Lea Thompson was a professional ballerina at age 14, but gave it up to pursue acting.
After moving to New York she appeared in some 20 Burger King TV commercials, then debuted onscreen in Jaws 3-D (1983). Shortly thereafter she got her first important role, opposite Tom Cruise in the hit All the Right Moves (1983). She is best known for her multiple roles in the three Back to the Future movies; aside from those highly successful movies, she has not gone on to appear in any hit productions. She also appeared in the TV movies Nightbreaker (1989), Montana (1990), and the PBS playhouse co-production The Wizard of Loneliness (1988).