Brooke Elliott

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Brooke Elliott
Brooke Elliott.jpg
Brooke Elliott in 2013
Born (1974-11-16) November 16, 1974 (age 43)
Fridley, Minnesota, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Performance
Alma mater Western Michigan University
Occupation Actress
Years active 2000–present
Known for Drop Dead Diva

Brooke Elliott (born November 16, 1974) is an American actress and singer. She has previously appeared in musical theatre, including the US tours of Beauty and the Beast and Wicked, and the Broadway productions of Taboo and The Pirate Queen. She is best known for her roles in the 2000 Mel Gibson film What Women Want, her big-screen debut, and as Jane Bingum on the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva.

Early life[edit]

Elliott was born in Fridley, Minnesota, to Robert, a city manager, and Kathleen Elliott, on November 16, 1974.[1] Elliott has one sister, Jamie Alexander, and one brother, Adam Elliott.[2] Her parents have said that she began to sing when she was three years old, and footage exists of her at that age singing You Light Up My Life.[3][4] Her family moved on several occasions, first to Blaine, Minnesota, and then out of state to Missouri, Oklahoma, and Illinois.[5] The family settled in Riverview, Michigan, when Elliott was a junior in high school. She graduated from Gabriel Richard Catholic High School in 1993; she appeared in high school productions while there, including in Richard III and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Elliott went on to Western Michigan University, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Performance in 1998.[3][6]

Elliott worked as a temp and a waitress, including working at a 1950s-themed restaurant where she had to dance on the tables every hour.[7]


For ten weeks in 1999, she was a member of Chicago-based stage combat theatre company Babes With Blades.[8] As part of that role, she performed a scene from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Miracle Worker and Heathers.[9] She left for her first professional theatre role as the Sugar Bowl in the US touring version of Beauty and the Beast.[7][10] She also appeared as part of the cast in the North American tour of Wicked alongside Adam Lambert, whom she later supported when he appeared on American Idol.[9][11]

She credits Rosie O'Donnell with getting her first Broadway role alongside Boy George in Taboo.[12] Rosie later described her as "fresh off a Disney Cruise", but allowed her to come back for a second attempt. Elliott spent $117 to change her outfit and make-up in order to be better suited to the role; O'Donnell reimbursed Elliott when she was awarded a part in the show.[13] The show closed after only a hundred performances, but O'Donnell subsequently praised Elliott's passion for the show.[14] Elliott went on to play Majella in The Pirate Queen, which opened in Chicago in 2006 and moved to Broadway in 2007.[15]

Her first film role was in the Mel Gibson film What Women Want in 2000.[1] Her first television role was in an episode of Law & Order: Trial by Jury.[16] In 2009, Elliott was cast as main character Jane Bingum on Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva.[12] Producer Craig Zadan said of Elliott's casting, "We had to find somebody who's a beautiful leading lady, who can do the comedy and drama, and with Brooke, she nailed it".[17] After the pilot, the New York Times described Elliott as "convincing, and even affecting, at every turn",[18] and the Los Angeles Times said she was "a stage actress with fabulous comic timing and enormous dramatic flexibility".[13] Elliott also sings on the soundtrack to the series.[19] The show ended after its sixth season.

Personal life[edit]

Elliott has discussed the perception of plus-size actresses on television,[12] and describes her body type as normal sized, stating "The majority of women in America look like me. It's one of the things I love about the show."[20]



Year Title Role Other notes
2000 What Women Want Woman in Park
2003 Taboo Big Sue Broadway musical
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Denise Bell 1 episode: "Vigilante"
2005, 2007 Wicked Madame Morrible (Understudy) + Ensemble Broadway musical, US Tour + Los Angeles
2007 The Pirate Queen Majella Broadway musical
2009–2014 Drop Dead Diva Jane Bingum Lead role, 78 episodes
2016 Upper Middle Bogen Amber CBS pilot[21]


Cast recordings[edit]

  • Taboo - Original Broadway Cast (2003) - as Big Sue
  • The Pirate Queen - Original Broadway Cast (2007) - as Majella

Compilation albums[edit]


While Elliott has been suggested as a potential Emmy Award nominee by Variety magazine,[22] she has not yet been nominated for the award.[23]

Year Award Nominated work Result
2009 Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Drop Dead Diva Nominated
2010 Gracie Award for Female Rising Star in a Comedy Series[10] Drop Dead Diva Won
2011 Prism Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series[10] Drop Dead Diva Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Cast Profile: Brooke Elliott". Sky Living. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Robert C. Elliott". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Blum, Andrea (29 December 2009). "Drop dead diva: Former high school thespian earns starring role". The News-Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Sheridan, Patricia (25 July 2011). "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Brooke Elliott". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Justin, Neal (27 June 2010). "Brooke Knows Best". Star Tribune. Retrieved 24 May 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ "Alumni". Western Michigan University Department of Theatre. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Middleton, Paul (30 March 2010). "Brooke Elliott: People want to see a normal-sized person on TV". Metro. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Thomas, Mike (8 October 2009). "'Diva' puts body and soul in work". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 24 May 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ a b Bierly, Mandi (12 July 2009). "'Drop Dead Diva' star Brooke Elliott: Three reasons we're loving her". Popwatch. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c "Brooke Elliott". My Lifetime. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (4 April 2005). "Wicked (Theatre review)". Daily Variety. Retrieved 24 May 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ a b c Kinon, Cristina (18 June 2009). "'Drop Dead Diva' actress Brooke Elliott says plus size isn't a minus". NY Daily News. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Rising Star: Brooke Elliott". Access Holywood. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "For Brooke Elliott, a $117 outfit was pivotal". AP Online. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ Oxman, Steven (31 October 2006). "The Pirate Queen (Theatre review)". Daily Variety. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Brooke Elliot stars as Jane Bingum". TVNZ. Retrieved 26 May 2012. [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Schneider, Michael (19 June 2008). "Brooke Elliott to be Lifetime's 'Diva'". Variety. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  18. ^ Stanley, Alexandra (9 July 2009). "Chubby Legal Beagle, Meet Your Inner Skinny Siren". New York Times. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Drop Dead Diva Original Television Soundtrack Available Now on iTunes and". Telecommunications Weekly. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  20. ^ Cooney Fitzpatrick, Beth (4 June 2010). "'Drop Dead Diva' Star Brooke Elliott on Her Madonna Shoes, Victoria Principal Products, and Being a Real Diva!". StyleList. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Levine, Stuart (9 June 2010). "Actresses in Emmy contention". Variety. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  23. ^ "2010 Nominations". Retrieved 25 May 2012. 

External links[edit]