When her friends suggested that she pose for ‘Playboy’ magazine, Bridget Marquardt sent a letter to ‘Playboy,’ inquiring about the process to become a Playmate, a female model featured in the centerfold/gatefold of ‘Playboy’ magazine. In 1998, at the age of 25, she entered Playboy's Millennium Playmate search.
In 2001, she moved to Los Angeles, and took up some local modeling assignments and a few brief acting roles. She also appeared for Playboy tests, and after two unsuccessful ones, she was invited to the Playboy Mansion, the residence of the Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner. Soon she started visiting the Playboy Mansion regularly. After more than a year of visiting the Mansion, in October 2002, she was invited to become one of Hefner's girlfriends and move in the Mansion.
She also pursued a graduate level course in broadcast journalism through UCLA Extension while she was shooting for a reality TV show for Playboy. In 2001, she gained her master's degree in Communications from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
In 2002, she appeared in an episode of ‘The Man Show’, an American comedy television, as one of Hefner's playmates. The following year, she was featured as Santa Fe Tart in ‘Intolerable Cruelty’, an American romantic comedy film, directed and co-written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and produced by Brian Grazer and the Coens.
In 2004, she appeared in the horror/comedy film ‘Kottentail’, in which she portrayed Scarlet Salenger, a scientist doing genetic research on rabbits.
She was featured on the TV reality show ‘The Girls Next Door’, also known as ‘The Girls of the Playboy Mansion’, which was originally aired on E! from August 2005 to August 2010. The show was created by executive producer Kevin Burns and Hugh Hefner.
She appeared with models Holly Madison and Kendra Wilkinson in three ‘Playboy’ magazine covers for November 2005, September 2006, and March 2008 issues.
In 2005, she appeared in an episode of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, an American comedy television series produced and broadcast by HBO, as herself along with Madison and Hefner.
In the same year, she also appeared as herself along with Madison, Wilkinson, and Hefner in the ‘Entourage’ episode ‘Aquamansion’. The final act of the episode took place at the Playboy Mansion.
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She also appeared in an episode of ‘Celebrity Paranormal Project’, a paranormal reality television series that was originally aired from October 2006 to November 2007 on VH1. Due to her personal interest, she did an online paranormal course to learn about the paranormal activities.
On June 1, 2007, she began her ‘Bridget & Wednesday Friday Show’ on Sirius Radio's Playboy station. In August, she, Wilkinson and Madison appeared in the music video for Nickelback song ‘Rockstar’. In October, she took part as a contestant on the Fox Reality cable show ‘The Search for the Next Elvira’. She was one of the final six contestants out of 20.
In 2008, she appeared in the movie ‘The House Bunny’ with her fellow Playboy models, Hefner, and popular model Anna Faris. It is a romantic comedy film directed by Fred Wolf, written by Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz.
In the same year, she, along with Wilkinson and Madison, was featured on an episode of the reality competition show ‘Last Comic Standing’ that aired on NBC.
In July 2008, she, along with the rest of the models of ‘Girls Next Door’ appeared in an episode of NBC’s ‘Celebrity Family Feud.’ It was an American television game show created by Mark Goodson, where two families compete to win cash and prizes.
In her final appearance in Playboy in February 2009, she appeared in a nude photo spread shot with Madison and Wilkinson, which was touted as a farewell to the ‘Girls Next Door’.
In 2009, she landed her own TV series, ‘Bridget's Sexiest Beaches’, which aired on the Travel Channel. In the show, she traveled to various countries to explore their beaches, participate in various adventurous activities, meet the local people, and enjoy the nightlife. The show debuted on March 12, 2009, but ended after just one season.
In April 2010 she announced her plans for her own reality show that would cover her life after leaving the Playboy Mansion, and focus on her current relationships. In March 2011, she announced via Twitter that E! had not selected her show, but she was looking for other opportunities. Since then, there has been no news about this show.
In 2012, she worked for Yahoo's Animal Nation series, writing articles and shooting short documentary pieces.
Bridget Marquardt stated in the September 17, 2007 issue of ‘Star’ magazine, that she was married, but separated. She said that her husband supported her move to shift to Los Angeles to pursue a career. She also mentioned that although their divorce was in the process, they were still friends.
In late 2008, she began dating director Nicholas Carpenter, son of astronaut Scott Carpenter. In January 2009, she moved out of the Playboy Mansion to "become her own person." Marquardt and Nicholas moved into a house, which she had purchased in Sherman Oaks. They got engaged in 2015.
She had a Pekingese dog named Wednesday, or Winnie, and a black Persian cat named Gizmo.
She once said in an interview that while she was in the Playboy Mansion, she had frozen her eggs as she knew that she would want to have a family one day. “That was my insurance policy for later on in life,” she had said.