She played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Los Angeles Free Shakespeare Theatre in 1975, and returned to the role at the Seattle Repertory Theatre (1982-1983).
Irving auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars, which went to Carrie Fisher.
She also starred in the 2010 Opera Theatre of Saint Louis production of the musical A Little Night Music.
Her brother is writer and director David Irving (not the British author of the same name) and her sister, Katie Irving, is a singer and teacher of deaf children.
Additional off-Broadway credits include: The Heidi Chronicles; The Road to Mecca; The Vagina Monologues in both London and New York; The Glass Menagerie with her mother, actress Priscilla Pointer; Celadine, a world premiere at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey; and the 2006 one-woman play, A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop.
In 1994, she and Anthony Hopkins hosted the 48th Tony Awards at the Gershwin Theatre, New York.
In May 2010 Irving made her Opera Theatre of Saint Louis debut in the role of Desiree Armfeldt in Isaac Mizrahi's directorial debut of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music.
That same year, she also gave another singing performance in the live-action/animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, providing the singing voice for Jessica Rabbit.Irving's father was Jewish, as was one of Irving's maternal great-great-grandfathers.in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and appeared in several productions there.She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Yentl (1983), and for a Golden Globe Award for the comedy Crossing Delancey (1988).Her other film appearances include Deconstructing Harry (1997), Traffic (2000), and Adam (2009).