(written from a Production point of view)
Petty's career breakthrough came with her role in the 1991 film Point Break, which also featured Jack Kehler and Christopher Pettiet. However, she is perhaps best known for her role as Kit Keller in the popular 1992 film A League of Their Own, in which she worked with Ann Cusack, Mark Holton, David L. Lander and Anne Elizabeth Ramsay. She is also known for playing the title role in the cult 1995 action comedy Tank Girl. Star Trek Generations actor Malcolm McDowell played Tank Girl's nemesis, Kesslee, while fellow VOY guest star Jeff Kober played her love interest. Doug Jones, Ann Magnuson, Iggy Pop, Reg E. Cathey, Clayton Landey, Charles Lucia, Frank Welker, and the aforementioned Ann Cusack also had roles in this film.
Petty has also gained recognition for her performances in other films such as Free Willy (1993, with Richard Riehle) and In the Army Now (1994, with Andy Dick and Glenn Morshower). Her other film credits have included Cadillac Man (1990), Poetic Justice (1993, with John Cothran, Jr. and Clifton Collins, Jr.), The Glass Shield (1994, with Erich Anderson, Bernie Casey, Natalia Nogulich, Jim Fitzpatrick, Victoria Dillard, and Biff Yeager), Relax… It's Just Sex (1998, with Paul Winfield and Seymour Cassel), The Arrangement (1999, with Richard Riehle), Clubland (1999, with Lee Arenberg), MacArthur Park (2001), Route 666 (2001, with Dick Miller), and Prey for Rock & Roll (2003).
Petty was set to co-star in the 1993 film Demolition Man, which also featured Bill Cobbs and Bob Gunton, but she left the project following a few days of filming, as she and Sylvester Stallone didn't get along well with each other, and was replaced by Sandra Bullock.
Petty more recently starred in an independent film called The Last Guy on Earth, written and directed by Star Trek: Enterprise guest actor and Glass Shield co-star Jim Fitzpatrick. Whoopi Goldberg was also a part of the film's cast. Petty has since made her feature directorial debut with an independent drama called The Poker House, which she co-wrote with David Alan Grier.
One of Petty's earliest television appearances was in the 1987 made-for-TV movie Bates Motel, co-starring Robert Picardo and Gregg Henry. She also guest-starred on such series as Stingray (with Gregg Henry), Miami Vice (with Iman), and Alien Nation (starring Gary Graham, Eric Pierpoint, and Michele Scarabelli and directed by Rob Bowman). In 1990, she had a recurring role on the 21 Jump Street spin-off TV series Booker (guest starring Ed Lauter).
Petty created, produced, wrote, and starred in the situation comedy series Lush Life, which ran for four episodes on the Fox Network in September 1996. Fellow VOY guest star Concetta Tomei was also a regular on the show, playing the mother of Petty's character's best friend and roommate. After Lush Life was canceled, Petty appeared in a two-part episode of the NBC drama Profiler, working with director James Whitmore, Jr. and actor Dennis Christopher.
Petty also voiced the villainous "Livewire" on the Superman and Batman animated series in 1997 and 1998. She was also a regular on the series Brimstone (1998-99), along with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest star John Glover. She has since guest-starred on such series as ER (with Michelle C. Bonilla and Julianna McCarthy), NYPD Blue (starring Gordon Clapp), and CSI: NY.
More recently, Petty had a recurring role as Huntington's disease patient Janice on the Fox medical drama House, M. D., on which Jennifer Morrison was a regular. One of Petty's episodes also featured ENT regular Anthony Montgomery. Petty was seen in the two-hour series finale of Fox' Prison Break, along with Robert Knepper and Leon Russom. Petty played the recurring character of Lolly Whitehill on Netflix's Orange is the New Black (2014-2019) alongside regular Kate Mulgrew and recurring actors Michael Harney, Lauren Lapkus, and Phumzile Sitole. Both Petty and Mulgrew received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination in 2015 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.