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.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Travis Schuldt (m. 2014)[1]

Natalie Zea (born March 17, 1975) is an American 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–present), and as Claire Matthews in the Fox series The Following (2013-2014).

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] In 2014, Zea was cast as lead character in the ABC primetime soap opera, Members Only.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Zea resides with her partner, actor Travis Schuldt who is her former co-star in Passions. The couple married on July 16, 2014, in Hawaii.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Boys Don't Cry Lana Tisdel Short film
1999 Macbeth in Manhattan Samantha / First Witch
1999 Lucid Days in Hell Naomi
2000 D.C. Small 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 Series regular
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 Series regular, 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"
2008 From a Place of Darkness Brenda Direct-to-video
2007–2009 Dirty Sexy Money Karen Darling Series regular, 23 episodes
2009 Hung Jemma Recurring role, 4 episodes
2009 Medium Sophie Cullen Episode: "Deja Vu All Over Again"
2010 The Other Guys Christinith
2010 The Defenders ADA Meredith Kramer Recurring role, 3 episodes
2010 Law & Order: Los Angeles Sarah Goodwin Episode: "Hondo Field"
2011 InSight Kaitlyn
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 Burden of Evil Caitlyn Conner TV Movie
2012–2013 Californication Carrie Recurring role, 4 episodes
2013 Sweet Talk Delilah
2010–present Justified Winona Hawkins Series regular, 42 episodes
2013–present The Following Claire Matthews Series regular, 15 episodes; Recurring, 8 episodes
2013 Under the Dome Maxine Seagrave Recurring role, 3 episodes
2014 Too Late
2014 The Rebels Julie Levine TV pilot
2014 The Grey Lady
2015 Members Only Mickey Holbrooke Series regular


  1. ^ a b "Natalie Zea Marries Scrubs Alum Travis Schuldt: The Following Star's Wedding Details". Wenner Media. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  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. ^ "Natalie Zea To Star In ABC Series ‘Members Only’ Directed By R.J. Cutler". Deadline. August 4, 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 

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