Shields, Brooke 1965–
Shields, Brooke 1965–
PERSONAL: Born May 31, 1965, in New York, NY; daughter of Francis Alexander (a business executive) and Maria Theresia (a manager; maiden name, Schmon) Shields; married Andre Agassi (a professional tennis player; divorced); married Chris Henchy (a television comedy writer), 2001; children (second marriage): Rowan Francis Henchy. Education: Princeton University, B.A. (French literature; with honors), 1988.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Kassie Evashevski, Brillstein-Grey Management, 9150 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 350, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.
CAREER: Writer, actor, television producer, fashion model, entertainer, and public speaker. Suddenly Susan (television series), producer, 1996–2000. Actor in motion pictures, including Communion (also released as Alice Sweet Alice), Harristown Funding, 1976; King of the Gypsies, Dino De Laurentis Productions, 1978; Pretty Baby, Paramount Pictures, 1978; Tilt, Warner Brothers, 1979; Wanda Nevada, Hayward-Fonda Productions, 1979; Just You and Me, Kid, Columbia Pictures Corporation, 1979; The Blue Lagoon, Columbia, 1980; Endless Love, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, 1981; Sahara, Cannon Group, 1983; Wet Gold, VCL Communications, 1984; Speed Zone! (also released as Cannonball Fever), Entcorp Communications, 1989; Brenda Starr, New World Pictures, 1989; Backstreet Dreams (also released as Backstreet Strays), Vidmark Entertainment, 1990; Running Wild (also released as Born Wild), Columbia TriStar Home Video, 1992; Freaked (also released as Hideous Mutant Freekz), Tommy, 1993; The Seventh Floor, Portman Productions, 1994; Freeway, August Entertainment, 1996; The Almost Perfect Bank Robbery, Hearst Entertainment Productions, 1996; The Misadventures of Margaret (also released as Folies de Margaret), Granada Productions, 1998; The Weekend, Granada Film Productions, 1999; Black and White, Bigel/Mailer Films, 1999; The Bachelor, New Line Cinema, 1999; After Sex, Miracle Entertainment, 2000; Mariti in Affitto (also released as Rent-a-Husband), Senza Pictures, 2004; (voice) The Easter Egg Adventure, Funline Animation, 2005; and Bob the Butler, Park Entertainment, 2005.
Actor in television films, including After the Fall, Gilbert Cates Productions, 1974; The Prince of Central Park, Lorimar Productions, 1977; The Diamond Trap, Columbia Pictures Television, 1988; I Can Make You Love Me (also released as Stalking Laura), Franke Abatemarco Productions, 1993; Un amore Americano (also released as An American Love, Unione Cinematografica, 1994; Nothing Lasts Forever (miniseries), Gerber/ITC Entertainment Group, 1995; What Makes a Family, Columbia/TriStar Television, 2001; Widows (miniseries), ABC-Greengrass Productions, 2002; (voice) Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids, Nelvana Limited, 2003; and Gone but Not Forgotten, Larry Levinson Productions, 2004.
Actor on television series, including Suddenly Susan, Warner Brothers Television, 1996–2000, and That '70s Show, Carsey-Werner-Mandelbach Productions, 2004, and episodes, including: "Leaping of the Shrew—September 27, 1956," Quantum Leap, Universal TV, 1992; "The Front," The Simpsons, Twentieth Century-Fox Television, 1993; "Came the Dawn," Tales from the Crypt, Home Box Office (HBO), 1993; "The One After the Superbowl," Friends, Warner Brothers Television, 1996; "The Book," The Larry Sanders Show, Columbia Pictures Television, 1997; "Erlene and Boo," Just Shoot Me, Universal Network Television, 2001; (voice) "Future Ex-Wife," Gary the Rat, Grammnet Productions, 2003; and "Poison Ivy," I'm with Her, American Broadcasting Company (ABC), 2004.
Appeared as herself in television productions, including The Fifty-first Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1979; Circus of the Stars No. 4, Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. (CBS), 1979; Men Who Rate a Ten, 1980; Bob Hope for President, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1980; Circus of the Stars No. 5, CBS, 1980; The Bob Hope Christmas Special (also released as The Bob Hope Christmas Show and All-Star Comedy Special), NBC, 1980; The Bob Hope Anniversary Show, NBC, 1981; The Fifty-third Academy Awards, ABC, 1981; Spring Fling of Glamour and Comedy (also released as Bob Hope's Spring Fling of Glamour and Comedy), NBC, 1981; All-Star Salute to Mother's Day, NBC, 1981; Bob Hope's All-Start Comedy Birthday Party from West Point, NBC, 1981; Circus of the Stars No. 6, CBS, 1981; The Bob Hope Christmas Special, NBC, 1981; Hollywood's Children, Wombat Productions, Inc., 1982; Bob Hope's Women I Love: Beautiful but Funny, NBC, 1982; Night of 100 Stars, ABC, 1982; Bob Hope's All-Star Birthday Party at Annapolis, NBC, 1982; Star-Studded Spoof of the New TV Season, G-Rated, with Glamour, Glitter, and Gags, NBC, 1982; Circus of the Stars No. 7, CBS, 1982; Circus of the Stars No. 8, CBS, 1983; Salute to Lady Liberty, CBS, 1984; Bob Hope's USO Christmas in Beirut, NBC, 1984; Olympic Gala, NHK, 1984; Bob Hope's Unrehearsed Antics of the Stars, NBC, 1984; Circus of the Stars No. 9, CBS, 1984; Joan Rivers and Friends Salute Heidi Abromowitz, Rivers-Rosenberg Productions, 1985; The Bob Hope Christmas Show, NBC, 1985; Bob Hope's High-Flying Birthday, NBC, 1986; Change of Heart, Discovery Channel, 1987; Bob Hope's Winterfest Christmas Show, NBC, 1987; Fourteenth Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1988; Voices That Care, Flattery Yukich, Inc., 1991; Yellow Ribbon Party (also released as Bob Hope's Yellow Ribbon Celebration), NBC, 1991; Desperately Seeking Roger, Wonderdog Productions, 1991; Legends of the West, Vidmark Entertainment, 1992; Scratch the Surface, Midred Productions, 1997; Christmas in Washington, 1998; AFI's 100 Years … 100 Movies, Smith-Hemion Productions, 1998; Junket Whore, 1998; Fifth Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, Jeff Margolis Productions, 1998; Massholes, Media Financial Incorporated, 2000; The Twenty-eigth Annual American Music Awards, Dick Clark Productions, 2001; Intimate Portrait: Brooke Shields, Greif Company, 2001; Fear No More: Stop Violence against Women, 2002; 100 Years of Hope and Humor, Hope Enterprises/Gary Smith Company, 2003; Mayor of the Sunset Strip, Caldera Productions, 2003; Broadway on Broadway, NBC, 2004; Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NBC, 2004; The Outsider, Green Room Films, 2005; and A&E Biography: Brook Shields, A&E, 2005. Performer in stage productions, including The Vagina Monologues, Cabaret, Chicago, and Wonderful Town. Guest on television shows The View, Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Muppet Show, and The Barbara Walters Special.
AWARDS, HONORS: People's Choice Award and Golden Globe Award nomination for best actress in a comedy series, both for Suddenly Susan.
The Brooke Book, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1978.
On Your Own, Villard Books (New York, NY), 1985.
(Author of foreword) Bobbi Brown and Annemarie Iverson, Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty: Everything You Need to Look Pretty, Natural, Sexy, & Awesome, Cliff Street Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Down Came the Rain: My Journey through Postpartum Depression (biography), Hyperion (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Actor and author Brooke Shields is an award-winning performer in films, on stage, and on television. She has been a high-demand fashion model, a television producer, and frequent celebrity guest on a variety of television programs and specials. She has expressed a keen interest in children's issues and lends her charitable support to the cause of children's welfare and education, noted a biographer on the Penguin UK Web site.
Shields's career in front of the camera began early in her life, propelled by her mother and manager, Teri Shields, herself an actress. Before she was a year old, Shields portrayed the "Ivory Snow baby," the cherubic infant that appeared on boxes of the popular household detergent. This role led to Shields being called "the most beautiful baby in the world," noted Sandra Brennan in a biography of Shields on the Yahoo! Movies Web site. In great demand as an advertising model, Shields continued working in support of a variety of products during her early childhood.
Her feature film debut came with Alice Sweet Alice in 1976, but she ascended to genuine stardom with her role in the controversial Pretty Baby. In that movie, Shields stars as a teenage prostitute who becomes the Lolita-like obsession of an older man. Teri Shields was criticized for allowing her daughter to take on such a provocative role, but "the general consensus was that Shields was not exploited in the film," Brennan noted. Much of Shields's professional work in the 1970s and 1980s found her in the "precarious position of simultaneously being idolized as a late-seventies icon of adolescent wholesome virginal innocence and being constantly photographed in manners verging on the mildly pornographic," Brennan observed. A racy ad for Calvin Klein jeans and a starring role alongside teen idol Christopher Atkins in the ostensibly innocuous but ultimately titillating film Blue Lagoon fueled this dualism. While not working in film, Shields remained in front of the cameras as a highly sought-after fashion model throughout her teens.
After appearing in director Franco Zeffirelli's 1981 teen romance film Endless Love, Shields decided to commence her formal education. She became a student at Princeton University, where, as Brennan reported, she majored in French literature and developed an interest in theatre work. She graduated from Princeton with honors.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s Shields was a frequent guest on television programs, including numerous Bob Hope specials, Circus of the Stars, and other celebrity-driven presentations. She even appeared as an animated version of herself on the popular program The Simpsons. She also frequently appeared on prominent television talk shows such as Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. A marriage to—and subsequent divorce from—volatile tennis champion Andre Agassi fueled her celebrity status.
In 1996, Shields starred in the NBC television situation comedy Suddenly Susan. She played the title character, a magazine writer who left her rich fiancée, Kip, at the altar. Susan's work life is complicated by the fact that Kip's brother, Jack, is Susan's boss at The Gate, a trendy publication in San Francisco. Over its four-year run, the show followed Susan as she coped with being a single professional, interacted with her coworkers, and rebuilt her romantic life. In addition, the show returned Shields to prominence as an actor and gave her experience as a producer. She has also became a performer on the Broadway stage in productions such as Chicago, The Vagina Monologues, and Cabaret.
In 2001, Shields married television comedy writer Chris Henchy. In 2003, she took on what she considered her most important role: that of mother to daughter Rowan Francis Henchy. In what appeared to be a perfect personal and professional life, however, deep trouble loomed. During "the first months after Rowan's birth, Brooke struggled with thoughts of suicide and felt completely unable to bond with her baby," reported Kate Coyne in Good Housekeeping. A "depression that terrified her" took control almost immediately after her daughter's birth, Coyne noted. "But her determination to muddle through initially prevented her from asking for help," according to Coyne.
Shields did eventually seek help and was diagnosed with and treated for severe postpartum depression and anxiety. She recounts her experience in Down Came the Rain: My Journey through Postpartum Depression. Though Shields was confused by the feelings of depression and alienation, she assumed they would pass as she became more attached to her daughter. However, the negative emotions did not go away; they intensified to include guilt and anxiety. Even when Rowan was brought to her to nurse, Shields states that she felt her baby was a stranger, that she had no attachment to her. "Shields pulls no punches in describing her profound detachment from her child," observed a contributor to Kirkus Reviews. "She had no desire to pick up or care for Rowan, she admits; what she wanted was to run away." Treatment with Paxil, an anti-depression medication, helped some, but her decision to abruptly stop taking the drug caused more problems. Eventually, Shields regained control of her emotions through a combination of medication and therapy, and forged the deepest of maternal bonds with her daughter. "This brave memoir doesn't shy away from Shields's most difficult moments, including her suicidal thoughts, clearly showing the despair postpartum depression can wreak," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. To assist others in a similar situation, Shields' book also contains lists of resources, including other books, telephone hotlines, and Web sites.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Shields, Brooke, Down Came the Rain: My Journey through Postpartum Depression, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2005.
Good Housekeeping, May, 2005, Kate Coyne, "Brooke Shields Back from the Brink: After Having Her Baby, She Fell Apart," p. 174.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of Down Came the Rain: My Journey through Postpartum Depression, p. 281.
Publishers Weekly, February 28, 2005, review of Down Came the Rain, p. 48.
Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/ (July 14, 2005), Brooke Shields filmography.
Penguin UK Web site, http://www.penguin.co.uk/ (July 14, 2005), biography of Brooke Shields.