download and print my bio here! Brenda Swanson Bio

Hi Brenda here! I wanted to share a little bit of my story with you, where I come from, where I’ve been, where I’m going and why I want to share all my insider secrets with you, and all my beautiful sisters out there!

Brenda at 16, 11th Grade

well let’s see I was born in Owosso Michigan and moved to Florida before I could walk so I consider myself a Florida girl even though I have been living in Southern California since 1986. I started out doing ballet and always wanted to be Shirey McClaine and sing and dance and do Broadway. Ever since I could remember I would go with my parents to plays, dancing on ice, all that sort of arts. In my ballet school I was always on my hands doing handstands teaching myself gymnastics. The ballet and tap classes bored me to death and the tumbling class I just loved so they kicked me out of ballet school and my mom started taking me to gymnastics. My first trip to gym class the instructor could see how much energy I had and saw what I had already taught myself so many tricks so he asked me “what it was I wanted to learn?” I looked around at the apparatus the balance beam, uneven parallel bars the vault and said “EVERYTHING, and as soon as possible”. We started right then before I left there I was doing a cartwheel on the beam and the whole routine for beginners on the uneven bars. I was a natural as he put it. I did that all though school privately and for our school team. I rocked and just loved it. Now when my parents took me to see plays and dancing on the ice all I did was say “I can do that, I can do that, I can do that even better than her, that’s what I want to do when I grow up!” I am still doing my cartwheels I use my hands though.

After high school I had a scholarship to all kinds of colleges full scholarship, as I was such a good gymnast I would have been an asset to any school. Well my parents and coaches wanted me to get into modeling, as I was the giant gymnast my nickname was “stretch” so they sent me off to some modeling schools. I hated them and skipped them went to the gym or off to kiss boys. I was boy crazy for all the surfers in my Florida hometown that’s for sure. I would lie to the parents and say I was at modeling school and of course finally got caught when the modeling teacher called the parents and said “could they please send me to class that Wilhelmina does a competition every year and that I had a very good chance.” Well needless to say I got my ass kicked for lying and the next thing you know I am in modeling school for three short classes and off to NY for the competition which I won in several categories. So I spent the summer in NY doing “go see’s” to see if I had what it took.
Well low and behold before the end of the summer came I got an offer to go to Japan on a two month visa “60 days and $4000” the worst thing that could happen was I had a free trip to Japan and the best thing that could of happened I would make some money and have an experience. I turned it down, I wanted to go to college and do flips and tricks and gymnastics. Well my dad almost had a fit he said “you call your agency back and tell them that you would love to go, if you want to be Shirley McClaine and sing and dance and do your flips on Broadway you’re going to have to pay for it somehow and college isn’t going anywhere.” So that is just what I did and went from Japan making loads of money (I actually stayed two more months renewed my visa in Hawaii and looked for more foxy surfers on the North Shore) and went back to Japan.

Brenda The Explorer

In 1981 I was off to Paris, Milan, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Africa you name it. I started in Paris moved to Milan started Emporio Armani campaigns at 18 for Georgio. I remember he had a pair of suspenders, socks, shorts, boots and a hat NO SHIRT so I turned my back to the camera (to hide my little titties). Loved modeling and speak Italian, some French and I am still working on my English. I lived in Italy on and off for 5 years.

Finally ending up in NY and the first two commercials and advertisements were for tampax and panty liners how embarrassing but I laughed all the way to the bank. I met so many people during this period from, still one of my best friends Katie Wagner to Jack Nicholson and the list literally goes on and on. Katie and I were inseparable when I first moved to LA always parting with rock musicians we never went to see a concert unless we knew the band had backstage passes (excuse me, all access passes). That’s a whole other story in itself.

Skin Deep | Cast Photo

I moved to Los Angeles in 1986 and I Loved it! Hitting the strip my main ambition was to ‘do movies’ and that’s just what I did! My first TV show was with Scott Baio called “Charles in Charge” I was the love interest, what else, right? My first big movie break was with John Ritter a film called Skin Deep that Blake Edward’s directed and I had a huge billboard on Sunset Blvd for Shape Magazine and was on the cover of it as well. I did many covers and many campaigns modeling.

On the cover of Shape Magazine

I have done so many things from selling bread to caviar tried to be a waitress but that just didn’t cut it, I was horrible, I really do hand it to those girls and guys. During my caviar years I swore up and down I would never marry a chef, as they have no time at all for their wives or family. What did I go and do? Marry a chef (of course). Did the restaurant life for the last four or six years and it was harder than being an actress. I also have written quite a few TV shows one sold to UPN called “Eat Like a Pig and Look Like a Fox” We went into production and 9/11 happened, so understandably – all production halted.

I have always worked out and took very good care of myself and have become the “Go to Girl” for all of my celebrity friends and have taught them my lifestyle. I have worked with Robert Wagner and his daughter Katie Wagner both working out and healthy living. I recently have been working with both Donna Dixon and Dan Aykroyd. Donna was preparing herself for a reunion of her show Bosom Buddies with Tom Hanks, she wanted to shed a few pounds and look great for the event so I put her and Dan on a juice plan and exercise regime and they each lost between 12 to 15 lbs. I also took Donna for her skin and hair care and by the end of our 10-day prep she was looking AMAZING and was so happy.

When Sharon Stone was getting ready for Basic Instinct 2, she was rail thin and I put her on a strengthen program for her to build some muscle, she wanted to look as good as she did in Basic Instinct 1 and she did.

I work a lot with all kinds of trainers and health companies, cleanses, and a basic lifestyle that one could do anywhere. Right now I am in Italy promoting my 2012 Calendar called 45 and Fabulous. I have my yoga classes, walk everywhere, and Italian food and lifestyle is so fresh and organic I have lost 5 pounds.

The calendar consists of the healthy lifestyle and since I am the “Go to Gal” I did this calendar project so I could share my celebrity secrets to all women and men. Why should only my Sports Illustrated model friends and my celebrity friends get the inside scoop?

Check out more of Brenda’s film work here:



  1. I’m sure you have something of value to share with the world, but you really need an editor for your blog as your a terrible writer.

  2. Go, Brenda! Your energy is infectious. With your healthy attitude and zest for life, you will always be fabulous–at any age!

    • EMMY not sure what happened to my reply that disappeared into this thing called WWW. ahhhhh
      I was writing to you how I have been talking about you and your involvement with my 1st EMMY suite with my old company “FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES-SHOWTIME NETWORKS – ITEM MAGAZINE- what a star you are and how you are missed!
      and you made my day
      love you and thank you so much for your lovely words
      big FAT kiss

  3. Hi Brenda I met you at SUCU House it was awesome meeting you and your mom and dad hope everyone is in good heath. you gave me your card. I read your story of you awesome. watch your video\\\’s love all of it. you are beautiful lady Brenda . so happy for you , like I said at the SUCU house I met a Movie Star .

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