Family & Companions
Lithe, graceful Bridget Fonda represents the third generation of the Fonda acting dynasty. Granddaughter of Henry and daughter of Peter, she succumbed to the acting bug after appearing in a high school production of "Harvey." After studying theater at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (where she played the lead in Andrew Fleming's student short "P.P.T."), Fonda made her professional screen debut in Franc Roddam's "Tristan and Isolde" segment of "Aria" (1987), in a role requiring nudity and little else. A year later, she did a sexy dance with a Confederate flag in "Shag" which caught the eye of writer-director David Hare, who cast her as Blair Brown's flighty younger sister in "Strapless" (1989). By then she had already gained widespread attention in "Scandal" (released two months earlier in 1989), playing Mandy Rice-Davies, one of the young women involved in the notorious English government-sex scandal of the 1960s.
The roommate-from-hell thriller "Single White Female" (1992) paired Fonda with another young star, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and she contributed some nice work to the ensemble acting of the twentysomething comedy "Singles" (1992), as the character planning to have her breasts enlarged. Given the chance to carry a film, she starred as a fairly credible (if whining) assassin in "Point of No Return" (1993), the American remake of Luc Besson's "La Femme Nikita" (1990), but the movie did not make her a superstar as some had hoped. Fonda put down the gun to play an appealing mother in "Little Buddha" (1993), an aspiring musician in "Camilla" (1994) and a down-to-earth waitress who shares a winning lottery ticket with Nicolas Cage in the Capraesque fable, "It Could Happen To You" (1994). She also essayed the female lead in Harold Becker's "City Hall" (1996), a drama about politics and corruption in Manhattan, co-starring Al Pacino (as the mayor) and John Cusack (as a deputy mayor).
Fonda has an elusive, quirky and offbeat quality that few directors have captured, which may explain why that single defining catapulting role to call her very own has remained out of reach. Unable to fully realize her potential, directors have often seriously underused her, and though she's a sexy little thing, she's more than that as her early work in "Strapless" and "Scandal" attest. Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" (1997) featured her as a conniving, overtanned blonde bimbo surfer "pot-head" who wears cutoff shorts and a bikini top as the kept girl of Samuel L Jackson, reinforcing her image as a so-called sex symbol but also giving her some first-rate, foul-mouthed dialogue to spout. That year also saw her contribute a neat, surprisingly touching cameo as Chris Eigeman's stuttering girlfriend in David Winkler's feature directing debut, "Mr. Jealousy," and earn an Emmy nomination as a yuppie pool of angst in Christopher Reeve's highly-acclaimed "In the Gloaming" (HBO).
Though she was the top-billed female in Sam Raimi's "A Simple Plan" (1998), the director's first departure from genre fare to concentrate on character development gave her nowhere near as much to sink her teeth as it did Bill Paxton and particularly Billy Bob Thornton. That said, she acquitted herself admirably as the sensible and loving new mom who nevertheless has the chilly heart of Lady Macbeth. She delivered a memorably sexy turn in "Finding Graceland" (1998), dressed in full regalia as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. "Lake Placid" (1999), a drama penned by David E Kelley, offered her a juicy part as a paleontologist investigating a mysterious death while "The Break Up" (aired on Cinemax in 1999) cast her as a hearing-impaired woman accused of murdering her abusive husband. While still chasing that illusive star-making role, Fonda must remain content with being an actress who works constantly, which isn't so bad, after all.
Cast (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Film acting debut in Franc Roddam's segment ("Tristan und Isolde") of "Aria"; released in USA in 1998
Did a memorable, sexy dance with Confederate flag in "Shag", which led to role in David Hare's "Strapless" (1989)
First film released in USA, "You Can't Hurry Love"
TV acting debut in PBS special, "Jacob Have I Loved"
First film in a starring role, "Scandal", portrayed Mandy Rice-Davies
Played small role as photojournalist girlfriend of Andy Garcia in "The Godfather, Part III"
Shared apartment with the 'roommate from hell' (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in Barbet Schroeder's "Single White Female"
Role as assassin in "Point of No Return" (Hollywood remake of "La Femme Nikita") did not push her over-the-top to superstardom as hoped
Starred opposite Nicolas Cage in Andrew Bergman's charming but saccharin romantic comedy "It Could Happan to You"
Portrayed a would-be singer-songwriter who strikes up a friendship with an elderly, eccentric former concert violinist (Jessica Tandy) in "Camilla"; Tandy's last film
Delivered an oddly likable performance as vivacious magician's assistant in "Rough Magic", directorial debut of Clare Peploe (wife of Bernardo Bertolucci, for whom Fonda acted in "Little Buddha" 1993)
Hosted "Dolphins in Danger: On Location with Bridget Fonda" on TBS, (whose owner, Ted Turner, is Fonda's uncle by marriage)
Cast as the female lead of "City Hall" opposite Al Pacino and John Cusack
Played "pot-head" bimbo kept by Samuel L Jackson in Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown", adapted from Elmore Leonard's novel "Rum Punch"
Contributed neat, surprizingly touching cameo as Chris Eigeman's stuttering girlfriend in "Mr. Jealousy"
Nominated for a supporting actress Emmy Award for her performance as the sister of a man suffering from AIDS complications in "In The Gloaming" (HBO), directed by Christopher Reeve
Offered memorable turn in small role as Marilyn Monroe impersonator in David Winkler's feature directing debut, "Finding Graceland" (aired on Cinemax in 1999)
Portrayed Bill Paxton's scheming pregnant wife in Sam Raimi's "A Simple Plan"
Acted in David E. Kelley-produced and scripted comedy-horror pic "Lake Placid"
Starred as a deaf woman accused of murdering her husband in "The Breakup" (premiered on Cinemax)
Appeared on episodes of Showtime's "The Chris Isaak Show" as the singer's girlfriend Stephanie Furst
Co-starred with Jet Li in "Kiss of the Dragon"
Had title role in the Hallmark TV production "The Snow Queen"