Her mother, Alice Polk, was a descendant of former US President James K. Polk.
In October 1975 a man broke into her house, tied up her husband--a wealthy businessman--and kidnapped her, leaving a ransom note demanding $300,000. He stuffed her into the trunk of a car, but her husband broke his bonds and called police, who caught the kidnapper a half-hour later. She was released unharmed. A friend of the couple was arrested for the kidnapping.
A runner-up in the Miss USA pageant.
Studied journalism at the University of California at Berkeley before being spotted by an RKO talent scout.
Had her own internationally syndicated newspaper column, "Real to Reel", in the 1980s.
As of 2007, was living in Las Vegas, NV.