Brooke Elizabeth Burns was born on March 16, 1978 in Dallas. She began her acting career on the popular TV series Baywatch. For her role in the 2001 film Shallow Hal, the Farrelly brothers wrote a specific part for Burns after discovering in her audition she was the "prettiest dorky girl" they'd ever met. 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, & 10 screws.