She primarily grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee and was a straight-A student in her grade school years.
She was active in theater throughout junior high and high school, and graduated with Honors from UCSB with a Bachelor's degree in Dramatic Arts emphasis in Acting, Writing and Directing and a minor.
When she first arrived she got a job working on the doors at a Soho strip club, before landing a role on Casualty, where she played a student nurse.
She was the baby of the family with two older sisters Virginia and Dottie and an older brother, Richard, Jr.
The young beauty was named Princess of the 1957 Carnaval in Hermosillo, and parlayed that into work as a model.