Tracey Needham is an American actress, best known for her role as Paige Thatcher on the television show ‘Life Goes On’. She was born in Dallas, Texas to a homebuilder father. She got interested in acting during her school days. But she grew tall quickly, reaching the height of 5’11” by the time she was in the eighth grade, and was told by her school's theatre director that she was too tall to appear on stage. She worked in the technical crew throughout her high school years. She also loved playing football, and her tall stature helped her when she played football with boys. On the football field, she insisted on being treated equally as boys. She travelled throughout Australia and Europe after graduating from high school and before studying acting in Los Angeles. She got her debut role in an episode of ‘Jake and the Fatman’. After taking a few more acting classes, Tracey transformed into a confident actor. Thanks to her natural acting skills, she was able to win the hearts of her viewers.
Tracey Needham started her acting career with a guest role on CBS’s crime drama ‘Jake and the Fatman’ in 1988. After that, she took acting classes before landing the role of Paige Thatcher in ‘Life Goes On’ (1990-1993), the first television series to show its protagonist with Down Syndrome. She appeared as Lt. Meg Austin in the military-themed action-adventure series JAG (1995-1996). She also acted in TV shows like ‘VR 5’ (1995-1997), ‘The Division’ (2001-2003) in the role of Inspector Candace DeLorenzo, ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ (2004), CSI: Miami (2005) and ‘Veronica Mars’ (2007).
Tracey has worked in many television films. Some of her notable TV movies include ‘Bonnie & Clyde: The True Story’ (1992), ‘Prophet of Evil: The Ervil LeBaron Story’ (1993), ‘Lush Life’ (1993), ‘Sensation’ (1994), ‘Last Stand at Saber River’(1997), ‘Buried Alive II’ (1997), ‘Justice’ (1999), ‘919 Fifth Avenue’ (1996), ‘The Ponder Heart’ (2001), ‘Angel in the Family’ (2004), ‘Murder 101’ (2006) and ‘The Last Harbour’ (2010). Tracey’s short film roles included ‘Tupperware Party’ (1997) and ‘The Last Miracle’ (2006). She also directed and wrote the screenplay for ‘Tupperware Party’. In addition to that, she worked as the second assistant director for Ben Affleck’s short film ‘I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook and Now I Have Three-Picture Deal at Disney’ in 1993. Throughout her career, Tracey has done numerous guest roles in television shows and television movie projects. Due to her build, she was mostly given action-oriented roles. Since she was raised with three brothers, she does not mind playing strong female roles in male-dominated environments.
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Family & Personal Life
Tracey Needham was born on March 28, 1967, in Dallas, Texas. Her father was a homebuilder, and due to the nature of his job, the family moved between Dallas and Denver frequently. She was the youngest among her parents’ four children, and had three brothers. When she was eight years old, her family moved to Denver, Colorado, and she went to ‘Cherry Creek High School’ there. By the time she was in the eighth grade, her height reached 5’11”. Her school’s theatre director told her that she was too tall to appear on stage; therefore, she had to work in the technical crew. Tracey’s height however proved to be an advantage on the football field in school, where she played with boys, insisting that she be treated equally to boys.
After graduating from ‘Plano Senior High School’ in Texas, she travelled throughout Australia and Europe. Thereafter, she went to Los Angeles to study acting in order to become a professional artist. After auditioning for several parts, she managed to get several roles in films and television productions. She married her longtime boyfriend and actor Tommy Hinkley in January 1995. They have a daughter called Katie, who was born in 1999. The family lives in Los Angeles, California.