Salinger's first movie appearance was in William Malone's Creature (1985). The same year the actress appeared in what she considers her favorite movie she's been in her 30-year career: Tim Burton's Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985); in the film, Salinger played Simone, a truck-stop waitress and hopeless romantic who connects with Pee-wee (Paul Reubens) on an emotional level while watching the sun rise from a T-Rex roadside attraction. The following decade, Salinger reunited with Reubens for Batman Returns (1992) (Tim Burton's second installment of his initial Batman (1989) film series). The two have cameo roles as Penguin's (Danny DeVito) parents, Tucker and Esther Cobblepot. The same year, Alfredo and Deborah Ringel directed Salinger in a starring role, in their film Unbecoming Age (1992). The film tells a story of Julia (Salinger) who, for her 40th birthday, wishes to forget how old she is. A bottle of magic bubbles makes her wish come true, instantly transforming Julia into an ageless and happy woman. She starred opposite George Clooney.