While at UCLA, she began modeling and working in commercials for the school store. Hooker ended in 1986, she became a full-time cast member on Dynasty until its cancellation in 1989.She made her earliest screen appearances in the early 1980s with small roles in episodes of CHi Ps, 240-Robert, and Eight Is Enough, before beginning a long-term collaboration with Aaron Spelling. Until the mid-1980s, Locklear appeared as a series regular on T. Hooker, while making semiregular appearances on Dynasty. In 1991, the cast of Dynasty (including Locklear) reconvened for the four-hour miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion.
She then starred in the short-lived television drama series LAX set in the airport of the same name.
Locklear's notable film roles include the science-fiction thriller Firestarter (1984), the action comedy Money Talks (1997), the live-action/animated comedy Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003), and the romantic comedy The Perfect Man (2005).
Locklear attended UCLA, and pledged Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta, but was never initiated into either sorority.
She was also executive producer on the series, but it was cancelled after 11 episodes.
In 2005, Locklear appeared in the theatrical film The Perfect Man with Hilary Duff. She was also featured in a Biography Channel special.