Griffith's well-known drug and alcohol addictions stalled her career, but she made a comeback at age 26 with her role as a porn actress in the Brian De Palma thriller Body Double (1984).The film, although a commercial failure, earned her the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress.Griffith received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the successful TV movie Buffalo Girls (1995), alongside Anjelica Huston.
Also in 1999, Griffith made her stage debut at the Old Vic in London, England, where she acted with Cate Blanchett in The Vagina Monologues.
Griffith's subsequent performance in Something Wild (1986) garnered critical acclaim before she was cast in 1988's Working Girl, which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won her a Golden Globe.
The 1990s saw Griffith in a series of roles which received varying critical reception: she received Golden Globe nominations for her performances in Buffalo Girls (1995), and as Marion Davies in RKO 281 (1999), while also earning a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her performances in Shining Through (1992), as well as receiving nominations for Crazy in Alabama (1999) and John Waters' cult film Cecil B. Other credits include John Schlesinger's Pacific Heights (1990), Milk Money (1994), the neo-noir film Mulholland Falls (1996), as Charlotte Haze in Adrian Lyne's Lolita (1997), and Another Day in Paradise (1998).
She achieved mainstream success when Mike Nichols cast her as spunky secretary Tess Mc Gill in the box office hit Working Girl (1988), co-starring Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin and Joan Cusack.
Griffith's performance was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.