Teri Shields, mother and manager to actress Brooke Shields, died in New York City last Wednesday, according to multiple media reports.
The New York Times broke the story that Teri Shields had died after a long battle with multiple illnesses, including dementia. She was 79-years-old.
According to MSN, Teri was a single mother who began managing Brooke’s career when the actress was just 11-months-old. Brooke’s first gig, an ad for Dove soap, was booked by Teri at that time. As Brooke grew older, Teri was influential in securing a handful of controversial roles for the young actress, including 1978’s Pretty Baby in which Brooke played a teenage prostitute.
At the time, Brooke defended Teri from the criticism she received for allowing her daughter to appear in such a controversial role. “It’s only a role,” Brooke said at the time of Pretty Baby, “I’m not going to grow up and be a prostitute.”
Brooke also took part in a controversial Calvin Klein jeans ad (“Nothing comes between me and my Calvins”).
“When she was born Brooke looked like a beautiful doll,” Teri told People for a 1978 profile of the mother and daughter. “I couldn’t believe she was mine.”
However, the relationship between Brooke and mother, Teri, was not without its troubles. “Occasionally the intimacy between mother and daughter turns into anger,” People wrote when Brooke was 12-years-old. ” ‘Oh, Mommy, you’re so dumb!’ Brooke complains. Teri, offended, snaps back, ‘I don’t have to take that crap!’ and storms out of the room.”
In 1994, reports that an acrimonious distancing between mother and daughter emerged. Brooke famously remarked “I grew up in an alcoholic household,” at that time. “I’m the caretaker who wants to make everything better, and you can just do that for so long, or so I’ve been told.”
Around that same time, Teri admitted that she doesn’t discuss her daughter’s career anymore. “Talk to Brookie,” she said, but adding, “Brookie doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”