Bridget Fonda was born in Los Angeles on January 27th, 1964 to actor Peter Fonda and Susan (Brewer) Fonda. She was named after Bridget Hayward, who her father was in love with at one time. She is a descendant of notable actors, her grandfather (Henry Fonda), her aunt (Jane Fonda), and her father (Peter Fonda). In 1972 Peter and Susan divorced and their mother in the Coldwater Canyon section of Los Angeles reared Bridget and her brother, Justin. During this time the children had little contact with their father or any of the Fonda family for that matter. Bridget recalls in an interview that "When I was a kid, the most important thing for me was my home". People would come and go, and things would change, but that place wouldn't. I loved it. I want to have that for the rest of my life. I want to have a place.
Although she came from a long line of actors, Bridget resented the implication that acting was in her blood. She not only refused to solicit acting tips and advice from her famous relatives, she worked hard to learn her craft. She studied method acting at New York University's celebrated Lee Strasberg Theatre institute for four years. During her first two years at the theatre, she suffered from a severe case of stage fright and self-consciousness that were exacerbated by the extra scrutiny she experienced because of her name. "When you've got all eyes on you, people saying, She's not so hot, you sort of with you were a nobody," - she told a reporter for People in 1990. However, in her third year, she learned to subordinate her concern for others opinion to her desire to do what she thought was best. She recalls "Once I was able to make myself look like a fool, I was no longer scared." After gaining work on a few theater productions and a small time opera anthology 'Aria' (1987) she landed a role in Michael Caton-Jone's acclaimed 'Scandle' in 1989. A review in the New Yorker proclaimed she had a provocative, taunting assertiveness and Rolling Stone said that Fonda was a comic delight. Fonda quickly found work that same year and pumped out two other movies, 'Shag" and 'Strapless'. She also stared in three television sequences: Fox's 21 Jump Street, HBO's The Edge, and PBS's Wonder Works tale "Jacob Have I Loved".
The next few years had Bridget doing more films but were of little consequence. In 1992 she was cast in the lead for Barbet Schroeder's "Single White Female". Critics proclaimed Bridgets' performance as her most expressive performance to date. She became one of Hollywood's busiest actresses. Bridget then turned out to a fist full of movies over the past several years and has played each character with uncanny believability. In 1993's "Point of No Return", she convincingly essayed the virtually unplayable part of an evening-gowned political assassin effortlessly. She has also displayed the Fonda family predilection for razor-sharp comic timing in such films as "Singles" (1992), "It Could Happen to You" (1994), and "The Road to Wellville" (1994). Her father, Peter Fonda, believes his daughter is the most talented member of their family including his father, whose skill Bridget has said she aspires to attain. "I'm never completely happy with what I do on screen," she admitted to the New York Times. "What comes out is never as good as I think it'll be, or hope it'll be." She also explains that "You can't count on fame or popularity." There are people who work their whole lives because they pace themselves, and that's the way I want to be.
On November 29, 2003, Fonda married film composer Danny Elfman. They have one son, Oliver, born in January, 2005. She has not appeared in a film since her marriage.