How She Overcame a Near-Fatal Accident

How She Overcame a Near-Fatal Accident

Who is Brooke Burns?

She is a fashion model and actress with over 40 credits to her name, however, Brooke Burns is also a well-known game show host and TV personality. Although Brooke is probably still known best for her role as Jessie Owens in the hit series “Baywatch”, she’s also one of the audience’s favorite hosts, and is a Daytime Emmy-awarded host for her work on “The Chase”, as well as a Teen Choice Award-Choice TV Reality/Variety Host for her work on “Dog Eat Dog”.

Early life, family, and education

Born Brooke Elizabeth Burns under the zodiac sign of Pisces on 16 March 1978, she recently celebrated her 45th birthday. She’s a native of Dallas, Texas USA, holds American nationality, and comes from a family of English, Irish, German and distant French descent. Raised by her parents, Betsy and Brad, alongside her two sisters, Brooke spent some time living in European cities, including Paris, France, Milan, Italy, and Munich, Germany.

Brooke was a ballet dancer from an early age, however, after the ski accident, she had to stop practicing ballet. She began modeling aged 15, and then moved with her family to Europe. Upon matriculating from high school in 1996, Brooke returned to the US, and enrolled at the Santa Monica College of the University of California, Los Angeles, from which she graduated with a BA degree, in 2000.

Roles in series

Brooke made her acting debut as Peg in the 1996 series “Out of the Blue”, and she made an appearance in five episodes of the show. She followed with her guest roles in “Ally McBeal” and “Conan the Adventurer” in 1997 before she was cast to play Jessie Owens in “Baywatch”. From 1998 through 2001, Brooke was seen in 46 episodes of this romantic drama series, also starring Pamela Anderson, David Hasselhoff and Yasmine Bleeth. While she was in the show, Brooke was involved with a camp called Baywatch, where she taught inner-city children to swim.

Brooke played Vicki Vale in the 2001 TV mini-series “OnStar: Batman”, followed by her guest roles in “Men, Women & Dogs” (2002) and “She Spies” (2003). Next, Brooke portrayed Nicole Booth in the series “North Shore”, which followed the story of the staff at the Hawaiian hotel, Grand Waimea – Brooke played the hotel’s Director of Guest Relations, and was seen in all 21 episodes (2004-2005).

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In the following year, Brooke was cast to play Kathy Dinkle in the comedy-drama series “Pepper Dennis”, also starring Josh Hopkins and Rebecca Romijn, which although had no nominations, the audience rated it well (6.8/10).

Brooke followed with her role as Lisa Germain in the 2008 series “Miss Guided”, then was next seen guest-starring in “CSI: Miami” and “Drop Dead Diva” in 2009, before she landed the role of Vanessa Mancini in “Melrose Place” (2009-2010).

Most recently, Brooke was seen as Maggie in five episodes of the TV mini-series “The Gourmet Detective” (2015-2020), a mystery crime drama about detectives who solve murders that are somehow related to cooking.

Roles in movies

Brooke made her big-screen debut playing Katrina in the 2001 fantasy comedy-drama “Shallow Hal”, also starring Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow – the Farrelly brothers, Bobby and Peter, wrote a specific part for Brooke after they saw her audition tape.

Her next movie role came in the 2005 comedy “The Salon”, followed by her roles in “Single White Female 2: The Psycho” and “Death to the Supermodels”, later that year. In the following year, Brooke was cast to play Kate Graham in the TV movie “Trophy Wife”, which followed the story of Kate, who had a seemingly perfect marriage, until her husband asked for a divorce after his affair with her best friend. He went to live on their yacht, and soon after was found dead on board, which was just the beginning of Kate’s nightmare.

Brooke was next seen as Sasha in the 2007 horror “Urban Decay”, followed by her role as Darlene in “The Art of Travel” in 2008. Later that year, she was seen in “I’ll Come Running” and “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and in the following year, Brooke played Nicole Davis in the thriller drama “Dancing Trees”, about an autistic mathematical genius, Martha, whose mother has been killed, and now Martha and Nicole are trying to catch the murderer.

Brooke followed with roles in “Titanic II” (2010), “Fixing Pete” (2011), “A Star for Christmas” (2012), and “Where Hope Grows” (2014). Most recently, she starred as Sydney in the 2017 TV movie “Christmas Connection”.

Love life and relationships

Brooke has been the subject of various rumors about her romantic life. It’s known that she was in a marriage with an actor, Julian McMahon from 22 December 1999, and their daughter Madison Elizabeth McMahon was born on 10 June 2000, but they divorced on 7 January 2002.

In April 2003, Brooke began a relationship with the famed actor, Bruce Willis, and in the following year, rumors began about their engagement, however, the two broke up in June 2004.

In the following years, Brooke was romantically linked to James Wilder, Steve Bing, and Dominic Purcell, while from 2010 through 2011, she was in a relationship with famous American actor John Cusack.

After a short relationship, on 22 June 2013, Brooke married Gavin O’Connor, a filmmaker and actor, and Brooke gave birth to their daughter, Declan Welles O’Connor, on 22 January 2017. As of May 2023, the family of four lives in their residence in Los Angeles, California.

What happened to her? How she overcame a near-fatal accident?

In November 2005, Brooke shattered her neck while diving. She fully recovered, although she had a serious surgery and narrowly avoided paralysis She now has a titanium fusion in her neck that consists of a plate, rod, and ten screws. Brooke is now an advocate for those with spinal cord injuries.

The accident happened one night when Brooke was doing her nightly routine swimming in her backyard pool, and one of the pool lights went out, so Brooke misjudged the depth and hit her head on the bottom. Luckily, there was her friend, trained as a firefighter and paramedic who immobilized and supported her neck, which saved both her life and her mobility.

The doctors informed Brooke that she had a high neck break and bruised spinal cord. They told her that if her injury was just a millimeter in either direction, she would have been a quadriplegic. She underwent the surgery, and for the next three months wore a neck brace.

Brooke said that it was painful, that she had to sleep in a sitting position, and sometimes pain pills weren’t helping. She was happy to return to work, and nagged by survivor’s guilt, began researching how her experience could help other people. She teamed up with North American Spine Society and ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation.

How rich is Brooke Burns?

This versatile actress and loved game-show host has accumulated decent wealth thanks to her talent. According to sources, as of May 2023, Brooke has a net worth estimated at over $3 million.

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