Brigitte Nielsen (born 15 July 1963) appeared as Ludmilla Drago, the sadistically Soviet-patriotic wife of Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in the Rocky IV film. Danish-born actress, model, musician and reality television personality who began her career modelling for Greg Gorman and Helmut Newton and several years later acted in the 1985 films Red Sonja and Rocky IV. She is also known for her marriage to Sylvester Stallone, with whom she starred in the 1986 film Cobra. She played Karla Fry on Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), co-starring Eddie Murphy, and played the Dark Witch in the Italian TV Series Cave of the Golden Rose between 1992-1996. She appeared also in Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" music video.

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 6 ft 2, or 1.87 meters).[4]

She later built a career appearing in B-movies, and in the 2000s, for appearing on reality shows such as Flavor of Love. 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.

She released several albums between 1987-2002 (Every Body Tells a Story, I'm the One... Nobody Else and more singles). Recently, she performed (as Gitte Nielsen) on the song Misery with Spleen United, from the album School of Euphoria (2012).

Early life

Nielsen was born Gitte Nielsen in Rødovre, a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark, the daughter of Hanne, a librarian, and Svend Nielsen, an engineer.[5] She has a brother, Jan.


At the beginning of the 1980s, Nielsen did some modeling work, and was photographed by Greg Gorman. In 1985, Nielsen began her acting career in Red Sonja alongsides 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. She posed for Playboy magazine multiple times, garnering the cover in December 1987.[6][7] She played also "Karla Fry" in the movie Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), alongside Eddie Murphy.

Brigitte started a music career in 1987. She released her debut album Every Body Tells a Story in that year and 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. She then released a follow-up album, I'm the One... Nobody Else, in 1991. In 2000, she recorded 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.

She-Hulk comic strip

In the late 1980s, Marvel Comics approached Nielsen to pose for photographs dressed as the comic book character She-Hulk.[8] Subsequently, she starred in 976-Evil II, The Double 0 Kid (1992), Chained Heat II (1993), Galaxis (1995), and Snowboard Academy (1996).

In 1989, Brigitte appeared in Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" music video. 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 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). In 1997, she hosted a talk show series called Gittes venner for a Danish TV network and some TV shows for RTSI, the Swiss television in the Italian language.

On 28 August 2008, German record label Edel Music re-released her 1991 album I'm the One... Nobody Else and the 1987 Every Body Tells a Story under the title Brigitte Nielsen.

On 27 October 2009, she published her first auto-biography in Scandinavia titled: "Gitte Nielsen – Du har kun ét liv – sådan fandt jeg tilbage til mig selv" (translation: "You only have one life – this is how I found myself again.").[9] The book reached the Top5 of Denmark's bestseller list.[10] The book has been released in the United Kingdom under the title You only get one life in May 2011.[11]

In April 2011, she attended the British variety/talent show Sing If You Can, which aired on ITV.[12]

In November 2010, Brigitte guest starred for one episode in the German TV series SOKO: Stuttgart, aired by ZDF on 28 March 2011.[13]

She guest-hosted the British chat show Loose Women on December 7, 2010, and voice acted for the Danish animated comedy film Ronal the Barbarian. She played in horror movie Eldorado (2012), co-starred Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen and Kerry Washington.

In October 2012 Brigitte was featured in the Danish version of Maestro broadcasted on DR1 in which some celebrities compet for the chance to conduct a classical orchestra.

Reality TV

Brigitte appeared on the first season of the Italian production of The Mole (2004) and on the third season of the VH1 reality TV show The Surreal Life (2004). 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 Britain's Celebrity Big Brother, along with her former mother-in-law, Jackie Stallone. Nielsen came 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 mockumentary 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, CA.

In May 2008, she revealed on German television that she would "renew" her body by having six plastic surgeries, which would cost €66,000 altogether. Nielsen was filmed during those surgeries by RTL, and she had her own television show "Aus alt mach neu – Brigitte Nielsen in der Promi-Beauty-Klinik"(Make do and mend – Brigitte Nielsen in the celebrity beauty hospital). The same show was broadcasted twice in Italy: at first under the title Celebrity Makeover: Brigitte Nielsen on SKY Italia in in December 2008 and secondly in 2009 on Italia 1.[14]

In 2009, Nielsen appeared as a panel speaker 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.[15]

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.[16]

From January, 13 2012, she was one of the celebrity contestans and winner of ,Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus! the German version of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, broadcast by RTL Television. On January 28, 2012, she won the show as the Jungle Queen. The German Bildzeitung revealed on January 30, 2012 that Nielsen had received the most calls from TV viewers throughout the entire show, ranking No.1 with 30 - 50% of all call-ins.

Personal life

Family and relationships

Nielsen has been married five times and has four sons. She has a son Julian Winding (born in 1984) with first husband Kasper Winding whom she was married to from 1983-1984.

Brigitte married Sylvester Stallone on December 15, 1985 at the Beverly Hills, CA, home of producer Irwin Winkler. Stallone and Nielsen's marriage lasted 19 months, with their divorce finalized July 1987. She later confessed an affair with Tony Scott. Her second son, Killian Marcus Nielsen (born in 1989), she had with ex-fiance and former NFL defensive end Mark Gastineau. Between 1990 and 1992, she was married to director and photographer Sebastian Copeland  (Orlando Brown's cousin). She has two sons with fourth husband Raoul Meyer, Douglas Aaron (born in 1993) and Raoul, Jr. (born in 1995).

In 2005, Nielsen had a highly-profiled relationship with rapper and TV personaliy Flavor Flav. The relationship was filmed on their reality show Strange Love. 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, CA. In the aftermath of Arnold Schwarzenagger's infidelity scandal, Nielsen came forward and confessed that she too had an affair with Schwarzenegger while he was in a relationship with Maria Shriver, saying, "Maybe I wouldn't have got into it if he said 'I'm going to marry Maria' and this is dead serious, but he didn't, and our affair carried on."

In January 2012, during an interview on the German reality TV show Ich bin ein Star-Holt mich hier raus!she confessed once having an one-night stand with Sean Penn in Cannes.

Substance addiction

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. Her manager, Steven Tempone, confirmed on 19 July 2007 that she had checked into rehabilitation 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".


As of 22 July 2007, Nielsen was out of rehabilitation to attend the Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav. She told  People magazine 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 rehabilitation, it states she "had been in treatment for a few weeks".[17] On 10 January 2008, VH1 began airing the reality TV series, Celebrity Rehab with Dr.Drew, Nielsen appeared on the show for alcoholism.[18]

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."

Plastic surgery

In mid-2008, Nielsen starred in the reality show Aus alt mach neu, broadcast 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, and then, the following summer on Italia 1.[19]


Besides her native Danish, Nielsen is fluent in Swedish, Norwegian, English and Italian, and has some understanding of French and German.


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Red Sonja Red Sonja
1985 Rocky IV Ludmilla
1986 Cobra Ingrid
1987 Beverly Hills Cop II Karla Fry
1988 Bye Bye Baby Lisa
1988 Domino Domino
1992 976-Evil II Agnes
1992 Double 0 Kid Rhonda Video
1992 Mission of Justice Dr. Rachel K. Larkin
1993 Chained Heat II Magda Kassar
1995 Compelling Evidence Michelle Stone
1995 Body Count Sybil
1995 Galaxis Ladera
1996 Snowboard Academy Mimi
1998 Paparazzi Gitte
1999 She's Too Tall Veronica Lamar
2000 Hostile Environment Minna
2000 Doomsdayer Elizabeth Gast
2008 The Hustle Rich lady
2010 Big Money Rustlas The Wife
2011 Ronal the Barbarian Amazon Queen (voice)
2012 Eldorado Angel
2012 GrindHouse 2wo Angel
Year Title Role Notes
1989 Murder by Moonlight Maggie Bartok TV movie
1992 Counterstrike Monica Steile Episode: "Bastille Day Terror"
1992 Fantaghirò 2 Dark Witch TV movie
1993 Fantaghirò 3 Dark Witch TV movie
1994 Fantaghirò 4 Dark Witch TV movie
1996 Fantaghirò 5 Strega Nera TV movie
2000 Un posto al sole Gitte 2 episodes
2009 Nite Tales: The Series Mona Episode: "Black Widow"
2011 SOKO 5113 Gina Wartenberg Episode: "Stuttgart ist sexy"



  • 1988 Every Body Tells a Story
  • 1992 I'm the One... Nobody Else
  • 2000 No More Turning Back
  • 2001 Tic-Toc
  • 2002 Gitta vs. RuPaul
  • 2008 Brigitte Nielsen (re-release of I'm the One... Nobody Else and Every Body Tells a Story)


  • "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)
  • "Everybody's Turning Back" (as Gitta vs. Rozalla)
  • "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)
  • "Misery" (as Gitte Nielsen with Spleen United); 2012


  1. "Brigitte Nielsen attacks image as film Amazon". 1987-05-17. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  2. "What’s good for the Danish goose, but not for the Maltese gander?". 2006-07-09. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  3. "Brigitte Nielsen Gets Hitched, Again—with a Typically Bizarre Hitch: She May Still Be Wed to No. 4". 2005-03-21.,,20147160,00.html. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  4. "Guinness World Records 2010". 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  5. "Brigitte Nielsen Biography".
  6. "Playboy magazine December 1987 Gore Vidal Brigitte Nielsen Sex Stars". Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  7. [1][dead link]
  8. "Brigitte Nielsen as She-Hulk | She-Hulk Fan Site". 2007-05-12. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  9. Af admin (1999-02-22). "Article published by ''Kulturplakaten on 15 September 2009". Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  10. "Brigitte Nielsen official website". Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  11. "You only get one life - Tesco Books". Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  12. "Press Releases - SING IF YOU CAN /". Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  13. "– Video Interview by". Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  14. "Article appeared in on 24 July 2009". 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2011-06-18.
  15. Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Episode 3.6 ("Triggers") VH1; 11 February 2010
  16. "Brigitte Nielsen : " Je me sens coupable "". Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  17. Rodriguez, Brenda (2007-07-23). "Brigitte Nielsen: I Feel Reborn After Rehab - Brigitte Nielsen".,,20047723,00.html. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  18. "Celebrity Rehab 5 | Show Cast, Episodes, Guides, Trailers, Web Exclusives, Previews". Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  19. "Article appeared on on 23 July 2009". 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2011-06-18.

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