Sara's breakthrough role was Princess Lili in Ridley Scott's 1985 fairy-tale film Legend. Playing the role of Ferris Bueller's girlfriend, Sloane Peterson, in the 1986 blockbuster film Ferris Bueller's Day Off made her even more popular. She also appeared in the 1987 miniseries Queenie, a roman à clef on actress Merle Oberon, as well as 1992's A Stranger Among Us, directed by Sidney Lumet. In 1994 she starred opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in the blockbuster Timecop, for which she won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also played the part of Molly Connor in The Impossible Elephant (2001). Her television roles have included playing Annie Knox in the science fiction series Time Trax (1993–94) and Dr. Harleen Quinzel in the short-lived WB Network superhero show Birds of Prey (2002).