Fascinating Facts About Brooke Shields

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Actor and model Brooke Shields gained the attention of the masses during the 80s when she started her career as a child actor. Propelled into the biz by her momager mother, Shields starred front and center in controversial films like "Pretty Baby" and "The Blue Lagoon" while quickly becoming a generation's It girl and a fashion icon. Shields spent her teens being the world's most popular gal before moving on to other endeavors like college, advocation, and writing. In the 90s and 2000s, Shields returned to television, starring on the small screen, this time finding her voice in comedic work and proving her powerful acting range.

Unlike so many child stars of yesteryear, Shields has possessed an uncanny ability to stay relevant in the entertainment industry. From the eyebrow-raising roles of her youth to her countless cameos on hit television shows like "That 70's Show," "The Simpsons," and "Two and a Half Men," to starring on Broadway in epic works like "Grease" and "Cabaret," the world has always seemed to create a space for Shields to shine.

This beautiful, bold, and brilliant mother of two has done nothing short of wowing the world with everything she takes on. Brooke Shields is the picture of grace, ambition, and endurance. 

Royal lineage

Should you find yourself staring at an image of flawless and regal-looking Brooke Shields and suddenly think to yourself, "what a queen," you aren't far from the truth, lineage-wise. Shields' family tree is full of nobility. Like many other stars with crowns in their DNA, the talented actor has royal blood pumping through her veins. Shields learned in an episode of "Who Do You Think You Are" that she hails from a long line of English and French royals, including King Henry IV and Louis XIV. She also shares ancestry with the late Queen of England, both having descended from John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and son of England's Edward III (via Insider).

Aside from throne-gracing, scepter-wielding kings, dukes, and otherwise, Shields is also a descendant of five Popes and former female power players like Catherine de Medici and Lucrezia Borgia. Looking at Shield's long line of important people in history comes off as something special, but in actuality, royal blood isn't that uncommon. According to genealogy aficionado and professor of computer science Mark Humphrys, "Millions of people have provable descents from medieval monarchs. The number of people with unprovable descents must be massive." Humphrys explained to the The Washington Post that the odds are overwhelmingly probable that almost everyone has a dynastic connection somewhere down the line.

Shields can claim an interesting past, but it isn't what sets her apart from the pack.  That quality has nothing to do with genes and everything to do with Shield's talent and spirit.

Brooke Shields' single parent upbringing

Brooke Shields grew up the only child of her mother, Teri Shields. Teri, a middle-class New Jersey woman, found herself pregnant by the affluent Francis Shields. When father Frank learned of the pregnancy, he offered Teri money to make the situation disappear. In Brooke's memoir, "There was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me," she that wrote her mother had been offered cash for an abortion. Teri agreed, then used the money to buy a piece of antique furniture. When her father discovered this, he proposed to Teri. Brooke's parents remained wed for five months before divorcing, setting Brooke on a path to growing up in a single-parent home.

Growing up with Teri seemed both a gift and a curse. Brooke knew she was loved intensely and was fiercely protected, but also knew that life with Teri came with an air of instability and responsibility. Brooke told The Guardian that from a very young age, she knew her looks and talent kept the gravy train going and perhaps even kept her mother alive. Then there was her mother's drinking, which Brooke has written about and discussed at length. In her biography, Brooke revealed that Teri drank for most of Brooke's life, and her addictions impacted Brooke's self-esteem. "My unhappiness was rooted in my mother's inability to stop drinking. My sense of worthlessness stemmed from feeling insecure as to who I was and inadequate in getting my mother to stop drinking."  

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The famous friends of Brooke Shields

When you are one of the most famous child actors on the planet, you are likely going to run in certain rich and famous circles packed with other young stars. Brooke Shields grew up in front of the cameras, and some of her very best friends in her younger years were also well-known entertainers doing much of the same. One of Shields' best buds from her childhood is none other than "Ozark" actress Laura Linney. Shields celebrated her old, dear gal pal by posting a picture on Instagram of the two ladies posing on a swing several decades prior. 

Another of Shields' nearest and dearest childhood friends was superstar and pop icon, Michael Jackson. The two met as young teens, both growing up in the limelight, and from that single instance, they struck up a friendship that would last until Jackson's death. Shields spoke of the relationship with Jackson at his memorial (via CNN), saying, "It was the most natural and easiest of friendships. I was 13 when we met, and from that day on, our friendship grew. Michael always knew that he could count on me to support him or be his date and that we would have fun no matter where we were. We had a bond."

Shields certainly adored her friend, but she wasn't alone in this. In her book, "There was a Little Girl," Shields notes her mother, too, loved Jackson, and she explained that her daughter was a good and sincere friend to the young superstar.

Romances with high-profile people

Brooke Shields' youth is dotted with high-profile pals and also high-profile romances. In her revealing book, "There was a Little Girl," she explained how her mother, Teri Shields, encouraged Brooke to date other stars. "She loved that I had briefly dated John Travolta, Jimmy McNichol, Leif Garrett, Scott Baio, and John Kennedy. They were all on the Teen Beat magazines and stars in their own right." While mother Teri fully supported Brooke's teenage romances, chastity was essential and expected of the actor. Brooke wrote in her memoir (via People), that at 22 she lost her virginity to Dean Cain while the pair were both studying at Princeton. Shortly after doing the deed, the pair split.

Brooke went on to wed tennis great Andre Agassi, meeting him in 1993 and marrying him in 1997. She opened up about her first husband in her memoir (via People), explaining how he helped her break free from the tangled web that was her relationship with her mother. "The whole relationship with him was so necessary; he gave me my first taste of freedom from my mom. He swept me away. You'd say something, and it would happen." While the relationship had its high points, there were enough lows for the two to call it quits after only two years of marriage.

Shields did finally find her true love and life partner in Chris Henchy. The pair wed in 2001, and over 20 years and two daughters later, still remain one of Hollywood's golden couples, per Closer Weekly.

Brooke Shields is a Princeton graduate

Some stars forego higher learning, instead focusing on building budding careers in entertainment. Others prove that one can have it all, making it in the industry and scoring a college degree. Brooke Shields is among this elite second grouping of celebrities known for their talent and brains. Following a career as a child actor, Shields attended Princeton University, where she graduated with honors and majored in romance languages. Shields credits her time at university for helping her find her passion and confidence. At the time of her 1987 graduation, she said, "I didn't expect to get honors, but I worked as hard as I could from day one." She went on to explain that at college, she learned to formulate her own thoughts and grow her confidence in them, per UPI

Decades later, Shields returned to her old stomping grounds speaking on how life-changing her education was. "I came in already being an artist, but I was never able to fully own being an artist until I spent my four years here," she told her former classmates at her 25th reunion, per C-Suite Spotlight.

Shields has been reliving the college moments through her eldest daughter, who has followed in her mother's educational footsteps. Shields' daughter Rowan set off for her sophomore year at Wake Forest, and the proud yet emotional mama couldn't help but post on Instagram about all the feels one goes through when waving their baby off to live in the big wide world. 

Brooke Shields battled postpartum depression

Brooke Shields and her husband, Chris Henchy, struggled to have kids. They endured a miscarriage and seven rounds of IVF before finally becoming parents to their first daughter. Shields might have been ready for motherhood, but she couldn't have been prepared for the crippling postpartum depression that came along with it. In 2009, she spoke of her depression at the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (via People). "I finally had a healthy, beautiful baby girl, and I couldn't look at her. I couldn't hold her, and I couldn't sing to her, and I couldn't smile at her ... All I wanted to do was disappear and die." 

Sadly the road back to a healthy mental space was a long one for the esteemed actor, but her experience led her to advocate for others in similar situations. In her interview with WRAL News' Amanda Lamb, Shields explained her desire to help others stemmed from a need to educate those struggling with postpartum depression. Hence, they never have to feel weak or wrong while working to destigmatize the disease in general. 

Today Shields is free from her depression, thanks to medication, therapy resources, and support. Shields paid homage to her resilient nature, telling Life magazine, that everything she has gone through has shown her more of who she always was. Someone who thrives in the face of adversity, perseveres, leaves the bad behind, and carries the good forward.

She has matching ink with her daughter

Brooke Shields loves her two daughters, Rowan and Grier, with all of her heart, and she finds interesting ways to honor and connect with them. When her eldest daughter, Rowan, graduated, the mom-daughter duo decided to celebrate the milestone in a fun and creative way. They went and got matching ink! Shields proudly showed off their tiny ladybug tats on her Instagram page, saying, "A special graduation gift and memory with my girl ... I'm so proud of you, I love you more than words can say." Welp, when words are not enough, turn to permanent inking to say the rest!

Shields' ladybug is on her wrist, while her daughter dons her on her ankle. Per Page Six, the two took fun selfies of themselves outside of NYC-based Stefano's Tattoo Studio after receiving their body art. According to Us Weekly, the ladybug with her baby bug isn't the only tattoo the famous actor proudly sports. She has reportedly had two inkings and has also undergone a tattoo removal. She shared the painful process with fans on her Instagram page. The reason for the tat removal? Nothing wild, just some good old relatable fading that no longer appealed to Shields. 

Brooke Shields is a celebrated author

Many entertainers have taken their experiences and put them to paper in the form of memoirs. Brooke Shields has written two incredibly intimate and revealing books about her life. She wrote "There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me" to chronicle her childhood with her mother, Teri Shields. Shields wanted to tell her and her mother's story from her perspective following her mother's passing. In her book, Shields laid out the components of their mother-daughter relationship the public wasn't privy to.

Shields also wrote "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression," which took readers through her emotionally raw, frightening ordeal battling a scary disease that affects nearly 20 percent of all new mothers. Aside from her two works that heavily focused on Shields' own life experiences, she also created a children's book entitled "Welcome to Your World, Baby." This work deviated from her other two in both genre and perspective, as it was written through the eyes of her daughter Rowan in her younger years as the family welcomed a second baby into the fold. Shields revealed in a Reuters interview that the children's book was far more challenging to create compared to her other two books. "When you're dealing with a children's book, so much has to be said in the drawings, and then whatever's left, the most important part has to be preserved for the one or two lines. It's just easier for me to be verbose."

Accidents happen

Brooke Shields is a fierce fighter; there is little doubt about that. She has come back from a complicated parental relationship, endured a painful and public divorce, and battled postpartum depression. She has also faced physical injury and the long road to recovery following a freak gym accident. Shields spoke to ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts about her broken femur and how her injury turned out to be a major blessing. 

Shields was finishing up a workout on a balance board; she took her eyes away from her focus for just a minute when she slipped from the board, falling hard and snapping her femur. Seven rods and a metal plate later, Shields was on the road to recovery until an arm infection at her IV site set her back yet again. Lengthy hospital stays and intense rehabilitation helped Shields begin to finally heal. Through it all, Shields is grateful for the ordeal because she claims it only proved how strong and resilient she truly is. During her recovery process, Shields posted updates and mantras of positivity on Instagram, sharing her journey, hospital gown and all, with the public.

The accident wasn't the actor's first tumble. She revealed to Us Weekly that during her first day of filming "Army Wives," she fell down a flight of stairs on a set plane she was supposed to be flying!

Brooke Shields is focused on health and wellness

Brooke Shields has lived her life as a bonafide bombshell, and she isn't about to stop now! Plenty of the former child actor's priorities have shifted over the decades, yet one that remains the same is her focus on health and wellness. Shields revealed in a Today interview that following knee surgery, she aimed to work her small muscle groups. Shields found that bigger wasn't necessarily better and preventative exercise was the key to remaining fit at this stage of life. She took what she was learning to Instagram, posting educational, motivational at-home workouts for fans of all ages under a section entitled "At Home Workouts."

Shields has been around the block enough times to know that fads fade, and the key to maintaining fitness is realizing there is no big secret or magic trick to trimming. "Balancing seems to be the biggest tip. It's so boring, yet it's true. It gets real simple; there's no pill," the actor revealed to Healthy Living. Shields also makes sure to get plenty of rest, drinks tons of water, meditates, and lives her life in moderation and forgiveness, per CelebWell

She is the picture of balance and grace, but admits to a few guilty pleasures. Shields told 80 Degrees Today that she counts her SoulCycle bike as one of her most coveted items and, per Buzzfeed, risotto, her favorite beer, Duvel, and a good tequila all make her list of indulgences.

She's fearful of plastic surgery

Lots of celebrities are open to having work done to enhance their assets, and there is nothing wrong with that route. Brooke Shields isn't of that camp and, in fact, the idea of plastic surgery frightens the mother of two. When "Watch What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen praised her stunningly good looks and asked her thoughts on plastic surgery, Shields said she is afraid of going under the knife but thinks she found a trick to achieving similar results without the intimidating and invasive process. 

Shields swears by warm sculpting, explaining that the process aims to eliminate those pesky fat cells that seem to still be sticking around even with all the exercise and diet Shields works into her daily life. Shields has become such a big believer in the treatment she is now the celebrity ambassador for warm sculpting (formerly known as SculpSure.)

She founded Beginning is Now

Brooke Shields is always on the hunt for a new endeavor to pour her talent into. She has done big screen, little screen, drama, comedy, authorship, advocacy, fitness, and more, and while it seems little is left to conquer, Shields has found a pocket in the universe still needing her magic touch. The actor created a lifestyle website called Beginning is Now, focusing on embracing the moment and releasing the fear of the unknown.

Shields admitted to the New York Post that this project felt intimidating at times; after all, Shields is playing a real-life leading role as the brand's boss lady, but reminds herself, "Every time I start to get nervous, I remember that the entire message of 'Beginning Is Now' is what I'm feeling right now. Jumping off a cliff and not letting fear of failure stop me." Hold our hand Ms. Shields and we will jump off that cliff right with you.

Shields dares to be different with her brand, explaining, "This isn't just yoga mats and vitamins and a mantra. It's not just about diet and exercise or fitting into some size clothing. It's about overall health, finding things that make you happy. Sometimes just staying up late drinking tequila with a friend is healing. I'm not going to do it every night, but I think the well-roundedness of that is what we tried to focus on, rather than that we have this product or that product."

Brooke Shields is living comfortably

Brooke Shields has been working in the entertainment industry since she was 11 months old. In her five-plus decades, she has continuously transformed herself and her endeavors to remain relatable and relevant in the public eye. Her efforts have paid off in terms of life fulfillment, but also financially. These days, actor Brooke Shields is a very wealthy woman. Not all child stars make it to millionaire status by the time they are adults, but Shields is one of the lucky ones. 

She can attribute her many films and television roles and countless lucrative endorsement deals with companies like Calvin Klein, Colgate, and Latisse to her amassed wealth. Now in her mid-fifties, Shields can kick back in either of her east coast homes, choosing from her NYC townhouse or her homey Hamptons digs (Shields recently sold her longtime Pacific Palisades mansion) and work on projects that speak to her soul, all while she enjoys the lavish life she has created for herself and her family.