioned an amount and I realized I didn't understand, she had to explain: 'That's like three Mercedes.' Then I understood.
Brooke: I'm always amazed when people assume things about me - that foul language must upset me, or someone's being gay must upset me. They think, 'O-o-oh, she's the most celebrated virgin.' And really, I was surrounded by such an eclectic group of people my whole life.
Brooke: Honesty is the quality I value most in a friend. Not bluntness, but honesty with compassion.
Brooke: Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life.
Brooke (On her daughter Rowan): She loves the camera. She's always doing funny things. She came up to me recently and said "Hi" in this voice that sounded like she was this little lounge singer.
Brooke: Every morning when I was pregnant, Rowan would speak to my stomach and say, "Hello? What are you doing in there?" And when Grier was born, she put her prized possession, her blanket, in the bassinette and said, "She might need this."
- on her first child, Rowan, welcoming Grier to the family.
Brooke: Now, I finally get what people are talking about. I really love being a mother. This was nothing like the first one. I am much more relaxed this time. I've been through it and realise how resilient I am.
- on not suffering post-natal depression after the birth of her second child, as she did with the first one.
Brooke: People think of me as a mannequin, all show and no substance.
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