After going on an audition as moral support for a friend, Hatcher lands her first TV gig as a singing, dancing mermaid on The Love Boat.
Hatcher appears occasional on MacGyver as ditzy Penny Parker – a gig that will last four years. In 1988, Hatcher goes on to marry personal trainer Marcus Leithold. The pair split within a year.
Soapdish, a well-reviewed comedy in which Hatcher plays a small role along side Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr., Elisabeth Shue and Whoopi Goldberg, hits theatres. Though she's had bit parts in Tango & Cash and The Big Picture, this is Hatcher's first role in a major film.
Hatcher does a guest appearance on Seinfeld, playing a well-endowed girlfriend of Jerry's. In an iconic scene where he dumps her because he thinks she has breast implants, Hatcher tells him, "They're real . . . And they're spectacular!"
Hatcher is cast as Lois Lane in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. At the height of the show's success in 1996, a picture of Hatcher in a Superman cape is downloaded on the Internet 20,000 times. "It's a great shot," she tells Entertainment Weekly. "Not so much because it's me. It's just cool-looking."
Hatcher announces that she and Equal Justice star Jon Tenney are engaged. The two wed in 1994, chartering a 70-foot yacht in Fiji during their honeymoon. "Jon is just a tremendous human being, and I can't imagine not being with him, and I know he feels the same way," she tells In Style in 1996.
Hatcher and Tenney announce they are expecting their first child. The news makes producers of Tomorrow Never Dies, Hatcher's latest movie gig, rush to finish her scenes. Their daughter, Emerson Rose, is born Nov. 10. "The one thing I never feel secure about," Hatcher tells PEOPLE, "is the way I parent."
Just over a month after Emerson's birth, Tomorrow Never Dies hits theaters. Hatcher plays Bond girl Paris Carver opposite Pierce Brosnan. The film goes on to gross almost $340 million internationally.
After a dry spell following her 2003 divorce, ending her nine-year marriage to Tenney, a 39-year-old Hatcher returns in full force as Susan Mayer on the latest TV craze, Desperate Housewives. "In a way, you enjoy success more when you understand that it's fragile and will go away," she tells PEOPLE.
In their first group cover story, the Housewives pose for the cover of Vanity Fair. The magazine reports that during the photo shoot, Marcia Cross became upset that Hatcher was in the center and stormed off the set. The event grabs headlines and fuels speculation that the Housewives don't get along.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Everett; ScreenScenes; Bonnie Schiffman/Paramount Pictures; Warner Bros.; Timothy White/ABC; Lexington Herald/Sygma; GLOBE; Moshe Brakha/ABC; Mark Seliger/Vanity Fair