- Moved to New York City at 17 and supported herself by modeling and appearing in commercials.
- Made her big-screen debut with a bit part in the 1988 crime drama Shakedown.
- First series-regular role was on the short-lived soap Generations; later found greater success on prime-time soap Melrose Place, playing Megan Lewis Mancini McBride.
- Starred in a string of law enforcement-oriented series, including The District and Threat Matrix, before landing the role of Lily van der Woodsen on CW teen drama Gossip Girl.
- Cites Carole Lombard, Gloria Grahame and Marlene Dietrich as her primary acting influences.
- Ann Edwards — Mother
- Carlos Tarajano — Ex-husband
- Anthony Rutherford — Brother
- Hermes Gustaf Daniel Giersch — Son
- Daniel Giersch — Ex-husband
- Helena Grace Rutherford Giersch — Daughter
- Attended HB Studio, New York, New York, United States; attended Beverly Hills Playhouse, Beverly Hills, California, United States