Natalie Zea

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Natalie Zea
Natalie Zea13.jpg
Zea in 2013
Born(1975-03-17) March 17, 1975 (age 39)
Harris County, Texas, U.S.
Years active1995–present
Partner(s)Travis Schuldt[1]
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Natalie Zea
Natalie Zea13.jpg
Zea in 2013
Born(1975-03-17) March 17, 1975 (age 39)
Harris County, Texas, U.S.
Years active1995–present
Partner(s)Travis Schuldt[1]

Natalie Zea (born March 17, 1975) is an American television actress, best known for her roles as Gwen Hotchkiss on the NBC daytime soap opera Passions (2000-2002), as socialite Karen Darling on ABC primetime soap opera Dirty Sexy Money (2007-2009), as Winona Hawkins in the FX crime drama Justified (2010-2013), and as Claire Matthews in Fox series The Following (2013).

Early life[edit]

Zea was born in Harris County, Texas, attending high school in Monahans, graduating in 1993. She graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City in 1995.[2]


Zea had a few small film roles before joining the cast of NBC daytime soap opera Passions in 2000 as Gwen Hotchkiss, succeeding Liza Huber, who left the role. When Zea left the show in 2002, she was replaced by Huber.[3] She guest-starred in several primetime shows, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2001. In 2004, she had a recurring role on the FX police drama The Shield playing a love interest of Michael Chiklis' Vic Mackey.

In 2005, Zea won her first regular role in primetime, on the short-lived ABC drama series Eyes. Her next major role was on the ABC primetime soap opera Dirty Sexy Money, playing spoiled socialite Karen Darling. The soap aired from 2007 to 2009, and was canceled after two seasons.[4] In 2009, she had a recurring role during the first season of the HBO comedy series Hung.[5] Zea guest-starred on episodes of Two and a Half Men, Without a Trace, Medium, Franklin & Bash, Person of Interest, and Californication. In film, Zea had small role in the 2010 comedy The Other Guys.[6]

In 2010, Zea began starring as series regular during the first three seasons of the FX drama Justified, changing to a recurring role from Season 4.[7] In 2013 she starred in the major role of Dr. Claire Matthews, the estranged wife of a serial killer in The Following. The same year, she had a recurring role as Maxine Seagrave, a drug and gambling kingpin, on the CBS summer series Under the Dome.[8] Later that year, Zea was cast in her first lead role of the Amazon comedy pilot The Rebels.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Zea resides with her partner, actor Travis Schuldt who is her former co-star in Passions. Zea and Schuldt announced on June 26, 2013 that they are engaged.[10]


1995Boys Don't CryLana TisdelShort film
1999Macbeth in ManhattanSamantha / First Witch
1999Lucid Days in HellNaomi
2000D.C.Small roleEpisode: "Blame"
2001CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationNeedra FenwayEpisode: "Gentle, Gentle"
2002MDsGhostEpisode: "R.I.P."
2000-2002PassionsGwen Hotchkiss WinthropSeries regular
2004The ShieldLauren RileyRecurring role, 5 episodes
2005Two and a Half MenColleenEpisode: "We Called It Mr. Pinky"
2005EyesTrish AgermeyerSeries regular, 12 episodes
2006FreddieSallyEpisode: "Freddie and the Hot Mom"
2006Without a TraceJennifer NicholsEpisode: "Crossroads"
2006Just LegalEpisode: "The Rainmaker"
2008From a Place of DarknessBrendaDirect-to-video
2007-2009Dirty Sexy MoneyKaren DarlingSeries regular, 23 episodes
2009HungJemmaRecurring role, 4 episodes
2009MediumSophie CullenEpisode: "Deja Vu All Over Again"
2010The Other GuysChristinith
2010The DefendersADA Meredith KramerRecurring role, 3 episodes
2010Law & Order: Los AngelesSarah GoodwinEpisode: "Hondo Field"
2011Franklin & BashIsabella KaplowitzEpisode: "She Came Upstairs to Kill Me"
2011Royal PainsJudy WindlandEpisode: "Traffic"
2011Person of InterestDiane HansonEpisode: "Pilot"
2012Burden of EvilCaitlyn ConnerTV Movie
2012-13CalifornicationCarrieRecurring role, 4 episodes
2013Sweet TalkDelilah
2010-13JustifiedWinona HawkinsSeries regular, 42 episodes
2013-presentThe FollowingClaire MatthewsSeries regular, 15 episodes; Recurring, 2 episodes
2013Under the DomeMaxine SeagraveRecurring role, 3 episodes
2014Too Late
2014The RebelsTV series


  1. ^ Hollywood 411: Celebrity Interviews. Justified: Natalie Zea
  2. ^ "Natalie Zea profile in". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  3. ^ "Passions News: Zea Opts Out As Passions' Gwen". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  4. ^ "Dirty Sexy Money: Underwood Believes the ABC TV Show is Over". TV Series Finale. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  5. ^ "Natalie Zea adds some dirty, sexy money to Hung". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  6. ^ Ford, Allan (2010-08-06). "The Other Guys Review". FilmoFilia. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  7. ^ Matt Webb Mitovich (2012-04-03). "Natalie Zea on Justified Season 3 Contract Status". TVLine. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  8. ^ "Keck's Exclusives: The Following's Natalie Zea Going Under the Dome". 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Natalie Zea Toplines Amazon Pilot 'Outlaws', Peter Jacobson To Co-Star In Lifetime's 'HR'". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  10. ^ Jordan, Julie (2013-06-26). "Natalie Zea & Travis Schuldt Engaged". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 

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