Her initial success came with the role on the soap opera All My Children (1970) between 1981 and 1984 playing a role bearing her first name, Amanda (Cousins). She also co-starred in the hugely popular horror film Fright Night with Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall. But her big break came in 1987, when she was cast as Al Bundy’s next-door neighbor and nemesis, Marcy Rhoades, on the hit sitcom Married with Children (1987). She played the role until the show’s end in 1997. Between 1991 and 1997, she helmed over 30 episodes of the show and went on to directed other sitcom episodes, including Reba (2001), Dharma & Greg (1997),Veronica’s Closet (1997).
In 2006, she teamed with Rosie O’Donnell to direct The Big Gay Sketch Show (2006), that debuted on Logo on April 24, 2007.
Openly lesbian since 1993, her announcement in Advocate Magazine made big headlines as she became the first primetime actress to “come out”. Although she has primarily played straight characters on screen, she did play Marcy’s lesbian cousin, “Mandy”, in a 1997 episode of Married with Children (1987) entitled Married with Children: Lez Be Friends (1997).
She continues to work behind the camera as an episodic television director, most recently with The Disney Channel, and is currently filming “Sky Sharks” a comedy-horror film due out this year.