- As a teenager, took singing and dancing lessons at New York's Professional Children's School, and worked as a cabaret singer for a time after dropping out of college.
- Starred in the 1990 film Cry-Baby as Pepper Walker, a character written specifically for her by writer-director John Waters.
- Appeared in both the 1988 and 2007 versions of the movie Hairspray. In the first she played the leading role of Tracy Turnblad, and in the latter made a cameo as a William Morris talent agent.
- Produced the 2007 documentary The Business of Being Born, which explores childbirth in the modern world. The film includes footage of her home birthing her second son, Owen.
- Competed in the 13th season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars with partner Derek Hough.
- Barry Lake — Father
- Jennifer Lake — Sister
- Christian Evans — Husband (separated)
- Owen Tyler Sussman — Son
- Jill Lake — Mother
- Rob Sussman — Ex-husband
- Milo Sebastian Sussman — Son
- Attended Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, United States
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