The Sussex-born daughter of a photographer and a poet (and the grand-niece of actress Geraldine Fitzgerald), she had a bohemian upbringing and entered London's Drama Centre in 1986.
Fitzgerald subsequently lent her ethereal qualities to "Sirens" (1994) as the wife of a clergyman (Hugh Grant) seduced by the bohemian lifestyle of eccentric artist Norman Lindsay (Sam Neill). In the offbeat British production "A Man of No Importance" (1994), she played an unwed pregnant country girl who inspires a closeted gay bus driver to try to fulfill a long held dream of directing a production of Oscar Wilde's "Salome". She re-teamed with Grant in 1994, in the quaint British period piece "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain" (1995), then was cast as Ewan MacGregor's love interest in the comedy "Brassed Off" (1996).
Fitzgerald has also appeared in the British TV-movies "The Black Candle", "The Chamomile Lawn", "Anglo-Saxon Attitudes", "Six Characters in Search of an Author", the miniseries "Fall From Grace" (shown on CBS in 1994) and the PBS mystery series "Cadfael" (1995). She made her London stage debut opposite Peter O'Toole in "Our Song" (1992), and in 1995 hit Broadway in "Hamlet", playing Ophelia to Ralph Fiennes' moody prince.