Born Bridget Christina Sandmeier in Oregon on September 25, 1973, Bridget Marquardt grew up in Northern California. After her parents divorced, she lived with her mother and stepfather before graduating from Lodi High School in 1990.
She attended Sacramento State University and in 1998 graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications. Two years later, she earned her MA from the University of the Pacific.
As a child, Bridget Marquardt was inspired to be in Playboy the old-fashioned way -- by sneaking glances at her dad's Playboys. In 1998, she tested for Playboy during their search for the Millennium Playmate, and received a call to come to Los Angeles for a studio test. While there, she stayed at the Playboy mansion as a guest and had the time of her life.
After three days she went home, expecting to hear back from the magazine any day. A year and a half later they finally called to tell her that they had decided against using the pictures.
Undeterred, in 2001, Bridget Marquardt moved to Los Angeles and, in March 2002, she got a phone call she figured to be a joke: Hugh Hefner was on the phone asking her out on a date. "Of course I accepted," she says, "and things quickly progressed." By October of that year she found herself "living at the Mansion and among Hef's seven girlfriends."
In August 2005, The Girls Next Door premiered on E!. The show, now through four successful seasons, focuses on the fantasy-like lives of Hugh Hefner's three disparate live-in girlfriends, Kendra Wilkinson, Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt. Although ostensibly a show for men, it is the female viewers who have made The Girls Next Door so successful.
The exposure of The Girls Next Door has opened doors for all the girls, but Bridget Marquardt stands out as the girlfriend most anxious to pursue other professional avenues.
Bridget Marquardt achieved a self-described long-term goal in July 2008 when she landed her own television show. She will host Bridget's Beaches on the Travel Channel, a show that will follow her around to the world's exotic beach locales.
Although she will be appearing in a fifth season of The Girls Next Door, it is anybody's guess whether the show will be renewed.