This dark beauty successfully made the transition from child performer to working adult actress. Of Hispanic heritage, Trini Alvarado began her show business career dancing with her family's flamenco troupe at age seven. Within two years, she had made her stage acting debut in the musical "Becca" and by age 11 was featured in the Broadway company of Elizabeth Swados' musical "Runaways". She debuted in features as a precocious pre-teen in Robert Young's quietly effective "Rich Kids" (1979). She subsequently proved to be a versatile and dependable performer, shifting comfortably between projects on the big and small screens and avoiding typecasting in Latina roles. Alvarado delivered touching performances in "ABC Afterschool Specials", as a shy girl who discovers her friends have accepted her only because she has a famous father in "A Movie Star's Daughter" (1979), and as an aspiring singer whose mother pressures her to study bookkeeping in "Starstruck" (1981).
After making her feature debut, Alvarado distinguished herself in a number of fine performances, including as Diane Keaton's daughter in "Mrs. Soffel" (1984), as Maureen Stapleton's granddaughter working at a Catlike Mountain resort hotel in the underrated "Sweet Lorraine" (1987) the clunky musical "Satisfaction" (1988), co-starring Julia Roberts, as the daughter Bette Midler sacrifices all for in "Stella" (1990). She was cast opposite John Goodman in "The Babe" (1992), playing the fragile first wife of the baseball legend. before landing her most high profile film role as Meg, the oldest, conventional March sister in Gillian Armstrong's acclaimed remake of "Little Women" (1994). Unfortunately, her follow-up was the first role to take advantage of her familial heritage, playing Anjelica Huston's daughter in the critically-lambasted "The Perez Family" (1995). Alvarado fared better as the doctor living in a haunted house in Peter Jackson's "The Frighteners" (1996).