This 40-year-old actress was born in Sarasota, Florida where she had a kidney operation at the age of four.

Soon thereafter she moved to Paradise, California with her mother at the age of five. Although her family moved around a lot, she maintained good grades and was a straight A student throughout high school where she graduated as valedictorian.

She was discovered in San Diego by a major modeling agency that sent her to New York to start modeling when she was just 15 years old. Later she returned to Los Angeles where she enrolled in an acting class at the suggestion of her aunt, Carol Merrill, who is known from the 1960’s television show 'Let’s Make A Deal.'

Her television career during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s included appearances on 'Saved by the Bell', 'Who’s the Boss?', 'ALF', 'Doogie Howser', and 'The Wonder Years'. She has starred opposite Nicholas Cage, Russell Crowe, Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.