8 Things You May Not Know About Brooke Shields

Drifting Cloud Productions/Everett Collection

Brooke Shields‘ new documentary titled Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields is set to premiere on Hulu on April 3. The two-part documentary details some of Shields’ experiences in Hollywood, particularly the sexual objectification she had to endure, especially in films such as Pretty Baby and The Blue Lagoon. In the teaser, she asks, “I spent my life owing people things and doing whatever they wanted. I finally asked myself, ‘What will I be if I don’t allow that anymore?’”

Shields opens up about inappropriate experiences on set and the difficult relationship with her mother, Teri Shields, an alcoholic who just wanted to make her daughter famous. In honor of the new documentary, let’s learn some interesting facts about Shields and her life, in and out of Hollywood.

She interned at the San Diego Zoo

FREEWAY, Brooke Shields, 1996

Republic Pictures Corp./Everett Collection

During her last year of high school, while she was already working as a model and actress, Shields interned at the San Diego Zoo for a school-required internship. While working there, she discovered a love of monkeys but admitted that she mostly prepared food and cleaned up poop. Not so glamorous! Many years later, Shields returned to the zoo for the opening of its Denny Sanford Wildlife Explorers Basecamp.

Her first kiss was extremely controversial

PRETTY BABY, Brooke Shields, Keith Carradine, 1978

Paramount/Everett Collection

One of Shields’ very first roles was in the 1978 film Pretty Baby when she was just 11 years old. In the film, she played a child prostitute and was forced to kiss her 27-year-old co-star Keith Carradine. It was her very first kiss and she recalled Carradine reassuring her, “This doesn’t count. It’s pretend. It’s all make-believe.”

She was best friends with the late Michael Jackson and he once asked her to marry him

Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Shields and Michael Jackson met when she was just 13 years old and they became fast friends. In fact, their relationship was so innocent, Shields had a hard time when allegations of child sexual abuse and child molestation came out about Jackson. She admitted, “I wish I knew the truth. Then I could figure out how to structure the narrative in my head. But I’m as shocked as I think the world is.” While their relationship was never romantic, she said he once asked her to marry him but she turned him down citing that they would be friends for a lifetime and they didn’t need to get married to have that. Shields also shared that he helped her through postpartum depression and her father’s death.

She still has her famous Calvin Klein jeans (and can still fit in them!)


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A post shared by Brooke Shields (@brookeshields)

When she was 15 years old, Shields did a famous campaign for Calvin Klein jeans and become synonymous with the brand. She met Calvin just two years after starring in Pretty Baby and he loved that she was young yet confident. Back in 2018, she revealed that she still has that iconic pair of jeans and can still zip them up! She has been saving some of her incredible clothing over the years for her two daughters, Rowan and Grier.

She was in a serious accident in 2021


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A post shared by Brooke Shields (@brookeshields)

In 2021, Shields broke her femur after falling at the gym while working out on a balance board. She had to have several surgeries and got an infection during her recovery. It was a long, slow, and painful recovery process but Shields said it helps her learn what a fighter she is and that she has the strength to push through anything.

She graduated with honors in French literature from Princeton University

Brooke Shields, 1987

Mario Casilli/TV Guide/Everett Collection

Shields revealed that she had always wanted to attend Princeton University and was finally able to attend starting in 1983. She put her career on hold to attend school because it was very important to her to complete the challenge of graduating from an Ivy League school. Being in the entertainment industry, Shields admitted that she wanted to develop her mind intellectually to deal with the challenges that she may face being an actress in an often male-dominated field.

She lost her virginity at the age of 22

THE BLUE LAGOON, Christopher Atkins, Brooke Shields, 1980

Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

Despite Hollywood being obsessed with her virginity since she appeared in such sexualized films, she chose to wait until she was in her 20s to experience sex. Unfortunately, the media found out when she lost her virginity at 22 and it became public news.

Director Franco Zeffirelli twisted her toe during a sex scene

ENDLESS LOVE, Brooke Shields directed by Franco Zeffirelli, 1981

Universal Pictures/Everett Collection

Shields starred in the 1981 film Endless Love with Tom Cruise and during one of the sex scenes, Zeffirelli reportedly twisted her toe to get a better shot. Shields said about the incident, “He wanted, evidently, for me to have a look of angst, or I guess ecstasy, on my face. It was so funny, because (a) it didn’t hurt and (b) it felt stupid. It would have been easier if he had taken me aside and said, ‘Maybe you haven’t experienced ecstasy, but I’d like you to just think of blah, blah, blah.’ When he did that, I thought, Really? How about directing?’”

She felt like she had to work and care for her mother at a young age

BARBARA WALTERS SPECIAL, Barbara Walters, Brooke Shields, w/ her mother, Teri Shields, aired 03/17/81

Everett Collection

Her mother, Teri, who passed away in 2012, became her manager early on and pushed her to work. In the documentary, Shields reportedly confesses that “We both used that system to have a better life.” Unfortunately, Teri was an alcoholic and would often look the other way when Shields was faced with uncomfortable situations on set.

These days the 57-year-old is still working and is set to appear in the upcoming Netflix film Mother of the Bride.

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March 2018

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