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Brigitte Nielsen

Brigitte Nielsen in 1985
Born Brigitte Nielsen
15 July 1963 (1963-07-15) (age 46)
R√łdovre, Denmark
Spouse(s) Kasper Winding (1983-1984)
Sylvester Stallone (1985-1987)
Sebastian Copeland (1990-1992)
Raoul Meyer (1993-2005)
Mattia Dessi (since 2006)

Brigitte Nielsen (born 15 July 1963) is a Danish actress, musician and television personality, best known for her appearances in the 1985 films Red Sonja and Rocky IV and for her marriage to Sylvester Stallone. She subsequently appeared with him in the 1986 film Cobra, and was noted for her widely publicized breakup with Stallone in 1987, and her relationship with New York Jets Mark Gastineau in 1988.

Her exploits were well-covered in the entertainment media in the 1980s, and the world press started referring to her as an "Amazon"[1][2][3] because of her tall stature (verified by the Guinness Book of World Records at six feet, or 1.82 meters).[4] She first commented on her stature and used the term "Amazonian" to describe herself in 1985.[5]

She later built a career appearing in B-movies, and in the 2000s, for appearing on reality shows such as The Surreal Life, on which she met and began a relationship with rapper Flavor Flav. In 2008 she appeared on the reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which depicted her and several other celebrities dealing with recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.


Early life

Nielsen was born Gitte Nielsen in R√łdovre, a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark, the daughter of Hanne, a librarian, and Svend Nielsen, an engineer.[6] She has a brother, Jan.


Brigitte Nielsen with Sylvester Stallone, Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the White House, 1985

At the beginning of the 1980s Nielsen did modeling work, and was photographed by photographers such as Greg Gorman.[7]

Nielsen began her acting career in 1985, in Red Sonja alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the same year she met and married Sylvester Stallone; the couple acted in two movies together (Rocky IV and Cobra) before divorcing in 1987. Their marriage and divorce were both highly publicized by the tabloid press[8][9][10].

Nielsen started a music career shortly after her divorce from Stallone in 1987. She released her debut album Every body tells a story (a top30 hit in Germany and Italy) in that year and meanwhile recorded a duet with Austrian pop star Falco, Giorgio Moroder's penned "Body Next To Body" which went to #22 in Germany and #6 in Austria.[11] In 1990 she recorded a single called "Rockin' Like A Radio" . She released a follow-up album, I'm the one nobody else, in 1991, although it was also not a success. In 2000 she made a musical comeback by recording the dance track "No More Turning Back" under the pseudonym of Gitta and reached #1 in Spain and topped several other European dance charts. Other tracks recorded as Gitta were 2001's "Tic Toc" and 2002's "You're No Lady", a collaboration with Ru Paul.

Nielsen as She-Hulk.

In the late 1980s, Marvel Comics approached Nielsen to pose for photographs dressed as the comic book character She-Hulk.[12] She had previously impressed the company with her prior portrayal of their character Red Sonja, and they hoped she would prove just as successful in a new movie venture. The photos did not produce a large amount of investors in the potential film and Marvel was forced to scrap the project. Subsequently she starred in Beverly Hills Cop II, Galaxys and The Double 0 Kid and some European movies.

In 1989 she appeared in Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" music video and in the 1990s, she hosted an English language talk show that was broadcast across Europe, to much acclaim. In 2000, she appeared in heavy metal band Korn's music video for the single "Make Me Bad".

She has worked for Italian television hosting hit shows such as: Festival (1987), the 1992 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival, Retromarsh! (1996-1997), and sai l'ultima? (1999); starring in the TV movie Fantaghirò 2 and its sequels (1992-1996); and guest starring in the Rai Tre's soap opera Un posto al sole (2000).

On 29 August 2008 German record label Edel Music re-released her 1991 album I Am The One Nobody Else and the 1987 Every Body Tells A Story, under the title Brigitte Nielsen.[13]

On 27 October 2009 she published in Scandinavia her first auto-biography titled: "Gitte Nielsen - Du har kun ét liv - sådan fandt jeg tilbage til mig selv".[14]

Reality TV

Nielsen appeared on the first season of the Italian version of The Mole (2004) and on the third season of the VH1 reality show The Surreal Life (2004). In the show, Nielsen was seen flirting with Public Enemy rapper Flavor Flav and it was confirmed that they were a couple, even though she was still legally married to her fourth husband, Swiss Formula Three driver Raoul Meyer. The show was such a success that VH1 produced a spin-off reality show called Strange Love, which began airing on the channel on 9 January 2005. Nielsen also appeared with Flav on VH1's Big in '04 Awards. In 2006, she guest-starred on Flav's other reality show, Flavor of Love.

In 2003, Nielsen appeared in the Danish Big Brother VIP. In January 2005 she was a contestant in the British version of Celebrity Big Brother, along with her former mother-in-law, Jackie Stallone. Nielsen came in third in the final public vote. In 2006 she appeared in another reality TV series, VH1's The Surreal Life: Fame Game. In March 2007, she starred in a new British documentary called Killing Brigitte Nielsen, which aired on Sky Travel. She also appeared in the first season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which chronicled her struggle to overcome her alcoholism at the Pasadena Recovery Center in Pasadena, California. The series premiered in January 2008 on VH1 and in July 2009 on UK's Fiver.

In May 2008 she revealed on German television that she would "renew" her body by having six plastic surgeries (which will cost ‚ā¨66,000 altogether). Nielsen will be filmed during those surgeries by RTL and will have her own television show "Aus alt mach neu - Brigitte Nielsen in der Promi-Beauty-Klinik. The same show was broadcast in Italy during December 2008 and aired on SKY Italia under the title Celebrity Makeover: Brigitte Nielsen and in 2009 on Italia 1.[15]

In 2009, Nielsen and other alumni of Celebrity Rehab appeared as panel speakers to a new group of addicts at the Pasadena Recovery Center, anticipating the two-year mark of her sobriety that coming July. Her appearance was aired in the third season episode "Triggers", which aired in February 2010.[16]

In January 2010 Nielsen appeared as one of the celebrity contestants of the French reality show TF1's La Ferme Célébrités, the French version of the TV series The Farm. She was eliminated after one week, mainly due to her lack of fluency in French and subsequent difficulties to interact with the other contestants[17][18].

Personal life

Besides her native Danish, Nielsen is fluent in English, Italian and German.[19] She also has some understanding of French.[20] Her current husband, Mattia Dessi, lived with her in Italy, as shown on Strange Love, which was filmed prior to their marriage. They live in Palm Springs.[21]

On 9 July 2007 Nielsen checked herself into the Cri-Help rehabilitation facility in North Hollywood following what some reports claim was a family intervention.[22] Her manager, Steven Tempone, confirmed on 19 July 2007 that she had checked into rehab and told the Associated Press "All I know is it's something she did of her own free will and we're proud of her and wish her very well...When she gets out we'll have a big birthday party, and Coca-Cola only".[23]

As of 22 July, 2007 Nielsen was out of rehab to attend the Comedy Central roast of Flavor Flav. She told People that she felt "like a new-born person... I made a choice about a new life. It's not been easy but it was definitely time." While People does not report the date that Nielsen checked into rehab, they state that she "had been in treatment for a few weeks".[24] On 10 January 2008, VH1 began airing the reality TV series, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Nielsen appeared on the show for alcoholism.[25] In mid-2008, Nielsen starred in the reality show Aus alt mach neu, broadcasted by the German tv-station RTL. The theme of the show was Nielsen's attempt to look "as young as her husband" by undergoing plastic surgery. The show was aired in Italy as well, on SKY Italia during December 2008 [26] and the following summer on Italia 1.[27]

In a January 2010 TV Guide story on her success with sobriety, Celebrity Rehab producer John Irwin stated, "She's sober, and she quit smoking. She's doing crazy good."[21]


Reality shows

TV shows




  • Body next to Body - Falco meets Brigitte Nielsen; 1987; (#6 Austria, #22 Germany, #1 Japan)
  • Every body tells a story; 1987; (#38 Italy; #15 Germany)
  • Maybe; 1988
  • Siento; 1988 (South America only)
  • It's a strange love; 1988
  • Rockin' like a radio; 1990
  • My girl (My guy); 1991
  • How could you let me go?; 1992
  • No more turning back (as Gitta); 2000; released by Jive; (#1 Spain, #1 Eurodance chart; #64 Netherlands)
  • Tic Toc (as Gitta); 2001; released by Blanco y Negro
  • You're no lady (as Gitta with Ru Paul); 2002; released by Do it Yourself; (#1 Spain)


  1. ^ Brigitte Nielsen attacks image as film Amazon
  2. ^ What’s good for the Danish goose, but not for the Maltese gander?
  3. ^ Brigitte Nielsen Gets Hitched, Again‚ÄĒwith a Typically Bizarre Hitch: She May Still Be Wed to No. 4
  4. ^ Guinness World Records 2010
  5. ^ Brigitte Nielsen Likes Life as Rambo's Lady, but This Dane Is Nobody's Pastry
  6. ^ "Brigitte Nielsen Biography". 
  7. ^ Brigitte Nielsen by Greg Gorman
  8. ^ Susan Zannos, Male Fitness Stars of TV and the Movies: Featuring Profiles of Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, and Wesley Snipes, Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2000, page 27
  9. ^ Stallone divorce stops Tabloid presses, Sarasota Herald Tribune - 23 july 1987
  10. ^ Stallone Seeks a Serious Turn for the Better, The New York Times, 10 August 1997
  11. ^ Body Next to Body - Austiran Chart Archive
  12. ^ "Picture of Nielsen as She-Hulk". 
  13. ^ Edel Music Germany)
  14. ^ Article published by Kulturplakaten on 15 September 2009
  15. ^ Article appeared in on 24 July 2009
  16. ^ Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Episode 3.6 ("Triggers") VH1; February 11, 2010
  17. ^ La ferme c√©l√©brit√©s : Brigitte Nielsen
  18. ^ Brigitte Nielsen interview, Le Parisien, 7 february 2010
  19. ^ Brigitte Nielsen
  20. ^ Brigitte Nielsen interview, Le Parisien, 7 february 2010
  21. ^ a b Rochlin, Margy (1 February 2010), "Addicted to Rehab", TV Guide: 34-35 
  22. ^ "Sylvester Stallone - Nielsen In Rehab". 
  23. ^ "Brigitte Nielsen Checks Into Rehab". 
  24. ^ "Brigitte Nielsen: I Feel Reborn After Rehab - Brigitte Nielsen :".,,20047723,00.html. 
  25. ^ "Celebrity Rehab Official site at". 
  26. ^ Article appeared on on 10 December 2009
  27. ^ Article appeared on on 23 July 2009

External links

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