Family & Companions
Former model Brooke Burns, perhaps best known for her stint on "Baywatch" (1998-2001), enjoyed an active performing career on television after leaving the campy series in 2000. Since that time, Burns made a name for herself as a sexy starlet, often appearing in tabloids for various personal dramas, including a well-profiled relationship with Bruce Willis and a near-death accident that almost left the gregarious actress paralyzed.
Born Brooke Elizabeth Burns in Dallas, TX on March 16, 1978, Burns was encouraged by her parents to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a ballet dancer. After 12 years of practice and performance, that goal came to an abrupt end when she was involved in a serious skiing accident while in her teens. With the support of her mother, Burns shifted her focus to modeling, and while still a high school student, began appearing in national and international fashion layouts. Her popularity in print naturally led to appearances in television commercials for products like Mug Root Beer, which in turn led to her joining the cast of a teen-oriented television series called "Out of the Blue" (1996), which filmed at Sea World in Orlando, FL.
Her on-set experience prompted her to relocate to Los Angeles, where she auditioned for a role on "Baywatch." Though she did not land the part, the producers called her back for another role - that of Jessie Owens, whom she played on the series until 2000. During her "Baywatch" tenure, she also appeared semi-regularly on "Ally McBeal" (Fox, 1997-2002) as "The Girl" - a figment of the title character's fevered imagination. During this period, Burns became involved with actor Julian McMahon (later, of "Nip/Tuck" TV fame). The couple married in 1999, but divorced two years later, following the birth of their daughter Madison and Burns being confronted with tabloid photographs of her husband cavorting on the beach with actress Shannon Doherty.
Burns returned to performing in 2001 with a small but significant role in the feature "Shallow Hal," in which she played an unattractive woman whose inner beauty is revealed through Jack Black's particular affliction. She followed this with an appearance on a celebrity edition of the NBC reality series, "Fear Factor" (2001-06). Her episode which had Burns riding atop a moving bus, impressed the network enough to sign her to her own reality series, "Dog Eat Dog," which despite impressive ratings in its 2002 summer debut, did not survive past its initial season.
That year, Burns also expanded her acting resume with appearances on several network series, including a two-part episode of "Nero Wolfe" (A&E, 2001-02) and "Just Shoot Me" (1997-2003). For the next few years, Burns appeared regularly on episodic television, with a brief return to reality in "Average Joe: Hawaii" (NBC, 2004), as well as a short-lived series, the sudsy drama "North Shore" (Fox, 2004-05) - which ironically co-starred Shannon Doherty. She subsequently landed roles in two features: "Single White Female 2: The Psycho" (2005) - a direct-to-video sequel to the Barbet Schroeder thriller, and the broad slapstick comedy "Death to the Supermodels" (2005).
But it was her frequent tabloid appearances that kept her high profile. First, Burns began a relationship with Bruce Willis at the same time Willis' ex-wife began seeing a much younger Ashton Kutcher. The couples were often photographed together at premieres, surrounded by the Willis/Moore children. Willis and Burns were engaged from 2003 to June, 2004, when they announced their split due to trouble maintaining a long distance relationship. A year later, Burns made headlines again with a horrific pool-diving accident that resulted in a broken neck. Despite the potential for serious injury, she made a full recovery. She joined her third series, the WB's "Pepper Dennis" (2006), and made a favorable impression as Pepper's (Rebecca Romijn) offbeat sister and occasional partner in crime, Kathy.
Cast (Feature Film)
Made television debut in the short lived series "Out Of The Blue"
Cast as a sexy mailroom girl in "Ally McBeal"
Landed breakthrough role as Jessica Owens on "Baywatch"
Portrayed Karina in the comedy feature "Shallow Hal"
Hosted the challenging reality gameshow "Dog Eat Dog"
Starred in FOX's summer drama "North Shore," based around the staff of a Hawaiian resort
Cast on the short-lived WB series "Pepper Dennis" as Pepper's (Rebecca Romijn) sister
Appeared in the made-for-television Lifetime film, "Trophy Wife"
Co-hosted the FOX series "Hole in the Wall" with Los Angeles weatherman Mark Thompson
Cast as Lisa Germain on the short-lived "Miss Guided"
Appeared in the TV movie "Mistresses"
Played Vanessa Mancini on "Melrose Place" reboot
Appeared in the schlocky direct-to-video action adventure film "Titanic II"
Appeared in a string of TV movies, including "Borderline Murder," "Fixing Pete," "Undercover Bridesmaid," "A Star for Christmas," and "A Sister's Revenge"
Cast as Amy in the family drama "Where Hope Grows"
Starred in a trilogy of "Gourmet Detective" TV movies: "The Gourmet Detective," "The Gourmet Detective: A Healthy Place to Die," and "Death Al Dente: A Gourmet Detective Mystery"