Sharon decided she wanted to be a dancer in grade school, after her family moved to Los Angeles. She started modeling in Japan when she was 17, but five months later she returned to the States, married her high school sweetheart, and decided to become an actress instead. The marriage didn't last anywhere near as long as her career has. She remarried in 2007 and now lives in Chatsworth, California. Her closest friend is "Y&R" co-star Melody Thomas Scott.
Sharon made her acting debut as Dawn Winthrop in 1989 on "General Hospital" but left the show after a year. She made a slew of TV guest appearances ("Cheers," "Beverly Hills 90210," "Doogie Howser, M.D.," etc.) before landing a recurring role on New York-based soap "As the World Turns."
That stint also lasted only a year, and Sharon returned to L.A. She joined "Y&R" in 1994, and finally settled down. It paid off: In 1999, she won the Daytime Emmy for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Sharon Collins, whose on-screen ups-and-downs mirror the actress's own triumphs over adversity.
Anyone who writes her a fan letter can expect a handwritten response from Sharon herself. And BTW? She's claustrophobic.