Perhaps Franklin's best known role is in the 1985 comedy film Better Off Dead as Monique, the foreign exchange student from France; she's also notable as one of the Princesses in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Other well-known parts include her first in the 1982 film The Last American Virgin as Karen and the 1982 horror film Amityville II: The Possession as Patricia Montelli. Television roles include Bay City Blues, Matlock, and Freddy's Nightmares.
During pre-production of the 1984 film Amadeus, Franklin was flown to Prague for a week of auditions in competition with Elizabeth Berridge, who was eventually given the part in question. As Berridge tells it, Franklin was "too pretty" to play the part (of an innkeeper's daughter)
Franklin has taken frequent breaks in her career which span from 1982-1991, 1999-2000, and 2006-Present, she took an 8 year break from acting in 1991 and didn't act until 1999 in TV showsFamily Law, and Providence and took another long break, lasting 6 years, until restarting her career with the movie Punchcard Player and later acting in short films.
In 2012 Franklin published a memoir, Diane Franklin: The Excellent Adventures of the Last American, French Exchange Babe of the 80s through Amazon.
Franklin is married to writer and producer Ray De Laurentis and has two children with him, Olivia De Laurentis and another child, she retired from film acting in 2006 with her last movie beingPunchcard Player and has since been acting in short movies and has appeared in her daughter's short films. Franklin sang the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium on June 1, 2004.