Natalie Zea
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Natalie Zea
Natalie Zea
Natalie Zea13.jpg
Zea in 2013
Born (1975-03-17) March 17, 1975 (age 45)
Years active1995-present
(m. 2014)
  • Dr. Danny Lee Zea (father)
  • Jennifer Zea (mother)

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 a number of independent and made-for-television movies, and had recurring roles in The Shield, Hung, Californication, and The Unicorn.

In 2010, Zea began starring as Winona Hawkins in the FX critically acclaimed crime drama series Justified as a regular cast member during the first three seasons and recurring guest star later. In 2013, she also began starring as Claire Matthews in the Fox drama series The Following. Zea played lead character Mickey Holmes-Harris on the canceled-before-airing ABC dramedy series, Members Only, and starred in the 2016-2019 TBS sitcom The Detour.

Early life

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.[1] Also in 1995, Zea co-starred as Lana Tisdel in the short film Boys Don't Cry. In the 1999 feature film version of Boys Don't Cry the role was played by Chloë Sevigny.[1] She also appeared in many national commercials for companies such as Dove, Snickers and Hellman's Salad Dressing.[2]



Zea began her career in an Off-Broadway theatre, appearing in productions of The Three Sisters and A Midsummer Night's Dream.[1] 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 the show on a regular basis 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".[3] 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 the 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. The following year, Zea 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.[4] In 2009, she had a recurring role during the first season of the HBO comedy series Hung.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[7][8] In film, Zea had supporting role in the 2010 comedy The Other Guys.[9] 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).[10][11]

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 a recurring basis. 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.[12] Later in that year, Zea was cast in her first series leading role of the Amazon comedy pilot The Rebels.[13] The pilot premiered in February 2014, but not was picked up to series.[14] 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.[15][16]

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.[17] 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."[18]Members Only was cancelled by ABC before premiere.[19] On December 2, 2014, Zea was cast as lead opposite Jason Jones in the TBS vacation comedy The Detour.[20]

In 2020, Zea will play in the lead role of Claire Wolcott in the NBC apocalyptic drama series La Brea which was written by David Appelbaum.[21]

Personal life

In June 2013, Zea announced her engagement to her former Passions co-star Travis Schuldt after 10 years of dating.[22] The couple married on July 16, 2014, in Hawaii.[23] In June 2015, they announced they were expecting their first child together.[24][25] In October 2015, Zea gave birth to a daughter named Reygan. [26]


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Macbeth in Manhattan Samantha / First Witch
1999 Lucid Days in Hell Naomi
2008 From a Place of Darkness Brenda
2010 The Other Guys Christinith
2011 InSight Kaitlyn
2011 The Sexy Dark Ages Gwendolyn Short film
2011 Method Actress Short film
2012 Burden of Evil Caitlyn Conner Television film
2013 Sweet Talk Delilah
2013 The Following Claire Matthews
2015 Grey Lady Melissa Reynolds
2015 Too Late Mary Mahler
2019 The F**k it List Kristen
2021 Happily Karen Post-production

Television credits

Year Title Role Notes
2000 D.C. Cameo role Episode: "Blame"
2001 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Needra Fenway Episode: "Gentle, Gentle"
2002 MDs Ghost Episode: "R.I.P."
2000 - 2002 Passions Gwen Hotchkiss Winthrop Main cast
2004 The Shield Lauren Riley Recurring role, 5 episodes
2005 Two and a Half Men Colleen Episode: "We Called It Mr. Pinky"
2005 Eyes Trish Agermeyer Main cast, 12 episodes
2006 Freddie Sally Episode: "Freddie and the Hot Mom"
2006 Without a Trace Jennifer Nichols Episode: "Crossroads"
2006 Just Legal Episode: "The Rainmaker"
2007 - 2009 Dirty Sexy Money Karen Darling Main cast, 23 episodes
2009 Hung Jemma Recurring role, 4 episodes
2009 Medium Sophie Cullen Episode: "Deja Vu All Over Again"
2010 The Defenders ADA Meredith Kramer Recurring role, 3 episodes
2010 Law & Order: Los Angeles Sarah Goodwin Episode: "Hondo Field"
2011 Franklin & Bash Isabella Kaplowitz Episode: "She Came Upstairs to Kill Me"
2011 Royal Pains Judy Windland Episode: "Traffic"
2011 Person of Interest Diane Hanson Episode: "Pilot"
2012 - 2013 Californication Carrie Recurring role, 4 episodes
2010 - 2015 Justified Winona Hawkins Main cast (seasons 1-3); recurring role (seasons 4-6), 44 episodes
2013 - 2014 The Following Claire Matthews Main cast (season 1); recurring role (season 2), 23 episodes
2013 Under the Dome Maxine Seagrave Recurring role, 3 episodes
2014 The Rebels Julie Levine TV pilot
2014 Members Only Mickey Holmes-Harris Main cast
2016 - 2019 The Detour Robin Randall Main role; director (2 episodes)
2017 White Famous Amy Von Getz Recurring role, 3 episodes
2020 9-1-1: Lone Star Zoe Episodes: "Studs" and "Awakening"
2020-2021 The Unicorn Shannon Recurring role
2021 La Brea Claire Wolcott Main role


  1. ^ a b c "Natalie Zea profile in". Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Natalie Zea". Soap Central. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ Dan J Kroll (June 26, 2002). "Zea Opts Out As Passions' Gwen". Soap Central. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ "Dirty Sexy Money: Underwood Believes the ABC TV Show is Over". TV Series Finale. 2009-01-05. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Natalie Zea adds some dirty, sexy money to Hung". Retrieved .
  6. ^ Matt Webb Mitovich (2012-04-03). "Natalie Zea on Justified Season 3 Contract Status". TVLine. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b Nellie Andreeva (June 23, 2011). "Natalie Zea Closes Deal To Continue On 'Justified', Books Arc On 'Californication'". Deadline. Retrieved 2014.
  8. ^ Bruce Fretts. "Cheers & Jeers: Justified, My Love". TV Guide. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ Ford, Allan (2010-08-06). "The Other Guys Review". FilmoFilia. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "'InSight,' Directed by Richard Gabai -- Review". The New York Times. September 1, 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ ""Burden of Evil" Preview". Lifetime. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "Keck's Exclusives: The Following's Natalie Zea Going Under the Dome". 2013-06-10. Retrieved .
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Natalie Zea Toplines Amazon Pilot 'Outlaws', Peter Jacobson To Co-Star In Lifetime's 'HR'". Retrieved .
  14. ^ Emily VanDerWerff (March 11, 2014). "Amazon picks up four series, disappointing Natalie Zea once again". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ Borys Kit (April 5, 2012). "Oscar Nominee John Hawkes to Star in Indie Thriller 'Too Late'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ Jen Yamato (April 28, 2014). "Natalie Zea Set For Indie Thriller 'Grey Lady' Opposite Eric Dane". Deadline. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ "Natalie Zea To Star In ABC Series 'Members Only' Directed By R.J. Cutler". Deadline. August 4, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ Liz Raftery (August 4, 2014). "Natalie Zea to Star in ABC's Members Only". TV Guide. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ Lesley Goldberg. "ABC's 'Members Only' Not Moving Forward (Exclusive) - Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014.
  20. ^ Nellie Andreeva. "Natalie Zea To Star In Jason Jones & Samantha Bee's TBS Vacation Pilot - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 2014.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 26, 2020). "Natalie Zea To Star In NBC Drama Pilot 'La Brea'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2020.
  22. ^ "Natalie Zea & Travis Schuldt Engaged :". Retrieved 2016.
  23. ^ Webber, Stephanie; Meilan, Ingrid (July 18, 2014). "The Following's Natalie Zea Marries Travis Schuldt!". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2020.
  24. ^ "Natalie Zea Expecting First Child". People. June 11, 2015. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ Corneau, Allison (June 12, 2015). "Justified's Natalie Zea Is Pregnant!". Us Weekly. Retrieved 2020.
  26. ^ Leon, Anya (November 5, 2015). "Natalie Zea Welcomes Daughter Reygan". People. Retrieved 2019.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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