Brooke Shields’ mom dead at 79

Posted at 2:57 PM, Nov 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-07 14:57:46-05

By Breeanna Hare, CNN

(CNN) – Teri Shields, who served as both mother and manager to her model/actress daughter Brooke Shields, died last week in Manhattan at the age of 79, the New York Times reports.

A rep for Brooke told the paper that Teri had long been battling an illness associated with dementia.

Born in Newark in 1933 as Theresa Anna Lillian Schmon, Teri was nearly as famous in the industry as her daughter because of the firm grip she had on Brooke’s career from a very young age.

Having worked as a makeup artist, hair stylist and a model herself, Teri stepped into the role of Brooke’s manager when her daughter was born. (Teri’s brief marriage to Brooke’s father, Francis Alexander Shields, ended in divorce a few months after Brooke’s arrival.)

With her mother’s management, Brooke booked a gig at 11 months in an Ivory soap ad, and her career grew to include advertisements for Breck, Colgate and Band-Aids as well as more risque moves such as her work for Calvin Klein jeans and her role as a child prostitute in 1978’s “Pretty Baby.”

Teri was aware at the time that some viewed her “as a stage mother, a frustrated actress living through Brooke and even a one-woman film-wrecking crew,” as she told People magazine in ’78. “They can say what they want about me. But Brooke can’t fight back. That’s why I’m here. I’m not a stage mother. I’m Brooke’s mother. The most important thing is that I love Brooke, and it’s fun to make her happy.”

The pair’s relationship reportedly grew strained as Brooke aged and began to manage her own career when she was in her 20s.

Now 47, Brooke Shields told CNN in a statement that her mother “was an enormous part of my life and of who I am today. I loved her, laughed with her, and respected her. And although she had her share of struggles, she was my mom.”

Aside from Brooke, Teri Shields is also survived by her sister and two grandchildren.

CNN’s Carolyn Sung contribtued to this report.