Brooke Shields is an actress, author, and one of the most famous super models in fashion history. Initially a child model, she gained critical acclaim at the age of 12 for her leading role in the controversial 1978 film Pretty Baby. Two years later, Shields became the youngest fashion model to ever land on the cover of Vogue magazine. By the time she was 16, Shields was one of the most recognized faces in the world, largely due to her dual career as a child actress and provocative fashion model.
In 1981 alone, Shields graced the covers of more than 30 magazines. After successfully transitioning from a teenage star to an adult, Shields went on to establish herself as a popular TV star. One of her finest performances was delivered in the sitcom Suddenly Susan, which earned her two Golden Globe nominations. Though mostly retired now, Shields is still very much in the public eye, spending her time raising her two children and doing charity work.
During the height of her early fame, Shields suddenly put her showbiz life on hold and enrolled at Princeton University. As a freshman, Shields lived in a dormitory, but her roommates had trouble coping with the endless telephone calls and the occasional obsessed fans. She later moved into an apartment in Princeton and hired two bodyguards to escort her in town. A highly motivated person, Shields combined classwork and performances with the Triangle Club (a campus theater troupe), with work on two movies, stage appearances with Bob Hope, and even public service commercials on various health issues. Her senior thesis was on the work of Louis Malle, who directed her first major film role. In 1987, the auburn-haired beauty not only received her Princeton degree in romance languages, but also graduated with honors.
Despite her busy professional life, Shields never forgot her beloved campus. Twenty-four years after graduation, one of Princeton’s most famous alumni returned to deliver the Class Day address. Sporting a Princeton University class of 1987 jacket, the actress explained to graduates how her education at the Ivy League school helped her survive as an adult. "I left Princeton learning that learning is a lifelong enterprise and I graduated more confident than I had ever been," she said.
As a lifelong Princetonian, Shields returned to the campus again a year later to participate in her 25th Reunion. The Hollywood icon used the opportunity to reflect on her undergraduate days during the discussion “Tigers in the Arts,” one of the many alumni-faculty forums scheduled throughout the weekend.
"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," Shields said, referring to her experience as a child actress before attending Princeton. And although people often associate Brooke Shields with fame and good looks, it seems that her education was just as important in maintaining the trajectory of her long and successful career in one of the world’s most unforgiving businesses.