Brooke Christa Camille Shields (born May 31, 1965) was born in New York City into a well-known American society family with links to Italian nobility. Her grandmother was the Italian princess Donna Marina Torlonia. Her father, Francis Alexander Shields, was a businessman, and her mother, Teri Shields (née Maria Theresa Schmonn), managed her career.
Shields adopted her middle name, Camille, for her Confirmation at age 10. Shields’ parents divorced when she was a child. Shields has three half-sisters and two stepsiblings. She attended the all-girl Lenox School. She graduated in 1983 from Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, New Jersey. Into the mid-1980s, Shields was a resident of Haworth, New Jersey.
Shields’ career as a model began in 1966, at the age of 11 months. Her first job was for Ivory Soap, 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 early 1980 (at age 14), Shields was the youngest fashion model ever to appear on the cover of the top fashion publication Vogue magazine. 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.”
By the age of 16, Shields had become one of the most recognizable faces in the world, because of her dual career as a provocative fashion model and controversial 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.
Shields’ first major film role was her 1978 appearance in Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby, a movie in which she played a child who lived in a brothel (and in which there were numerous nude scenes). Because she was only 12 when the film was released, and possibly 11 when it was filmed, questions were raised about child pornography. 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 a number of 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). She won the People’s Choice Award in the category of Favorite Young Performer in four consecutive years from 1981 to 1984.
Shields put her film career on hold to attend Princeton University, from 1983 to 1987, and graduated with a degree in French literature. Her senior thesis was titled “The Initiation: From Innocence to Experience: The Pre-Adolescent/Adolescent Journey in the Films of Louis Malle, Pretty Baby and Lacombe Lucien.” It was at Princeton where she spoke openly about her sexuality and virginity. During her tenure at Princeton, Shields was a member of the Princeton Triangle Club and the Cap and Gown Club. She wrote an autobiography, On Your Own, published in 1985.
Shields has appeared in a number of television shows. 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 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.
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 1993 Brooke appeared in an episode of Quantum Leap “Leaping of the Shrew”.
In the late 2000s, Shields guest-starred on shows like FX’s Nip/Tuck and CBS’ Two and a Half Men. 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.
Shields has appeared in many on-stage productions, mostly musical revivals including Grease, Cabaret, Wonderful Town and Chicago on Broadway; she also performed in Chicago in London’s West End.
From April 19, 1997 to April 9, 1999, Shields was married to professional tennis player Andre Agassi; their marriage was annulled. Since April 4, 2001, she has been married to television writer Chris Henchy. They have two daughters: Rowan Frances (b. May 15, 2003) and Grier Hammond (b. April 18, 2006).