She made her acting debut with the Malayalam film Manjil Virinja Pookkal in 1980. Since then she has acted in over 60 movies mostly in Tamil and Malayalam Cinema. Some of her famous Malayalam films are Onnanu Nammal, Hello Madras Girl, Ahimsa, Ithiri Neram Othiri Karyam, Rachana and Marakkillorikkalum to name a few. Some of the famous Tamil films in which she has acted are Mamiyara Marumagala, Darling, Darling, Darling, Thanga Magan, Ungal Veetu Pillai, and Sashti Viradam to name a few. She has also appeared in few Bollywood Movies like Dard, Dillagi and Paheli.
Poornima Bhagyaraj decided to quit acting post her marriage with noted Actor, Director, Scriptwriter and Producer K. Bhagyaraj, who was his co-star in famous film Darling Darling Darling, in 1984. The couple has a daughter Saranya Bhagyaraj and a son Shantanu Bhagyaraj and both of them are established, Actors.