Brooke Shields has been announced as the keynote speaker for Missouri State University's Public Affairs Conference. (Photo provided by Missouri State University)

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From a Calvin Klein jeans ad to a successful sitcom stemming from a “Friends” appearance, as well as speaking up for women's health issues, Brooke Shields’ career has been pretty, baby.

An actor, author and advocate, Shields was announced Monday as the keynote speaker for Missouri State University’s Public Affairs Conference this fall. Her address is set for Sept. 24 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

Brent Dunn, executive director of the Missouri State University Foundation, said Shields will speak about how she handled the thrills of Hollywood fame alongside personal challenges.

“Through her powerful message, Brooke encourages audiences to celebrate their own unique paths and to find the courage to pursue their dreams at any age,” Dunn said. “As a true icon and trailblazer, she proves that with determination and a positive outlook, anything is possible.”

Shields’ speech is free, and does not require tickets. A VIP reception will be held earlier that day, where participants can meet for a photo opportunity and an autographed copy of her book “There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me.” Tickets are $150 and available for sale online or by calling (417) 836-4143. 

A Hollywood icon, Shields at 12 starred in “Pretty Baby” in 1978, and “The Blue Lagoon” in 1980 at the age of 14. At 15, Shields was featured in a successful and controversial ad campaign for Calvin Klein’s tight jeans. 

She navigated the shift from child actor to adult actor successfully — IMDB credits Shields with more than 100 performances in movies and TV shows. A guest appearance in 1996 on “Friends” led to a sitcom, “Suddenly Susan,” which ran for four seasons. 

Shields is also known for her advocacy on the use of fertility treatments and on dealing with depression. 

Joe Hadsall

Joe Hadsall is the education reporter for the Hauxeda. Hadsall has more than two decades of experience reporting in the Ozarks with the Joplin Globe, Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine. Contact him at (417) 837-3671 or More by Joe Hadsall