Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she grew up in San Francisco. After some appearances in TV series, she won big success by starring in the 1985 film Back to the Future as Jennifer Parker, Marty McFly's girlfriend. However, for personal reasons, she was not available to reprise the role for the two sequels and was replaced by Elisabeth Shue. Also in 1985, she co-starred in Stop the Madness, an anti-drug music video sponsored by the Reagan administration, featuring several famous musicians, actors and athletes. The following year, she appeared in the TV movie Babies Having Babies and the short-lived series Fast Times, a TV adaptation of the popular 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Following Fast Times, she did not again appear on-screen until the 1996 independent film Still Waters Burn (finally being released onto DVD February 12, 2008). Since 1991, she has owned and managed a men's fine clothing store in Studio City, called Armani Wells.