Why Did Bridgette Wilson Quit Acting? Inside The Life of Pete Sampras’s Wife

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  • Post last modified:October 16, 2021
Why Did Bridgette Wilson Quit Acting? Inside The Life of  Pete Sampras’s Wife

Bridgette Wilson (full name, Bridgette LeAnn Wilson) is a former actress, singer, model, and Miss Teen USA winner. Wilson played the character of Lisa Fenimore on the soap opera Santa Barbara from April 1992 to January 1993.

She is known for appearing in films like Last Action HeroHigher Learning, Mortal Kombat (1995), and Billy Madison. She also has other notable roles in films like I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), House on Haunted Hill (1999), The Wedding Planner (2001), and Shopgirl (2005).

In the mid-’90s, every movie goers considered Wilson was going to be the next breakout star and for a while, it seemed so. However, the actress hasn’t been seen in a movie since 2008’s Phantom Punch.

So why did she stop appearing on screens? While the answer is not as much complicated, but before that, it might help to know just how much potential she had. Also, know much more about her personal life.

Bridgette Wilson Is From Oregon 

Wilson was born on September 25, 1973, and grew up in the small coastal town of Gold Beach, Oregon. Her ancestry includes English, some Swedish, German, Danish, Guernsey [Channel Islander], and French.

Bridgette Wilson was an athletic tomboy as a child. Her father was a manager with the local power company.
Bridgett Wilson was born in Gold Beach, Oregon. The place had people no more than 2500. Source: Instagram

While in high school, the daughter of Kathy and Dale Wilson competed on the school’s volleyball team as well on basketball and track.

Bridgette was an athletic tomboy who would fish and chop wood with her father, a manager with the local power company.

Wilson Won A National Pageant 

In 1990, Wilson won the Miss Teen USA topping 50 other teenagers. The actress was 16 at the competition held in Biloxi, Mississippi, and was the second contender from Oregon to win the crown. She also received $150,000 in cash and prizes, including a car.

In 1990, Wilson won the Miss Teen USA topping 50 other teenagers.
Bridgette Wilson is the winner of Miss Teen 1990. She was 16 at the time. Source: Instagram

She said she traveled throughout the country for a year, being a spokesperson for different organizations. Bridgette admits the traveling for an entire year helped her being at ease with people in interviews and auditions.

Bridgette Wilson Was An “A” Student 

The Billy Madison star graduated from Gold Beach High School in 1991.

Bridgette Wilson passed out from high school early. The actress explained she always worked quickly and had gotten A’s in her classes, so in her senior year she was able to get all of her credits at half-year.

She took first place at her high-school science fair with a research project. Wilson presented a study that reported on how much vitamin content would green pepper lose in assorted ways of cooking them.

She is also a self-taught pianist; she learned it from her childhood. Bridgette once taught and ran the nursery in Oregon Sunday school.

Wilson Has An Actress Sister

Wilson’s older sister, Tracy is also an actress known for Team Knight Rider (1997), a syndicated television series from the Knight Rider franchise which ran between 1997 and 1998.

Tracy also had appearances in the 1997 Lara Flynn Boyle-starrer series The Practice (1997). 

Additionally, Wilson’s sister, Tracy was an additional crew member in the series, Huff. Likewise, her other roles have been in films and shows such as Miraculous Collison (2006), Running Springs (2006), Cold Case, A Day In The Life Of A Bathroom Key (2005), The Master Of Disguise (2002), 24, Burning Down The House (2001), and Resurrection (1980).

Bridgette Wilson’s Acting Career 

After winning the crown of Miss Teen, Wilson moved to Los Angeles. She next enrolled in an acting class, and worked in a mattress shop, along with doing little odds and ends here and there.

The Gold Beach native got her break appearing as Ginger ’90s kids’ sitcom: Saved by the Bell. In the NBC series, she made credits in four episodes.

Bridgette’s first long-term role came on the NBC daytime drama Santa Barbara, where she played Lisa Fenimore for 51 episodes.

She gained that big Hollywood fame with roles in hits like Last Action Hero, Murder, She Wrote, Santa Barbara, Higher Learning, Billy Madison, Mortal Kombat, The Wedding Planner, among others.

Cameron Diaz’s Bad Luck Led Bridgette Wilson To Star In Mortal Kombat

Several stars auditioned for the Mortal Kombat movie. Among those was another famed 90s star, Cameron Diaz who had initially beat Wilson to get a role in the film.

Diaz trained for action feature while Bridgette was about to complete her work in Billy Madison.

Bridgette Wilson is known for films like Last Action Hero, Murder, She Wrote, Santa Barbara, Higher Learning, Billy Madison, Mortal Kombat, The Wedding Planner,
Bridgette Wilson got a role in Mortal Kombat, 1995 after Cameron Diaz left the film due to a wrist injury.

Unfortunately for Diaz, she went on to break her wrist during the training of Mortal Kombat. The film then consequently decided to cast Wilson who had previously finished second to Diaz.

Much like Cameron, Bridgette would also suffer injuries while doing the film; the actress dislocated her shoulder.

Bridgette Did Her Own Stunts

Wilson insisted on doing all her own stunts in John McTiernan’s directorial, Last Action Hero (1993). She did so to feel more “in touch” with her character, “Meredith Caprice/ Whitney Slater.”
Later, the Oregon-born actress complained most of her better footage was left on the cutting room floor. In fact, many of her fans also cited that she disappeared from the movie far too soon.

Wilson Is A Hit Singer In Japan

Wilson is a considerably popular singer in Japan, where she has released two CDs: “I Only Wanna Be With You”; and “Gimme a Kiss.”
She also recorded a version of Leif Garrett’s “I Was Made for Dancing”, which went on to be a considerable hit in the country. Her singles and EPs include Da Doo Ron Ron, and I Was Made For Dancin’.
In an interview, the Shopgirl star said she had always loved singing and it was an active choice to pursue being a performer.

Bridgette Wilson Married A Multiple Grand Slam Winner 

Wilson’s husband, Pete Sampras is a 7-time Wimbledon champion/14 Grand Slam winner.

Sampras had first spotted her at a Los Angeles movie theater in September 1999. After that, he said to his friend that he’d love to meet her. The unidentified friend eventually connected them.

Bridgette Wilson says she initially didn't know who Pete Sampras was. The actress revealed she didn't watch tennis
Bridgette Wilson is married to 14 time Grand Slam winner, Pete Sampras. The couple married in 2000 and has two sons. Source: Getty

The tennis champion and the actress dated for nine months before Sampras proposed at his Los Angeles home. Sampras asked his actress girlfriend to marry him on June 7, 2000, with a platinum ring with an oval-shaped diamond from Cartier.

Bridgette Wilson Had A Wedding At A Backyard

Sixteen weeks later, they tied the knot in Sampras’ backyard of his Beverly Hills home in 2000 on September 30. The ceremony had 80 guests including the former NHL player, Wayne Gretzky, and Andre Agassi.

Wilson’s Grand Slam winner husband rented a massive tent to cover his private tennis court and turned it into a reception hall. In-Style reported the ceremony had a surprise performance from Elton John.

The bride wore a sleek georgette Vera Wang dress and reportedly donned $400,000 worth of diamond jewelry.

Bridgette Wilson Didn’t Know Who Her Hubby Pete Sampras Was Initially

Wilson admitted she had no idea who Pete Sampras was. She explained how she had never watched tennis, so she wasn’t familiar with him. But when Ms. Sampras saw his picture, she found him cute and decided to go out with him. She agreed to have dinner with him once her sister assured her that her future husband was 6 foot 1 which is taller than her own stature of 5’9″.

Wilson Has Two Sons With Her Husband, Sampras 

With Sampras, she welcomed a boy named Christian Charles Sampras on November 21, 2002.
She once revealed The first time around as a mom, she held on really tight and was so stressed. The brown-eyed wife of Sampras had another son, Ryan Nikolaos Sampras on July 29, 2005.
Bridgette claims she has always wanted to have a family and children of her own and that it has always been her first priority.

Why Did Bridgette Wilson Quit Acting?

Although the athlete’s spouse continued to act sparingly in the years after her sons were born, interviews from around the time of her final film made it clear that she was ready to walk away.
While talking with Pregnancy, Ms. Sampras said she wanted to be there when [the boys] would wake up and also be there to put them in bed.

Wilson said she also could not bear to be apart from her children. She added it was very hard for her to leave her kids. As such Wilson took a break from acting, after 2008’s “Phantom Punch”. Eleven years later, the former high school volleyball player lent her voice to “Mortal Kombat 11”.

Wilson Used To Be A Spokesperson

The former pageant winner also used to be a national spokesperson for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers). The five-foot-nine actress once said the program was great for her. She added although she had never lost anybody to drunk driving, she had known people that had.

Wilson is also an active supporter of the American Oceans Campaign, and several AIDS charities.

Bridgette Wilson’s Net Worth

Wilson allegedly has a net worth of over $20million — all primarily from her acting career of over 28 years. While her current professional endeavors are yet to come to public knowledge, it has been reported and also assumed that she is enjoying a rich life no less than some multimillionaire.

Although it’s been quite a while since Wilson quit her acting, the financial pains are very likely the last thing she would end up with; considering the massive fortune, her richer husband possesses. The multiple silverware champion is worth north of $150million.

Just to have a glimpse of their wealth, it might be worth noting that in 2011, Sampras and his actress wife listed their 20 acres home of Lake Sherwood for $19.95M.

Then in 2014, the parents of two forked out $5,996,000 for the Bel Air 5,100 square foot estate previously owned by actor Albert Brooks. Also, the couple once owned a Brentwood home 6,900-square-foot Los Angeles Brentwood home which they listed in 2016 for a price of $8.9 million.

Some Other Facts About Bridgette Wilson

  • Wilson is left-handed.
  • At 12, she got tangled up in a coral reef because of which she had to get 10 stitches.
  • Her childhood dream was to join NASA.