Lisa moved to New York City at age 15 to study theater, dance and music. She was a model for Robert Mapplethorpe and was featured in photographer Bruce Weber's ad campaign for designer Calvin Klein's Obsession perfume.
She would go on to appear briefly in Let's Get Lost, Weber's documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, and had a small role in Woody Allen's film Alice. In 1989 she appeared on Malcolm McLaren's song, "Something's Jumpin' in Your Shirt".
Many of her films emphasized her voluptuous physique (in particular Let's Get Lost, Mars Attacks!, Ed Wood and Breast Men), but gave her minimal dialogue. For her role in Mars Attacks!, Lisa had to be sewn into her dress. Her character's stylized walk was choreographed by Dan Kamin.
Some, such as Henry Selick, say she was a positive influence on him—Selick said "...she's really helped Tim. He's dressing better, I've seen him eating vegetarian, and his general hygiene has really improved." Burton abruptly ended their relationship following the premiere of 2001's Planet of the Apes, which Burton directed and in which Lisa Marie had a small role and Burton's new girlfriend (now wife), Helena Bonham Carter, starred.
According to a June 2004 news story, Lisa received a $5 million settlement in lieu of a palimony action. She has since sued to rescind the agreement and bring a palimony action, claiming that Burton and his friend Cherry Vanilla fraudulently convinced her she had no case. In 2007 the judge ruled she needed to amend her complaint. She also publicly sold Burton-related memorabilia and gifts at a warehouse sale that she hosted. Since then, Lisa's court case has been thrown out and she will receive nothing from the alleged oral agreement between Lisa and Burton.
|1988||Let's Get Lost||Herself|
|1990||Alice||Office Xmas Party Guest|
|1996||Mars Attacks!||Martian Girl|
|1998||Frogs for Snakes||Myrna L'Hatsky|
|1999||Tail Lights Fade||Kitty|
|Sleepy Hollow||Lady Crane|
|If... Dog... Rabbit...||Judy|
|2000||Chasing the Dragon||Claire Oberon|
|The Beat Nicks||Sophie|
|Stainboy||voice of Match Girl/Stainboy's Mother/Cracker Girl|
|2001||Planet of the Apes||Nova|
|2003||Starring||(a short film by fashion designer Jeremy Scott)|
|2008||Secret World of Superfans||Herself|