Bridget Christina Marquardt (born Bridget Sandmeier; September 25, 1973) is an American television personality, glamour model, and actress.
She is best known for her role on the reality television series The Girls Next Door, which depicts her life as one of Playboy magazine publisher Hugh Hefner's girlfriends. Although Marquardt has modeled for Playboy, as well as having been part of a Playmate search, she has never technically been a Playmate.
Marquardt was born in Tillamook, Oregon after her family moved there from Lodi, California. Shortly after her birth, Marquardt's mother moved the family back to California, where Marquardt was raised. Her parents divorced and when Marquardt was in the fifth grade. Her mother remarried, and Marquardt and her younger brother Edward moved to their stepfather's ranch, where they later gained a half-sister, Anastasia. Marquardt attended Galt High School for her freshman and sophomore years and then transferred to Lodi High School from which she graduated in 1990.
Marquardt graduated from San Joaquin Delta College with an Associate Degree. She matriculated to California State University, Sacramento and graduated in 1998 with a B.A. in communications and an emphasis on public relations. In 2001, she earned her Master's Degree in Communications from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. She later took a graduate level course in broadcast journalism through UCLA Extension, which was shown on the first season of The Girls Next Door (most notably when she had to walk out of her first Playboy shoot to attend a class).
On the advice of friends who suggested she pose for Playboy magazine, Marquardt sent a letter to Playboy inquiring how to become a Playmate, before enrolling at San Joaquin Delta College. In 1998 at the age of 25, Marquardt entered Playboy's Millennium Playmate search. In 2001, Marquardt moved to Los Angeles and did local modeling jobs and small acting roles. According to the book Bunny Tales, by former Hefner girlfriend Izabella St. James, Marquardt worked as a dancer at Spearmint Rhino before becoming one of Hefner's girlfriends. After unsuccessfully testing twice for Playboy, she was invited to the Playboy Mansion and soon became a regular there. In October 2002, after more than a year of visiting the Mansion, she was invited to move in and become one of Hefner's girlfriends.
February 2009 marked Bridget's final appearance in Playboy, in a nude photo spread shot with Madison and Wilkinson that was touted as a farewell to the Girls Next Door.
Marquardt is hosting Bridget's Sexiest Beaches, a TV series on Travel Channel, which debuted March 12, 2009.
As seen on various episodes of The Girls Next Door, Marquardt has a Pekingese dog named Wednesday, and a black cat named Gizmo.
In the September 17, 2007 issue of Star magazine, Marquardt stated that she was married, but separated and had been living in the Playboy mansion since October 2002. According to the interview, her husband supported her move to Los Angeles, that they remained friends, and that they were in the process of divorcing. On September 25, 2008, Bridget told E! News, "I married my best friend when I was 23, but when I realized I wanted to move to LA to follow my dreams, we separated and eventually divorced." In a December 2008 interview, Marquardt stated that she was single, and in early January 2009, it was reported that Marquardt had moved out of the Playboy Mansion to "become her own person."
Marquardt is now dating director Nicholas Carpenter, whose mother is a former Playboy bunny.