Who is Brooke Elliot?
“Drop Dead Diva” was the story of one woman’s soul inside the body of another. The show’s star, Brooke Elliott, played Jane Bingrum, a plus-size lawyer in whose body lives the soul of a vain model who died in a traffic accident. During her time in the show, Brooke Elliott discussed the perception of plus-size actresses on television, describing her body size as perfectly normal, adding that the majority of American women look like her. (She is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) tall, and weighs around 180lbs (82kgs))
Brooke’s performance in the series demonstrated that talent comes in different shapes and sizes. Aside from national recognition, her diverse performance earned her the Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Female Rising Star in a Comedy Series, and the Women’s Image Network Award-Actress Comedy Series.
Continue reading to find out more about this versatile actress, her career origins, her life, and how wealthy she is today.
Early life, family, and education
Born Brooke Kathleen Elliott under the zodiac sign of Scorpio on 16 November 1974, she’s aged 48 as of May 2023. A native of Fridley, Minnesota USA, she holds American nationality, and comes from a family of Austrian, German, Dutch, Irish and English descent.
Brooke was raised by her parents, Kathleen and Robert, alongside her two siblings Adam and Jamie Alexander. The family often moved, so Brooke spent her early days in Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma before they came to Riverview, Michigan when Brooke was a teenager.
Brooke’s parents said that she began singing aged three and that they knew she would become a performer when she grew up. Brooke appeared in high school productions, including the play “Richard III” by William Shakespeare.
Upon matriculating from high school in 1992, Brooke enrolled at Western Michigan University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre Performance in 1996.
Prior to launching her professional acting career, Brooke worked various jobs. For a while, she was a waitress at a ‘50s-themed restaurant, but part of her job was to dance on tables every hour. Brooke struggled, but in 1999 she moved to Chicago, Illinois where she became a member of the Theatre Company called Babes with Blades.
Her first major professional stage role was in the US touring version of “Beauty and the Beast”, in which Brooke played the Sugar Bowl. She debuted on Broadway in the play “Taboo” alongside Boy George – Brooke credits Rosie O’Donnell, who produced the play, for casting her in her first Broadway role. Brooke followed with another of her notable stage roles, as Majella in “The Pirate Queen”, a musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg.
When it comes to her movie and television series roles, Brooke made her first movie appearance as a Woman in Park in the 2000 romantic comedy “What Women Want”, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.
Five years later, Brooke debuted in the television show as Denise Bell in an episode of the series “Law & Order: Trial by Jury”.
In 2009, she was cast to play her most notable TV series role to date, as Jane Bingum in “Drop Dead Diva”. The show aired until 2014, and Brooke was seen in all 78 episodes of this comedy-drama, which had 12 award nominations and won eight. Besides the aforementioned awards, Brooke was nominated for the Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical (2009), and two Prism Awards for Performance in a Comedy Series (2011, and ’14).
Brooke followed with her role as Amber in the 2016 TV movie “Furst Born”, before she returned to the big screen as Kendra in the 2017 comedy “Diary of a Lunatic”, also starring Kevin Sizemore and Tracey B. Wilson. The plot revolved around a man, Trew, who is visited by God, and asked to write down everything he says. Although the movie had no nominations, the audience loved this story, saying that it was ‘an hilarious, touching movie about love and suffering’.
In the following years, Brooke was seen as Keri-Ann in the TV movie “Crazy Wonderful” before she was cast to play Kat in the 2019 drama “More Beautiful for Having Been”, which won the Southeast Regional Film Festival Award for Best Feature Film.
Later that year, Brooke guest-starred as Nancy in the Netflix series “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings”, in which eight of Dolly’s songs are brought to life.
From 2020 through 2022, Brooke was seen as Dana Sue Sullivan in 20 episodes of the series “Sweet Magnolias”, also starring Carson Rowland and JoAnna Garcia Swisher. This romantic drama, based on the novel of the same title by Sherryl Woods, follows the story of three South Carolina women, who are best friends since high school and guide each other through the complexities of family life, career, and romance. The show won two ReFrame Stamps for Top 100 Popular Television. Fans of the show will be happy to hear that the third season is confirmed to come with ten episodes.
Concurrently with her role in “Sweet Magnolias”, Brooke was seen as Chrissy Kessler in the 2022 TV movie “A Country Christmas Harmony”, also starring Brandon Quinn and Danny Pintauro.
Love life and relationships
Brooke is quite secretive when it comes to her personal life, and although she’s been the subject of various rumors about her romantic life, and even her sexual orientation has been questioned, she’s managed to keep her personal matters away from the public eye.
It was rumored that Brooke dated Lex Medlin, her co-star from “Drop Dead Diva”, who played Owen French, however, neither Brooke nor Lex commented on these assumptions.
As of May 2023, it seems that Brooke is single, she hasn’t been married or engaged, and doesn’t have children.
Brooke, to date, has ten acting credits to her name, and while some may assume that her wealth isn’t huge, the truth is that she’s earned a good amount of money starring as Jane in “Drop Dead Diva”; according to sources, her salary was quite substantial. As of May 2023, Brooke has a net worth estimated at over $5 million.