For a very long time, Hollywood peddled a restrictive definition of beauty in favor of ladies that are slim. Such a narrow mindset hampered the ability of plus-sized people to succeed in the industry but things are now changing thanks to the struggle of some people. One of those who fall into this category is the award-winning TV star, Brooke Elliott.
A native of Minnesota, Elliott first got her start as a theatrical actress on a couple of Disney productions as well as Broadway. She then broke into Hollywood a decade later and has since featured in several movies and TV series. She is, however, most popular for her role as Jane Bingum on the TV series, Drop Dead Diva.
Elliott’s portrayal of the brilliant plus-sized attorney, whose body is occupied by the soul of a ditzy model, fetched her several awards and has ensured that she will remain evergreen in Hollywood. Most importantly, it also mirrored the issues she has dealt with in real life and continues to advocate upon to date.
Brooke Elliott Got her Start in Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway.
There is no success story without a background to it and Brooke Elliott’s own dates back to her childhood. The actress first revealed her singing talent when she was just three. She, therefore, grabbed any performing opportunity that came her way. As a student of the Gabriel Richard Catholic High School, Brooke took part in several school productions including Richard III and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She subsequently proceeded to study musical performance at Western Michigan University and graduated with her BFA (bachelor of fine arts) in 1998.
Upon graduation, Brooke Elliott threw herself into her career and gained a spot with the stage combat theatre company, Babes with Blades, in 1999. The group specialized in choreographed fights and the young lady got to do hand-to-hand combat, punching, Aikido rolls, and hair-pulling during these staged fights. From stage combat, Elliott was able to land theatrical roles in Disney productions such as Beauty and the Beast (which toured the U.S.) and Wicked (which toured North America). She also originated roles in several Broadway plays including Taboo (2003) and The Pirate Queen (2007).
Her Unforgettable days as Jane/Deb on Drop Dead Diva
Whilst building her repertoire as a theatrical actress, Brooke Elliott also made efforts to enter into Hollywood. Her screen debut came in the 2000 rom-com, What Women Want. What Women Want revolves around a charismatic Ad executive, Nick, who develops an ability to hear the thoughts of women. He thus uses it to his utmost advantage before realizing the error of his ways. What Women Want featured A-listers such as Helena Hunting and Mel Gibson while Elliott had a small part as the woman in the park.
Building upon that humble debut, Brooke Elliott scored a one-off appearance in an episode of Law & Order: Trial By Jury in 2005. It would be another four years before she would get a screen role but it would be a fantastic one that would compensate for all the years of agonizing and waiting. This was in the Lifetime drama series, Drop Dead Diva. Drop Dead Diva tells the exciting story of two radically different women, a brilliant plus-sized lawyer named Jane and a shallow/skinny blonde model named Deb, who dies at the same time. Thanks to a mix-up at the heavenly gates, Deb returns to earth in Jane’s body and is forced to learn valuable life lessons.
Drop Dead Diva debuted in July 2009 and was an instant hit, thanks to Brooke’s hilarious leading performance. Another factor that contributed to the show’s success was the occasional dance and song numbers that she belted out with other stars of the show. Such a wonderful combination attracted a record number of viewers for each episode. It also convinced a diverse array of celebrities to guest star on the show during its successful six years run. They include the likes of Tim Gunn, Wendy Williams, Paula Abdul, and Rosie O’Donnell. On a personal level, Brooke received several awards including the 2010 Gracie Award for female rising star in a comedy series and the 2011 Women’s Image Network Award for best actress in a comedy series.
Elliott Can Be Seen On the Hit 2020 Netflix Drama Series, Sweet Magnolias
Given the level of success and fame that Brooke Elliott achieved with Drop Dead Diva, one would expect her to now have a smooth ride in the industry but this is not the reality. It has been about six years since the show ended and in that time, she has only appeared in a couple of TV pilots that were not picked up for a full season. They are Crazy Wonderful and Furst Born. The actress also guest-starred in one episode of the web series, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, in 2018.
Thankfully, things are beginning to look up for Brooke as she landed a starring role in the Netflix drama series, Sweet Magnolias, in 2020. Based upon a popular series of romance novels authored by Sherryl Woods, Sweet Magnolias revolves around three South Carolina women, Maddie, Helen, and Dana, who have been best of friends since childhood. They continue this friendship as adults and help each other deal with issues pertaining to romance, career, and family.
Sweet Magnolias debuted in May 2020 and features Brooke in the role of Dana; a chef and restaurateur who has a daughter. Her other co-stars are Heather Hedley (Helen) and JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Maddie). The series has received positive reviews since its premiere, it has a rating of 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has been renewed for a second season. Hopefully, it will be a needed shot in the arm for Brooke’s career and she would be able to land steady gigs from here on out.
The Actress is Going it Solo for Now and Does not have any Known Romantic Partner
Brooke Elliott firmly believes in keeping her private life secluded from the public and media. There has therefore not been any rumors romantically linking her to a co-star or any other individual for that matter. It is possible that she does not have a boyfriend. It is also very much possible that the Riverview native has a beau but is choosing to keep him all to herself.
The actress is not love in her life though. She hails from a family of five including father, Robert, and mother, Kathleen Elliott. She also has two siblings namely brother, Adam, and sister, Jamie Alexander. Brooke is quite close to her mom and siblings but her dad passed away in November 2010. His cause of death was not revealed but his family held a funeral for him at the St Anne’s Catholic Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Another thing that Drop Dead Diva star is passionate about is her advocacy for plus-sized people. The actress does not shy away from spreading body-positivity messages and believes that beauty is beauty no matter one’s size. She also believes that one does not have to be a size zero in order to like one’s self or body.