Sharon Yvonne Stone was born and raised in Meadville, a small town in Pennsylvania, to Dorothy Marie (Lawson), an accountant and homemaker, and Joseph William Stone II, a factory worker. Her father was strict. She was the second of four children, and has English, German, Scottish, and Irish ancestry. At the age of 15, she studied in Saegertown High School, Pennsylvania and, at that same age, entered Edinboro State University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with a degree in creative writing and fine arts. She was a very smart girl, became a bookworm, and once was told that a suitable job for her (and her brains) was to become a lawyer. However, her first love was still the black-and-white movies, especially those featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. So, the 17-year-old Sharon got herself into the Miss Crawford County and won the beauty contest. From working part-time as a McDonalds counter girl, she worked her way up to become a successful Ford model, both in TV commercials and print ads. In 1980, she made her film debut as an extra in Woody Allens Stardust Memories (1980). Her first speaking part was in Wes Cravens horror movie, Deadly Blessing (1981). She struggled through many parts in B-movies, such as King Solomons Mines (1985) and Action Jackson (1988). She was also married in 1984 to Michael Greenburg, the producer of MacGyver (1985), but they divorced two years later.