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Brooke Burns
Brooke Burns 2010.jpg
Burns in July 2010
Brooke Elizabeth Burns

(1978-03-16) March 16, 1978 (age 44)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
  • Actress
  • television host
  • model
Years active 1996–present
Height 5 ft 8 12 in (1.74 m)
  • (m. 1999; div. 2001)
  • Gavin O'Connor
    (m. 2013)
Children 2

Brooke Elizabeth Burns (born March 16, 1978) is an American fashion model, game show host, 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 (1995–1996), appearing in all episodes. Burns joined the cast of the action drama series Baywatch in 1998 and subsequently starred in Baywatch's second rendition, Baywatch: Hawaii, until she left the show owing to her first pregnancy. She appeared in 33 episodes.

After her hiatus, Burns returned to television. She appeared in several guest roles, including in the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me!, and played a major role in the American soap opera North Shore, appearing in all 21 episodes.

Burns hosted all episodes of the NBC game show Dog Eat Dog, which aired from 2002 to 2003. She hosted 18 episodes of the Fox game show Hole in the Wall, as well as the GSN quiz show The Chase. The Chase was nominated at the 41st Daytime Emmy Awards for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show, and two years later Burns was nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host. In addition to television, Burns has also appeared in minor roles in several films. She appeared in the romantic comedy Shallow Hal, the mockbuster disaster Titanic II, and the drama Where Hope Grows (2014).

Early life

Burns was born in Dallas, Texas, the daughter of Brad and Betsy Burns. She 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 moved with her family to Europe, living later in Paris, Milan, and Munich.



From 1998 to 2001, Burns starred in Baywatch and Baywatch: Hawaii 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. 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 12 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!, Dog Eat Dog, Drop Dead Diva, CSI: Miami, Out of the Blue, To Tell the Truth, 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 and is currently host of Master Minds.


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 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 Shallow Hal.

Personal life

Burns grew up in Texas in a Christian family. Her father was in the oil business and also did missionary work. Burns was married to actor Julian McMahon from 1999 to 2001. McMahon is the son of the former Prime Minister of Australia Sir William McMahon. They have a daughter, Madison Elizabeth McMahon, who was born in June 2000.

Burns began dating actor Bruce Willis in April 2003. Rumoured to have become engaged in April 2004, they broke up in June 2004 after 10 months together.

On June 22, 2013, she married film director Gavin O'Connor. She resides in Los Angeles.

In October 2016, it was announced that Burns was expecting her second child, a girl; Burns announced that her daughter, Declan Welles O'Connor, was born January 22, 2017.

Health and injuries

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 10 screws. In May 2014, Burns was involved in a car crash in Los Angeles.

Charitable activities

When Burns was filming Baywatch, she was involved with Camp Baywatch, teaching inner-city children to swim and lifeguard. She also supports 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 Think First National Injury Prevention Foundation and the North American Spine Society, which aim to raise awareness of spinal injuries. In 2022, Burns appeared on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, playing for the Just Keep Livin' Foundation. The organization helps teenagers across the country.



Year Film Role Notes
2001 Shallow Hal Pretty / Ugly Katrina
2005 The Salon Tami
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
2007 Urban Decay Sasha
2008 The Art of Travel Darlene Loren
Smoke Jumper aka Trial by Fire Kristin Scott Lifetime TV movie
2009 Dancing Trees Nicole
2010 Titanic II Dr. Kim Patterson Direct-to-DVD
2015 Where Hope Grows Amy Boone


Year Title Role Notes
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 & Baywatch: Hawaii Jessie Owens 46 episodes
1999 Mortal Kombat: Conquest Lori Episode: "Festival of Death"
2001 Hot Date Vicki Vale OnStar commercial
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 Television film (Lifetime)
2007 Time and Again Anna Malone Television film (Lifetime)
2008 Trial by Fire Kristen Television film (Lifetime)
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Jennifer Cullen Television film (Hallmark)
Miss Guided Lisa Germain 7 episodes
2008–2009 Hole in the Wall Co-host 18 episodes
2009 Mistresses Shannon Barnes Television film (Lifetime)
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 Television film (Hallmark)
Borderline Murder Abby Morgan Television film (Lifetime Movies)
2012 Undercover Bridesmaid Tanya Television film (Hallmark)
A Star for Christmas Skylar Television film (ION)
2013 A Sister's Revenge Suzanne Dunne Television film (Lifetime)
2013–2015 The Chase Host 51 episodes
2014 Motor City Masters Host 10 episodes
2015 Community E.T. Host Episode: "Intro to Recycled Cinema"
Gourmet Detective Detective Maggie Price Television film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
Gourmet Detective: A Healthy Place to Die Detective Maggie Price Television film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
2016 Gourmet Detective: Death Al Dente Detective Maggie Price Television film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
2017 Eat, Drink and Be Buried: A Gourmet Detective Mystery Detective Maggie Price Television film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
Christmas Connection Sydney Television film (Hallmark)
2020 Roux the Day: A Gourmet Detective Mystery Detective Maggie Price Television film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
Master Minds Host
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African-American female entrepreneurs
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Janet Emerson Bashen
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