Had her breakthrough role as a teenager, playing Lydia Deetz in the 1988 Tim Burton film Beetlejuice, then went on to play prominent roles in such films as Mermaids, Edward Scissorhands, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Little Women, and Girl, Interrupted. She also stars on the Netflix series Stranger Things.
She made her film debut in the 1986 David Seltzer feature Lucas.
She was engaged to Johnny Depp for three years before breaking up with him in 1993. She has been with Scott Mackinlay Hahn since 2011.