Most famous for her role as Donna in the 1987 movie La Bamba, she also appeared in Under the Boardwalk and Dangerous Curves before pursuing a second career in film production.
Her early acting credits include the 1976 comedy Tunnel Vision and several 1980s episodes of the soap opera General Hospital.
She ended her acting career after appearing in the 2001 TV movie Acceptable Risk.
Her father, Frank von Zerneck, worked as a television producer. In 1989, she married British folk musician James Fearnley.
In La Bamba, she played the girlfriend of Lou Diamond Phillips' character, Ritchie Valens.