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
Spouse(s)Travis Schuldt (m. 2014)[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
Spouse(s)Travis Schuldt (m. 2014)[1]

Natalie Zea (born March 17, 1975) is an American actress, known for her performances on television. Zea began her acting career in theatre. Her first major role was on the NBC daytime soap opera Passions (2000–2002), where she played the role of Gwen Hotchkiss. Her breakout role was on the ABC primetime soap opera Dirty Sexy Money as socialite Karen Darling, where she starred from 2007 to 2009. Zea also has made many guest appearances on television, starred in the number of independent and made for television movies, and had the recurring roles in The Shield, Hung and Californication.

In 2010, Zea began starring as Winona Hawkins in the FX critically acclaimed crime drama series, Justified as regular cast member during the first three seasons and recurring guest star later. In 2013 she also began starrig as Claire Matthews in the Fox series The Following. Zea is starring as Mickey Holmes-Harris, the lead character, in the upcoming ABC comedy-drama series, Members Only.

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] Also in 1995, Zea co-starred as Lana Tisdel in the short film Boys Don't Cry. In 1999 feature film version of Boys Don't Cry the role was played by Chloë Sevigny.[2] She also appeared in many national commercials for companies such as Dove, Snickers and Hellman's Salad Dressing.[3]



Zea began her career in a Off-Broadway theatre, appearing in productions of The Three Sisters and A Midsummer Night's Dream.[2] She made her feature debut in the Shakespeare-themed independent drama Macbeth in Manhattan in 1999. In the following year, Zea made her television debut in an episode of short-lived The WB drama series, D.C.. Later in that year she was cast as Gwen Hotchkiss Winthrop, a businesswoman and socialite, and the member of the wealthy Hotchkiss family, in the NBC daytime soap opera Passions. She appeared in soap on the regular basic from November 15, 2000 to October 3, 2002. On her leaving, Zea said "I have decided not to renew my contract with Passions. Although I enjoyed my experience, and learned quite a bit, especially initially, I know that the best thing for my career, and my craft, is to pursue new challenges. So after some deliberation, an amicable parting of ways seemed to be the best decision".[4] Zea is the second actress who played the role of Gwen. Susan Lucci's daughter Liza Huber played the role from July 5, 1999 to November 8, 2000, and again, after Zea left from show.

In 2004, Zea was cast in a recurring role in the FX police drama series, The Shield. She played the role of Lauren Riley, a love interest of Michael Chiklis' character Vic Mackey. In the following year, Zea has won her first series regular role on primetime television, on the ABC drama series, Eyes opposite Tim Daly. The series was canceled after a single season. Her next major role was on the ABC primetime soap opera/comedy-drama Dirty Sexy Money opposite Jill Clayburgh, Donald Sutherland and Peter Krause. Zea played spoiled socialite Karen Darling. The soap aired from 2007 to 2009, and was canceled after two seasons.[5] In 2009, she had a recurring role during the first season of the HBO comedy series Hung.[6] She also had many guest-starring roles, on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Two and a Half Men, Without a Trace, Medium, Franklin & Bash, and Person of Interest.


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] She played the role of Winona Hawkins, the ex-wife of Raylan Givens. Zea originally was a guest star in the pilot for Justified, but was upped to regular right after the pilot with a two-year deal.[8] Alongside her regular role on Justified, from 2012 to 2013, Zea had the recurring role on Showtime comedy-drama, Californication as a new love interest for David Duchovny' character.[8][9] In film, Zea had supporting role in the 2010 comedy The Other Guys.[10] As lead actress, she co-starred alongside Sean Patrick Flanery in the 2011 independent thriller InSight, and in the Lifetime movie Burden of Evil (2012).[11][12]

In 2013, Zea starred in the major role of Dr. Claire Matthews, the estranged wife of a serial killer in the Fox drama series, The Following. She returned to show in second season on recurring basic. Also in 2013, she had a recurring role as Maxine Seagrave, a drug and gambling kingpin, on the first season of CBS summer series, Under the Dome.[13] Later in that year, Zea was cast in her first series leading role of the Amazon comedy pilot The Rebels.[14] The pilot premiered in February 2014, but not was picked up to series.[15] Later in that year, Zea was cast in two independent films: Too Late in the female lead role opposite John Hawkes, and The Grey Lady as lead character.[16][17]

On August 4, 2014 , it was announced that Zea was cast as lead character in the straight-to-series ordered ABC primetime soap opera, Members Only.[18] She plays the role of Mickey Holmes-Harris the "most well-educated and put-together member of the family that founded the country club around which the show is centered."[19] The series set to air during the 2014–15 American television season.

Personal life[edit]

Zea married actor Travis Schuldt, who is her former co-star in Passions, on July 16, 2014, and the couple live in Hawaii.



1995Boys Don't CryLana TisdelShort film
1999Macbeth in ManhattanSamantha / First Witch
1999Lucid Days in HellNaomi
2008From a Place of DarknessBrenda
2010The Other GuysChristinith
2011MethodActressShort film
2012Burden of EvilCaitlyn ConnerTelevision film
2013Sweet TalkDelilah
2015Too LatePost-production
2015The Grey LadyPost-production


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"
2007–2009Dirty Sexy MoneyKaren DarlingSeries regular, 23 episodes
2009HungJemmaRecurring role, 4 episodes
2009MediumSophie CullenEpisode: "Deja Vu All Over Again"
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"
2012–2013CalifornicationCarrieRecurring role, 4 episodes
2010–presentJustifiedWinona HawkinsSeries regular (seasons 1-3); Recurring guest star (seasons 4-6), 44 episodes
2013–presentThe FollowingClaire MatthewsSeries regular (season 1); Recurring guest star (season 2), 23 episodes
2013Under the DomeMaxine SeagraveRecurring role, 3 episodes
2014The RebelsJulie LevineTV pilot
2015–presentMembers OnlyMickey Holmes-HarrisSeries regular


  1. ^ "Natalie Zea Marries Scrubs Alum Travis Schuldt: The Following Star's Wedding Details". Wenner Media. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Natalie Zea profile in". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  3. ^ "Natalie Zea". Soap Central. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Dan J Kroll (June 26, 2002). "Zea Opts Out As Passions' Gwen". Soap Central. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Dirty Sexy Money: Underwood Believes the ABC TV Show is Over". TV Series Finale. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  6. ^ "Natalie Zea adds some dirty, sexy money to Hung". 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. ^ a b Nellie Andreeva (June 23, 2011). "Natalie Zea Closes Deal To Continue On 'Justified', Books Arc On 'Californication'". Deadline. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Bruce Fretts. "Cheers & Jeers: Justified, My Love". TV Guide. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Ford, Allan (2010-08-06). "The Other Guys Review". FilmoFilia. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  11. ^ "'InSight,' Directed by Richard Gabai — Review". The New York Times. September 1, 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  12. ^ ""Burden of Evil" Preview". Lifetime. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Keck's Exclusives: The Following's Natalie Zea Going Under the Dome". 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Natalie Zea Toplines Amazon Pilot 'Outlaws', Peter Jacobson To Co-Star In Lifetime's 'HR'". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  15. ^ Todd VanDerWerff (March 11, 2014). "Amazon picks up four series, disappointing Natalie Zea once again". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  16. ^ Borys Kit (April 5, 2012). "Oscar Nominee John Hawkes to Star in Indie Thriller 'Too Late'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  17. ^ Jen Yamato (April 28, 2014). "Natalie Zea Set For Indie Thriller ‘Grey Lady’ Opposite Eric Dane". Deadline. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Natalie Zea To Star In ABC Series ‘Members Only’ Directed By R.J. Cutler". Deadline. August 4, 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  19. ^ Liz Raftery (August 4, 2014). "Natalie Zea to Star in ABC's Members Only". TV Guide. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 

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