Rinna was born July 11, 1963 in Newport Beach, California, the daughter of Lois and Frank Rinna. She is of Italian, Portuguese, and English descent.
At age seven, her family relocated to Medford, Oregon, when her father was transferred for job-related reasons, and she spent the remainder of her childhood there. Rinna graduated from Medford Senior High School in 1981. After graduating, Rinna moved to San Francisco, California to pursue a career as a model.
At age 22, Rinna appeared in the 1985 John Parr "Naughty Naughty" music video as the passenger in Parr's car. Rinna later appeared as the girlfriend to Jason Bateman's character in several episodes of The Hogan Family in 1990. In 1992, she received national recognition when she first starred on NBC's Days of Our Lives as Billie Reed. She departed in 1995, though reprised the role from 2002 to 2003. She later switched from daytime to primetime, portraying Taylor McBride on Aaron Spelling's Melrose Place from 1996 to 1998. Rinna has starred in two projects opposite husband Harry Hamlin, the teen crime-drama Veronica Mars, and the Lifetime movie Sex, Lies & Obsession. Her previous Lifetime movie, Another Woman's Husband, boasted one of the highest ratings for a movie on Lifetime since 1999. She has also appeared in Hannah Montana in the role of Mr. Dontzig's cousin Francesca. She also guest-starred on an episode of Movie Stars for the WB, the first ever on-screen appearance she shared opposite her husband. Rinna got her first role in the feature film Good Advice, starring Charlie Sheen and Jon Lovitz, and recently appeared in an episode of HBO's Entourage. In 2009, Rinna stated that she would love to reprise her role of Taylor McBride on CW's revival Melrose Place, if given the offer; however, the series was cancelled after only one season.
In February 2009, Rinna starred in the Broadway production of Chicago, portraying the role of Roxie Hart, alongside her husband, who played the role of Billy Flynn. In 2011, Rinna guest starred on Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush as Brooke Diamond. Later that year, it was confirmed that Rinna would again reprise the role of Billie Reed on Days of our Lives. She reported to work in December, with her first scenes airing March 9, 2012. However, in August of 2012, it was confirmed by Huffington Post that Rinna would once again leave the soap to develop a panel-focused talk show.
In 2002, Rinna was named co-host of Soap Talk, the daily lifestyle show that aired on SOAPnet, for which she received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination. In June 2006, SoapNet announced that it was canceling Soap Talk after four seasons due to low ratings.
In August 2007, Rinna replaced Joan Rivers as the host of TV Guide Network's red carpet coverage. In addition to subsequently guest-hosting Live with Regis and Kelly, Rinna also hosted the TV makeover program Merge on Lifetime.
She competed in the second season of Dancing with the Stars with professional Louis van Amstel and was eliminated in Round Seven based on audience voting, despite having higher marks from the judges than fellow celebrity dancer Jerry Rice. Lisa was also featured as a guest judge on the fourth episode of RuPaul's Drag Race.
In 2008, TV Guide reported that Rinna and Hamlin had signed a deal to create a reality TV series based around their family life. The series, titled Harry Loves Lisa, premiered on TV Land on October 6, 2010 and ran for 6 episodes.
In 2011, Rinna participated in Season 4 of Celebrity Apprentice. She was eliminated after being the project manager on the 2nd task, writing and performing a children's book. Rinna returned to the show in its sixth season as one of the "All-Stars" contestants. After being eliminated from that roster, she appeared on the May 13, 2013 episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with Lil Jon to talk about their time on the show.
In 2014, Rinna joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for the show's fifth season. Earlier in the same year, she had been one of the contestants in the progressive game show/talent competition Sing Your Face Off. (It was not known, as of the middle of August of 2015, whether Rinna had formed any plans to do any singing as herself.)
In 1998, Rinna, while six months pregnant, posed for a nude pictorial ("Melrose Mom," its title, paid tribute to her role in Melrose Place) and cover shoot for the September issue of Playboy magazine. She later recounted the instructions given to her by Playboy photographer Deborah Anderson: "'I do not want you long and sinewy and angular and muscular. I want you soft...' This was really hard for me because being 35 years old and posing for Playboy, you want to amp it up."
In May of 2009, she posed again for Playboy and, this time, was also its cover model.
In 2012 to benefit the charity Dress for Success, she modeled an adult incontinence brief made by Depend under a tight fitting evening gown.
Rinna and her husband Harry Hamlin, were the owners of the Belle Gray clothing boutique in Sherman Oaks, California. They closed the store in 2012 because both were busy with their acting careers and no longer had time to manage the store.
In April 2012, Lisa brought her collection to QVC as the Lisa Rinna Collection, which has been a huge success.
Rinna married actor Harry Hamlin in 1997. The couple have 2 daughters, Delilah Belle (Born 19th June 1998) and Amelia Gray (Born 13th June 2001).
She has acknowledged having plastic surgery and having silicone, botox and Juvéderm injections. Although she remains fond of botox, she has said that using Juvéderm was a mistake.