After starting as an athlete herself, playing volleyball as a teenager, Bridgette Wilson began a show business career after winning the Miss Teen USA pageant in 1990, and would end up coming full circle to her athletic beginnings by marrying tennis player Pete Sampras in 2000. Wilson's athletic-yet-curvy frame and gorgeous face have often placed her as the beauty in films, which seems quite appropriate in consideration of her beginnings as a beauty queen.
Born September 25, 1973, in Oregon, Wilson relocated to Los Angeles in 1990 after winning the crown as a teen, and took on her first role -- on the soap Santa Barbara -- the following year. Her debut on the big screen came alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1993's Last Action Hero, in which she portrayed Schwarzenegger's daughter. Two years later, she appeared in Higher Learning starring Michelle Pfeiffer, and would expand upon her beauty queen profile to include a disciplinarian leadership role in Mortal Kombat. Her image as the beauty, however, was maintained and furthered in her role as Adam Sandler's character's love interest in Billy Madison (also 1995), a role which also permitted her an exploration of her comedic talent. Through the 1990s, Wilson played numerous roles of varying status in films for television and theater, with a notable appearance as the cold Elsa Shivers in the teen horror movie I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997).
In addition to her role on Santa Barbara, Wilson has made guest appearances on several television programs including Saved by the Bell, Frasier, and Murder, She Wrote. In 2000, she played Bridget Deshiell on the series The Street, and also revisited pageantry in her role as Miss Texas in the film Beautiful. Additionally, 2000 was the year she wed Pete Sampras.
Wilson supported Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Lopez by graciously stepping aside to allow for their romance to blossom in The Wedding Planner in 2001. She played small roles in The Extremists and Buying the Cow the following year. She and Sampras had a son, Christian, in November 2002.