The Baltimore-born, Georgia-reared ballet dancer has undergone numerous foot operations for a bone ailment she's had since childhood. After dancing for Mikhail Baryshnikov in New York and then spending time in a wheelchair, she realized she wouldn't be able to dance for a living and that she'd be wearing Birkenstock for the rest of her life. She ended up back in Atlanta, doing commercials.
She auditioned five times for Robert De Niro and Sergio Leone when they were cast in Once Upon a Time in America (1984). She didn't get the part, but a Miss Hollywood contest took her to Los Angeles.