She began her career modeling in Labatt beer ads and then in the pages of Playboy. She transitioned to acting on TV's Home Improvement but became a household name playing lifeguard C.J. Parker on the action-drama series Baywatch.
Following the huge success of Baywatch, Anderson took on the starring role of Vallery Irons on the action comedy series V.I.P., about a woman who accidentally saves a celebrity and then is hired by a real bodyguard agency. She followed this up with Stacked, in which she starred in alongside Christopher Lloyd. Additionally, she guest starred on several sitcoms including Married with Children, Futurama, Charles in Charge, The Nanny, Just Shoot Me! and 8 Simple Rules, and hosted a 1997 episode of Saturday Night Live.
She got her first movie break with Raw Justice (1994) and starred in the action thriller based on the Dark Horse comic book series of the same name, Barb Wire (1996). She’s had several roles in comedies, including Scooby Doo (2002), Scary Movie 3 (2003) and Superhero Movie (2008). Anderson also appeared in the mockumentary hit, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006), starring British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Most recently, she had a cameo in the big screen adaptation of Baywatch (2017).
Anderson is also an animal rights activist, who is actively involved with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).