- Made her acting debut off Broadway in the original production of Godspell in the early 1970s; also appeared on Broadway in Grease before moving to Los Angeles in 1978.
- Played one of TV's first openly gay women on the ABC soap-opera parody Soap in 1979.
- Made her film debut in the 1979 comedy Fast Break, but her best-known movie role is Lucille LaRusso (the mother of Ralph Macchio's character) in The Karate Kid (1984) and The Karate Kid Part III (1989).
- Has had guest roles on more than 50 TV series.
- Longtime companion Bob Griffard is a TV veteran whose behind-the-camera credits include the ABC sitcoms Two of a Kind, Going Places, Step by Step and Perfect Strangers.
- 2011, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
- Bob Griffard — Significant Other
- Cody Heller — Daughter
- Sloane Heller — Daughter
- Drew Antzis — Nephew
- Attended Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts, United States