Born Geraldine Stroock, she first appeared onstage (in a musical) at age 17, then worked in summer stock and toured with the Theater Guild in a repertory of Shakespeare productions; she later studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. An intense, pretty, petite brunette, she went to Hollywood in 1947 after being signed by Warner Brothers; there she was proclaimed as a "new Hepburn" with an electrifying screen presence. Her career, however, never lived up to its promise. The quality of her pictures was low (in most of them she played ingenues), so she accepted an offer by director William Dieterle to appear in an Italian film, Volcano (1950); the film performed badly at the box office, but Brooks remained in Europe to make a few more movies. After returning to the U.S., she largely abandoned her film career in favor of TV and the stage; she received a Tony nomination for her performance in the play Brightower (1970) and several Emmy nominations for her work on TV. Later she became a skilled nature photographer; in 1975 she published Swan Watch, a book of her bird photographs with accompanying text written by her second husband, novelist-screenwriter Budd Schulberg. She died of cancer at age 51 in 1977.