Work as a Child and Teen
After her first ad for Ivory Soap, Shields continued modelling. In 1977, at age 12, she was featured on the cover of the album Magic is a Child by Nektar. The next year, People featured her as one of their most intriguing people—at age 13. That year she also played the role of a 12 year old prostitute in Pretty Baby, her first major acting role, and one of her first controversial moves. She had several nude scenes in the film, which made some censors question the film in regards to child pornography laws.
At 14, she became the youngest model to ever appear on the cover of Vogue, something she would do many times over the course of her career. That same year (1980), she also made another controversial move when she appeared in an ad campaign for Calvin Klein jeans. The photos themselves weren’t what prompted the controversy; it was the line under them: “What to know what gets between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” 1980 also saw Brooke perform in what is perhaps her most famous movie to date: The Blue Lagoon. Like Pretty Baby, she had a number of nude scenes in this movie as well; however, Shields has stated on record before a U.S. Congressional inquiry that body doubles were used in many of these nude scenes. She also became the youngest guest star on The Muppet Show in 1980. Between the years of 1981 and 1984, Brooke was named the People’s Choice for Favourite Young Performer.
Break for Work to Attend College
Shields took a break for acting and modelling in 1983 to attend Princeton University. She majored in French Literature and graduated in 1987. During her time there, she was very open about the fact that she was a virgin. She was a member of the Gap and Gown Club and the Princeton Triangle Club. She also wrote a book on her experiences as a child star that was published in 1985. She and Dean Cain briefly dated when both were attending Princeton.
Work in the Late 1980s and 1990s
Following her graduation from Princeton, the model tended to stay out of the limelight, although she did do a good amount of modelling. In fact, it wasn’t until 1996 that she really started taking on major roles again. That year, she guest starred on the hit comedy Friends, and People named her as both one of the 50 most beautiful people and as one of their most intriguing people. After her guest appearance on Friends, the diva was offered a sitcom of her own: Suddenly Susan. She played the lead role for four years. During that time, she won the People’s Choice Award for Favourite Female Performer in a New Television Series and was nominated for two Golden Globes.
Brooke made yet another nude appearance in 1996 when she appeared naked on the cover of Rolling Stone. Some other rather revealing photos of Shields were also used in 1998 in an exhibition by Gary Gross.
Work in the 2000s
After starting a family in 2003, Brooke has slowly stepped back from work. She has made a few guest appearances on television, including appearing on Nip/Tuck, Two and a Half Men, and Hannah Montana. Recently, in 2008, she became a regular on the series Lipstick Jungle, but the show was cancelled after one season. She has also written two books: Down Came the Rain, a book about her dealing with postpartum depression, in 2005, and Welcome to Your World, Baby, a children’s book published in 2008.
On 19 April 1997, Shields and professional tennis player Andre Agassi were married, but the marriage would only last two years. Following that, Brooke dated and eventually married television writer Chris Henchy in 2001. The two have two children: Rowan Frances (born in 2003) and Grier Hammond (born in 2006). Shields battled for several years with postpartum depression following the birth of Rowan. This bout with depression led to a feud between Brook and actor Tom Cruise, who felt that her use of antidepressant drugs was irresponsible. The two traded barbs for several months until Cruise apologized.
Recently, the ex model spoke at the memorial for her close friend Michael Jackson. She said the two were quite close and related several personal stories. Rumours and statements made by Jackson back in 1993 indicate that he and Shields dated in the early 90s.