The Most Frequently Asked Questions . . .
She was born
Christa Brooke Shields in New York City
on May 31, 1965.
Shields' mother, Teri, was also a model.
Shields' father, Frank, worked for Revlon Cosmetics.
THE TIME OF START
1966 - Francesco Scavullo was in a jam trying to find the right baby for an Ivory Snow ad. Scavullo was surrounded by seventeen cranky and crying babies. Teri arrived with Brooke and the instant she sat down in front of the camera, she began playing with a box of Ivory Snow. Scavullo was charmed at her angel face, he knew he'd found his leading lady. Brooke got the job and her modeling career was launched!!!!!!!
1976 - At eleven years old Brooke was working regularly for the Eileen Ford agency (as their first child model). She also had a small part in a low budget horror movie called "Communion". Brooke wasn't exactly delighted with her first screen performance - actually she was terrified! When she went to see the movie preview she sat clinching her mother's hand tightly. She told her mother, "I don't care if that's me up there performing. Can we please get out of here, I'm petrified".
1977 - Woody Allen cast Brooke in Annie Hall. She was only in flashback scenes. When final editing came most of Brooke's scenes were on the cutting room floor. Brooke didn't have time to be heartbroken. French director Louis Malle was looking for the right twelve year old to play Violet in a film called "Pretty Baby".
1978 - Pretty Baby was released and the public outcry was load and strong. Brooke couldn't fathom what the uproar was about. She told "People Magazine" It's only a role, I'm not going to grow up to be a prostitute. If I were in a Walt Disney movie people would never ask if the part would affect my life. Teri Shields sat through the screening of Pretty Baby for the first time silent and huddled in her sable coat, when the lights came up, tears were streaming down her face. "Brooke was so beautiful" she told Paramount executives, "but the movie stinks!"
1978 - Brooke's next big project was a film called "Tilt" with Charles Durning. To help Brooke master the role as a pinball whiz, two pinball machines took up residence in her house so she could practice. Tilt was promoted with blue jeans, tee shirts, pajamas and of course pinball machines. There was also a special line of lunch pails. Brooke agreed to let her face appear on them. With all the hype when Tilt was released it didn't live up to it's standards.
1978 - Realizing that Brooke was "hot stuff" - Teri had gone to a New York publisher with stacks of Brooke's - photo's, poems, school essays etc. It had been collected and published as "The Brooke Book" at a cover price of $3.95. Brooke herself thought the book was "stupid and embarassing", but that didn't stop the royalties from coming in, Despite all her sucess at twelve years old, Brooke was still getting a six dollar a week allowance.
1979 - In "Just You and Me Kid" originally titled "Two of a Kind", Brooke got the chance to team up with George Burns, one of the most funloving "Kids" of them all. Brooke idolized George from the start. At the 1979 Acadamy Awards gala Brooke & George were co-presenters. A reporter asked Brooke if she had anything in common with Burns. "Oh yes, he's very nice, she replied. "Everyone says he's 83 going on 18 and I'm 13 going on 80, so we meet in the middle. After shooting was complete, George gave Brooke a gold charm bracelet and she gave him a pair of Roller Skates.
1979 - In the summer of 1979 Brooke embarked on her seventh motion picture "The Blue Lagoon". When director Randell Kleiser decided to remake The Blue Lagoon, he had one leading lady in mind, Brooke. Christopher Atkins and Brooke were singed for the movie seperately. They never screen tested together, and didn't actually meet until filiming began on a remote island the Fijis. The movie was a box office hit! Brooke did go to see herself in "The Blue Lagoon" but Teri had to go into the theater with her even though she was the star. She still wasn't old enough to see an R-rated movie on her own.
1980 - When the Calvin Klein Jeans commercials began airing in June 1980 the networks fumed. Brooke pranced out onto the T.V. screen and whispered seductively "Wanna know what comes between me and my Calvins, nothing". ABC rejected it and CBS turned it down stating "It didn't meet our standards of acceptability". Before 1980 was out, original commercials were axed and a new more T.V. campaign was in. Brooke was a little dismayed not at the asz themselves, but at the people who found hidden meaing in them. I can't understand what all the fuss that is being directed to me, while on the back of every N.Y. city bus there is someone in Jeans with the zipper down".
ACTRESS BY NATURE
Despite her efforts to be taken seriously as an actress, Brooke Shields has been unable to escape her youth, during which time she found herself in the precarious position of simultaneously being idolized as a late '70s icon of adolescent wholesome virginal innocence and being constantly photographed in manners verging on the mildly pornographic. Shield's early career was managed and pushed by her mother Teri Shields, a small-time actress, who placed her daughter in front of the camera before she was even one. As the Ivory Snow baby, Shields was once hailed the "most beautiful baby in America." After spending many years hawking products.
She was in such demand that her mother started marketing her under the logo "Brooke Shields & Co." Shields made her feature film debut in Alice Sweet Alice (1976), but did not become a bonafide star until French director Louis Malle cast her as a 12-year-old New Orleans prostitute who becomes the romantic obsession of a much older painter in Pretty Baby (1978).
The film was released amidst great controversy because of the scenes in which Shields (or a body double representing her) appeared nude. But while she did participate in some adult scenes, those moments were handled with taste and discretion by Malle and his cinematographer Sven Nyquist and the general consensus that Shields was not exploited in the film.
Thusfar, her acting in Pretty Baby remains Shields' best., Through her teens, Shield's was among the world's top fashion models and her countenance was everywhere. Controversy again stirred when she did some provocative ads for Calvin Kline in which she was seen wearing a too tight pair of jeans and cooed, "Nothing comes between me and my Calvins."
This was in contrast to her other ads in which she advised young girls to abstain from sex and a different campaign against smoking. At the peak of her fame, Shields appeared three times on the cover of Life Magazine and once on the cover of Time.
Her film career picked up around this time with appearances in such venues as King of the Gypsies (1978) and Wanda Nevada (1979), but her best known film is the so-bad-it's-good The Blue Lagoon (1980) in which she and teenage hunk Christopher Atkins find themselves shipwrecked for years on a desert island.
Ostensibly, the film is a tender tale about innocence and true love, but it's primarily a titillating romp filled with plenty of flesh shots of Shield's and Atkins taut, tanned and partially clad bodies. In 1981, Shields tried her hand with a more serious role in Franco Zeffirelli's tepid teen romance Endless Love, but did not succeed. Shields decided it was time for college and so enrolled in Princeton, where but for the occasional appearance on a Bob Hope television special, made for TV movie or other special event, she immersed herself in college life.
While there, she majored in French Literature and also became interested in the theater, gaining experience in two regional productions of Love Letters. Shields graduated from Princeton with honors. Upon her graduation, Shields returned to acting full-time and appearing in films that can most kindly be described as mediocre. In 1996, Shields was given her own situation comedy on the ABC network, Suddenly Susan.
Playing a single career girl struggling to reassemble her life following her break-up with her wealthy fiance. Though never among the most natural and relaxed of actresses, Shields has gradually grown into her role and is proving to be a competent, charismatic comedy actress.