Brooke Shields' Mom Dead at 79

Teri Shields managed her young daughter to stardom

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 6, 2012 4:12 PM CST

(Newser) – Teri Shields raised eyebrows when she allowed her 11-year-old daughter, Brooke, to be cast as a prostitute in 1978's Pretty Baby. A few years later, she permitted a teenage Brooke to famously star in a series of commercials for Calvin Klein jeans, provocatively professing that nothing comes between "me and my Calvins." Teri Shields died last week in New York City, according to a spokeswoman for Brooke Shields. She was 79. The New York Times reported the elder Shields died following a long illness related to dementia.

Teri Shields started promoting her daughter as an actress and model when she was still an infant and managed her until her 20s. Shields described her daughter's fan appeal in a 1978 TV interview: "They see total innocence, which is totally there. And two, they have the sexy child too, they have the sexy person—that appeals to them." Brooke Shields parted ways professionally with her mother in 1995, describing the move as "the hardest thing." She told Rolling Stone the following year that "something didn't feel right" with the old arrangement. "I had hopes and dreams, and I wasn't doing anything to go toward them," she said. "The focus was on creating a persona rather than a talent."

This 1980 file photo shows Brooke Shields with her mother, Teri Shields.   ((AP Photo, file))
This 1983 file photo shows Brooke Shields with her mother, Teri, in New York.   (Ron Frehm)
This 1987 file photo shows Brooke Shields with mom Teri after graduation ceremonies at Princeton University.   (Anonymous)
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