Brooke Elizabeth Burns (/ˈbrʊk bɛrnz/; born March 16 1978) is an American fashion model, actress and television personality. Burns began her television career in 1995, portraying the supporting character Peg, in the Spanish-American teen sitcom Out of the Blue (1995—96), appearing in all episodes but gaining little notoriety. However, Burns won recognition in 1998, when she joined the cast of the action drama series Baywatch (1989—99) alongside David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra, in her breakthrough role portraying the character Jessie Owens. Burns subsequently starred in Baywatch's second rendition, Baywatch Hawaii (1999—01), alongside Simmone Jade Mackinnon, Stacy Kamano and again David Hasselhoff, until she left the show due to her first pregnancy. She appeared in 46 episodes.
After her hiatus, Burns returned to television, appearing in several guest roles, most notably in the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me! (1997—03), and had a major role in the American soap opera North Shore (2004—05), appearing in all 21 episodes. In 2009, Burns guest starred in the crime drama CSI: Miami (2002—12).
Burns attained further stardom in hosting the NBC game show Dog Eat Dog (2002—03), hosting all episodes. She also co-hosted the Fox game show Hole in the Wall (2008—12), hosting 18 episodes. Burns also hosted the GSN quiz show The Chase (2013—16). The show was nominated at the 41st Daytime Emmy Awards for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show, and Burns herself was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host, but the show did not achieve the same success as its British and Australian counterparts. In addition to television, Burns has also appeared in minor roles in several films, though not to the same degree of success as her television career. She most notably appeared in the romantic comedy Shallow Hal (2001), the mockbuster disaster Titanic II (2010); a parodical illustration of James Cameron's Titanic (1997), and the drama Where Hope Grows (2014).
Moreover acting, Burns is also known for her charitable contributions, ranging in the areas of women and children's health, child development and domestic violence. She is involved and has advocated for several charities in the United States, including the North American Spine Society and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Through her ex-husband Julian McMahon, she is formerly related to the 20th Prime Minister of Australia, William McMahon, and his wife Sonia.
Burns was born in Dallas, Texas, the daughter of Brad and Betsy Burns. Burns has two sisters. She was a ballet dancer for 12 years during childhood and started modeling at age 15 after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament in a skiing accident. At age 16, Burns and her family moved to Europe, where she later lived in Paris, Milan, and Munich.
From 1998 to 2001, Brooke Burns starred in Baywatch as the character Jessie Owens. In 2001, she appeared as Vicki Vale in one of several "Batman" commercials for OnStar, opposite Bruce Thomas's Batman, reprising the role made famous by Kim Basinger in the 1989 Tim Burton-directed Batman film. Burns hosted NBC's Dog Eat Dog from June 2002 to August 2003 and was nominated for a Teen Choice Award. Burns starred in North Shore, a prime-time soap opera that ran for 21 episodes in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, she starred in the WB series Pepper Dennis playing Kathy Dinkle. In 2009, Burns appeared in the first twelve episodes of the updated Melrose Place playing Vanessa, the most recent wife of Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro) and mother of his older son's five-year-old son, Noah. Burns was given the chance to participate in the first season of the ABC celebrity diving reality competition Splash but turned it down because of an injury she had received when diving a few years before.
Burns has also appeared on Ally McBeal, Just Shoot Me!, Drop Dead Diva, CSI: Miami, Out of the Blue, To Tell the Truth, and Average Joe: Hawaii. She was nominated for an Emmy in 2016 for best game show host on the GSN game show The Chase with Mark Labbett.
For her role in the 2001 film Shallow Hal, the Farrelly brothers wrote a specific part for Burns after deciding during her audition that she was the "prettiest dorky girl" they'd ever met. She appeared in a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, co-starring Henry Winkler, on December 13, 2008. Other films include Smokejumpers, Dancing Trees, Trophy Wife, Art of Travel, and Time and Again.
Burns appears in the Nickelback video "Trying Not to Love You" opposite Jason Alexander. Burns and Alexander both appeared in the 2001 movie Shallow Hal.
Brooke Burns was married to actor Julian McMahon from 1999 to 2001 and they have a daughter – Madison Elizabeth McMahon – who was born in June 2000.
She was engaged to Bruce Willis until they broke up in 2004 after ten months together.
She is married to film director Gavin O'Connor; they married on June 22, 2013. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
On October 7, 2016, it was announced that Burns was expecting her second child, a girl.
Health and injuries
In 1993, at age 15, Burns tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a skiing accident. This injury turned Burns to modelling, compared to ballet dancing.
On November 10, 2005, Burns broke her neck in a diving accident. Although she made a full recovery, she has a titanium fusion in her neck consisting of a plate, rod, and ten screws.
In 2010, Burns was pictured with her arm in a cast.
When Burns was filming Baywatch, she was involved with Camp Baywatch, teaching inner-city children to swim and lifeguard. She has mentored for Penny Lane, a home for abused children. She has been involved with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. She is the spokesperson for Give Back a Smile, a program in which dentists donate their time and expertise to restore the smiles of women who are victims of domestic violence.
Burns is actively involved in, and was honored by, the Life Rolls On Foundation, an organization that aims to help people with spinal cord injuries return to an active lifestyle. In 2006, as a result of her diving injury, she became involved with the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation and the North American Spine Society, which aim to raise awareness of spinal injuries.
|2001||Shallow Hal||Pretty / Ugly Katrina|
|Single White Female 2: The Psycho||Jan Lambert||Direct-to-DVD|
|Death to the Supermodels||Eva||Direct-to-DVD|
|2006||Murder on Spec||Kate Graham|
|2008||The Art of Travel||Darlene Loren|
|Smoke Jumper aka Trial by Fire||Kristin Scott||Lifetime TV movie|
|2010||Titanic II||Dr. Kim Patterson||Direct-to-DVD|
|2013||A Sister's Revenge||Suzanne Dunne||Lifetime TV Movie|
|2015||Where Hope Grows||Amy Boone|
|1996||Out of the Blue||Peg||22 episodes|
|1997||Conan the Adventurer|| |
|Episode: "The Three Virgins"|
|Ally McBeal||The Girl / Jennifer Higgin||4 episodes|
|1998–2001||Baywatch||Jessie Owens||46 episodes|
|1999||Mortal Kombat: Conquest||Lori||Episode: "Festival of Death"|
|2002||Men, Women & Dogs||Kristle||Episode: "Cheese Dog"|
|A Nero Wolfe Mystery||Beatrice Epps||2 episodes|
|2002–2003||Dog Eat Dog||Host||26 episodes|
|Just Shoot Me!||Kelly / Cover model||2 episodes|
|2003||She Spies||Nicki Shields||Episode: "The Replacement"|
|Rock Me Baby||Erin "White Chocolate" Rimsing||Episode: "Girl Power"|
|2004–2005||North Shore||Nicole Booth||21 episodes|
|2006||Modern Men||Angelica||Episode: "Give 'Til You Learn"|
|Pepper Dennis||Kathy Dinkle Williams||13 episodes|
|Trophy Wife||Kate Graham||TV movie|
|2007||Time and Again||Anna Malone||TV movie|
|2008||Trial by Fire||Kristen||TV movie|
|The Most Wonderful Time of the Year||Jennifer Cullen||TV movie|
|Miss Guided||Lisa Germain||7 episodes|
|2008–2009||Hole in the Wall||Co-host||18 episodes|
|2009||Mistresses||Shannon Barnes||TV movie|
|CSI: Miami||Bonnie Galinetti / Marci Reeger||Episode: "Chip/Tuck"|
|Drop Dead Diva||Christy Talbot||Episode: "Dead Model Walking"|
|Melrose Place||Vanessa Mancini||6 episodes|
|2011||You Deserve It||Hostess||6 episodes|
|Fixing Pete||Ashley||TV movie|
|Borderline Murder||Ally||TV movie|
|2012||Undercover Bridesmaid||Tanya||TV movie|
|A Star for Christmas||Skylar||TV movie|
|2013–2015||The Chase||Host||29 episodes|
|2014–present||Motor City Masters||Host||10 episodes|
|2015||Community||E.T. Host||Episode: "Intro to Recycled Cinema"|
|Gourmet Detective||Detective Maggie Price||TV movie|
|Gourmet Detective: A Healthy Place to Die||Detective Maggie Price||TV movie|