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Brooke Shields - Biography & Career

Shields was born in New York City into an aristocratic family (on her father's side); her father was the late Francis Alexander Shields and her mother is Teri Shields (born Maria Theresia Schmonn). Brooke's parents divorced when she was a small child. Her father remarried Diana Lippert, the former wife of Thomas Gore Auchincloss (half-brother of Gore Vidal and stepbrother of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis).

Brooke has three half sisters: Marina Torlonia Shields (who married Thomas William Purcell), Olympia, and Christiana Shields. Also, she has two stepsiblings: Diana Luise Auchincloss and Thomas Gore Auchincloss Jr.

Actor/comedian Eddie Murphy, in his concert film, Eddie Murphy: Raw, called Shields "the whitest woman in America". Her paternal grandparents are Francis Xavier Shields, a tennis star of Irish descent, and Italian princess Donna Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi, who was a sister of Don Alessandro Torlonia, 5th Prince di Civitella-Cesi, husband of the spanish Infanta Dona Beatriz de Borbon y Battenberg (aunt of King Juan Carlos I of Spain). Their granddaughter, Sibilla Weiller (b. 1968), Brooke's cousin, married Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg (b. 1963), the youngest brother of Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, in 1994.

Through her Italian grandmother, Shields is a descendant of Lucrezia Borgia, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Honore I of Monaco and Henry IV of France. Shields is "a 23rd generation descendant of Francesco I Gattilusio, the founder of the Lesbian Gattilusii dynasty," according to the monograph "The Lesbos Island Ancestors of Prince Rainier of Monaco, Dr. Otto von Habsburg, Brooke Shields, and the Marquis de Sade."

Through her Irish grandfather, the branch of the Shields family from which Brooke Shields descends, traces its ancestry to William Shields, born 1600, at Lough Neagh in County Armagh and killed in County Antrim in 1655. He had four sons, William, James, Daniel, and John. William & James were deported by Cromwell to Barbados in 1655 (they may have been conscripted to serve in the invasion of Spanish America the Western Design that collapsed at Hispaniola in that year). Both relocated to Middle Plantation (now Williamsburg, Virginia) in 1658 as indentured servants. James and his descendents became tavern-keepers. Shields Tavern is a restored public house in Colonial Williamsburg. John Shields, the gunsmith of the Lewis & Clark expedition was of this line as was United States President John Tyler through his mother. William migrated to Kent County, Maryland where he gave rise to the prominent Tennessee political clan, the New Orleans family of white jazz musicians. The third brother, Daniel, was a Catholic partisan who would die in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. His son, one of the Wild Geese, associated with the Spanish and wound up in Cuba as governor general. Other descendents include the Civil War General James Shields, who would become U.S. Senator in three different states. The youngest of the four sons, John (born 1650), died on his voyage to America in 1732. His son William Shields was fostered by the Kent County, Maryland cousins and would found Emmitsburg, Maryland. Among many notable descendents were Arthur Shields, a controversial 19th-century Presbyterian, who was expelled from Princeton University and from this branche belongs Brooke Shields.

During the 1980s and '90's, Shields's romantic relationships were the subject of many tabloid articles. Among the celebrities she dated were Ted McGinley (her high school prom escort), Dean Cain (her Princeton roommate), John F. Kennedy Jr., Michael Bolton, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Michael Jackson (his date to the 1984 Grammy Awards). She was married from April 19, 1997 to April 9, 1999 to professional tennis player Andre Agassi. Since April 4, 2001 she has been married to television writer Chris Henchy. They have two daughters: Rowan Francis (b. May 15, 2003) and Grier Hammond (b. April 18, 2006). Coincidentally, Shields' second child was born on the same day and in the same hospital as the first child of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise.