- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
What happened to the model, actress and star of The Blue Lagoon? Did she survive her run-in with Tom Cruise? Is she still working in Hollywood? We track down Brooke Shields…
Brooke Shields is possibly the most Hollywood person alive. She may not trouble too many cinemas or TV screens in 2016, but her career is the stuff that ‘too good to be true’ biopics are made of. Fame! Scandal! Drugs! Shields, now 51, has done it all – from child actor to Calvin Klein model to university graduate to movie star… and she’s still going.
Shields was born in Manhattan in 1965 – her father paid her mother to have her aborted, but she pocketed the money and gave birth to a baby girl anyway. Brooke would later find out she was of French nobility and was a distant cousin of of King Louis XIV. Before she was even one year old, Shields had scored her first modelling job, advertising soap. Ironically, she’d get her break in Hollywood by playing anything but squeaky clean.
An established model before she was even a teenager thanks to her iconic Calvin Klein ads (“You know what gets between me and my Calvins? Nothing”), she played a child prostitute in Louis Malle’s 1978 drama ‘Pretty Baby’ aged just 12 years old. The film was controversial, and that controversy followed Shields onto her next major motion picture, ‘The Blue Lagoon’. A teen romance about two lovestruck teenagers stranded on a desert island, it featured nude scenes between the male and female leads, despite the fact that Shields was only 14 at the time of filming – she testified to a US Congressional inquiry that body doubles were used, but she appeared topless (with just her hair covering her chest) throughout. Her next big movie, ‘Endless Love’, was also racy for the time and had to be edited to avoid a dreaded ‘X’ rating from the MPAA. In the meantime, she became the youngest ever cover star of Vogue.
During her spell in the limelight, she became firm friends with Michael Jackson and the two briefly dated. Speaking at the star’s funeral in 2009, Shields mentioned the time the pair were invited to “one of Elizabeth Taylor’s weddings” and stumbled into the bride’s bedroom only to find Taylor herself asleep. Shields has dated a string of famous men: she claimed she lost her virginity to Superman actor Dean Cain aged 22, and romanced Liam Neeson and John F Kennedy Jr among others. She was married to tennis star Andre Agassi and recently shared stories of his addiction to crystal meth at the height of his talent. Other partners include Scott Baio, a young John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, George Michael (yes, that George Michael), Woody Harrelson, Michael Bolton and some bloke called Prince Albert II of Monaco. She married non-famous-guy Chris Henchy in 2001 and they are still together.
Shields’ movie career never reached the heights of her teenage years once she returned to acting in the 90s after graduating Princeton with a bachelor’s degree in French literature. Her most notable role was as Joey’s crazy girlfriend in an episode of ‘Friends’, a role which she claims drove then-husband Agassi mad with rage, causing him to smash all of his tennis trophies. Four seasons of sitcom ‘Suddenly Susan’ paid the bills between 1996-2000, as did a series of TV movies.
It wasn’t until 2005 that Shields began to hit the headlines again, albeit not intentionally. Shields had released a book called ‘Down Came The Rain’ which discussed her problems suffering post-partum depression and the suicidal thoughts that came with it. Tom Cruise – who started his career as an extra in ‘Endless Love’ – publicly slated Shields for speaking out in favour of an anti-depressant, which as a practising Scientologist he condemned, along with the practice of psychiatry: “Brooke Shields… You look at [her and think], where has her career gone?” Shields fought back, saying that Cruise’s opinions on depression was “dangerous” and that “he should stick to fighting aliens” (either a reference to Cruise’s 2005 blockbuster, ‘War Of The Worlds’, or a brilliant burn on Scientology). Cruise later backed down and privately apologised to Shields, even going so far as to invite her to his wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006.
TV work picked up as a result of the clash, with cameo roles like Miley Cyrus’s mom in Disney Channel show ‘Hannah Montana’ and parts in ‘Two And A Half Men’, ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ and ‘Nip/Tuck’. Her ‘Sex And The City’-esque NBC show ‘Lipstick Jungle’ was picked up and ran for two seasons between 2008-2009. Shields’ last outing in a theatrical release in the US was as Brendan Fraser’s long-suffering wife in critter comedy ‘Furry Vengeance’ (below), then as herself in Adam McKay’s buddy cop comedy ‘The Other Guys’, where she has only one line, yelled at Will Ferrell at a Knicks game: “Call me!”
Even though the movie work doesn’t flow as freely as it used to, Shields has other things keeping her busy. She has performed extensive stage work, including a run on Broadway playing Morticia Addams in the 2011 production of ‘The Addams Family’. Closer to home, unfortunately for her, is the legal case she brought against her stalker, who would continually harass her at her stage shows and would send her threatening messages on social media, even knocking on the door of her house in New York’s West Village. Just last week, the stalker John Rinaldi, was given 60 days of jail time.
Unsurprisingly, Shields has more than enough material for an autobiography or twelve, and in 2014 she released ‘There Was A Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me’, in which she dished on the likes of Agassi and Cruise and spoke freely about her encounters with both the light and dark sides of Hollywood. Brooke continues to work to this day, and is currently starring in a series of TV movie mysteries on the Hallmark Channel called ‘The Flower Shop Mysteries’ with delightful subtitles like ‘Snipped In The Bud’ and ‘Dearly Depotted’. If this represents Brooke Shields finally slowing down to a more leisurely pace, you can’t say she doesn’t deserve it.