Rula became famous in the USA and Canada during the late 70s/early 80s because of a series of Alberto V05 hair commercials. The advert opened with a close-up of Rula saying "I'm Rula Lenska" and the general public assumed that she was a celebrity who they were meant to know, even though at that time she wasn't known in the US. The commercial changed all that though, and Rula was soon famous in America solely because of the advert, with the majority of US viewers assuming she was a model and not realising that she already had a successful acting career in the United Kingdom.
Rula's debut on British TV was in Rock Follies, alongside Julie Covington and Charlotte Cornwell. An album of music from the series was released, entering the charts at No.1 - the first album to have done this since The Beatles! Rock Follies won a BAFTA in 1976. A second series, Rock Follies of 77, was screened the following year and both series received critical acclaim.
In 1981, Rula starred with the late John Inman in the TV series, Take A Letter Mr Jones and ince then, Rula has appeared in countless television series, including Minder, Eastenders, To The Manor Born, Doctor Who, Footballers' Wives TV, Doctors, The Saint, Boon, Robin of Sherwood, Casualty, Space 1999, and One Foot In The Grave. In 2003, Rula starred in the black comedy Paradise Grove, alongside Ron Moody.
In January 2006, Rula entered the Celebrity Big Brother house. Her chosen charities for her fees from the show were Wildlife Line and Children in Crisis.
More recently, Rula has been starring in Coronation Street as Claudia Colby, an acquaintance of Audrey Roberts.
Rula also played the Lintilla clones in the original radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and can also be heard in the third, fourth and fifth radio series which had its debut on BBC Radio 4 in May 2005.