Brooke Shields Elected President of Actors’ Equity

Brooke Shields has been elected president of the Actors’ Equity Association, the union that represents about 51,000 actors and stage managers on Broadway and nationwide.

Shields prevailed over stage manager Erin Maureen Koster, a stage manager and third vice president at Actors’ Equity and Wydetta Carter, an actor who had been serving as Equity’s first vice president. Her four-year term begins effective immediately.

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After the news was announced, Shields posted on Instagram saying she was “honored and grateful” to have been elected.

“I promise to lead with strength and compassion, and I will stand up for you and command the respect that we deserve as an acting community,” Shields wrote. “Also to those who ran, I did not run against you, I ran with you and for you. I look forward to listening to you.”

Kate Shindle had served as president since 2015, but decided to step down after her term ended May 23.

In a video announcing her candidacy, Shields said she wanted to be able to use her star power, as well as her experience on Broadway, to expand the profile of being an Equity member.

“I want Equity to be in the position to command the respect that we deserve, whether it’s at the bargaining table or in DC or in every state house and city hall across the country, where we want to lobby for arts funding. I want to use all of the goodwill, and the advantages that I have built up in my career over the years, to be able to grow the value of being an Equity member,” she said.

Shields has five Broadway credits as a replacement star, which include playing Morticia Addams during the run of The Addams Family in 2011, Sally Bowles in 2001 during the run of Cabaret, and Roxie Hart in Chicago in 2005. Her first role was as Betty Rizzo in Grease in 1994.

The former model has also continued to have an active film career, recently starring in and serving as executive producer of Mother of the Bride on Netflix.

She is one of the highest profile presidents for Actors’ Equity — though Shindle was a former Miss America. Ellen Burstyn held the role from 1982 to 1985 and Ron Silver was president from 1991 to 2000.

While she has not previously held union leadership, in her campaign video, Shields pointed to her experience lobbying Capitol Hill as a parent, as well as what she’s accomplished across her life and career.

“I have spent my entire life in the spotlight,” she said. “And I know what it’s like to be continuously learning. And I’ve managed my very extensive career. I have raised a family. I’ve been part of public advocacy. I had to become the CEO of my own brand.”

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