Tracey Needham is an actress famous for portraying strong, independent female roles, who are put in a traditionally male environment. How did she end up being cast in that exact type of roles? So where is she now, after the “JAG” series ended?

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Early life and Education

Tracey Renee Needham was born on 28 March 1967, in Dallas, Texas USA. She was raised the youngest of four children as well as an only daughter, as she has three older brothers, by her father, a homebuilder. Nothing is known about her mother.

Tracey Needham

Posted by Movie Guy 24/7 on Monday, March 27, 2017

The family moved to Denver, Colorado in 1975, although for some time, her father’s job saw the kids circulate between two states, so she attended Cherry Creek High School in Denver, as well as Plano Senior High School (PSHS) in Plano, Texas. When she was nearing the end of her high school, she was already 5ft 11ins (1.80m) tall, so her high-school teacher told her to work as a part of the technical crew instead of on stage, since she was deemed too tall. After matriculating, she went traveling around Europe and Australia. It isn’t known if she graduated from any college, and so which degree she might have.

During her childhood, she was always considered to be “one of the guys”, as she loved playing football and other sports – in her own words, ‘I was always jumping into football games and wanted to be treated equally and not have boys take it easy on me because I was a girl.’ These preferences would define the roles that she became known for playing in the future. Despite a lot of confusion, she is not related to director Hal Needham.


Needham moved to Los Angeles, California in 1988, to focus on studying acting, while also auditioning for several roles.

Her first acting role on television was a performance in “Jake and the Fatman”, an American crime drama series. Rumors say that she was discovered by an agent who was looking for a strong female actress, while she was working at a gas station. She acted with confidence, and as strong female characters were a rarity at that time, it didn’t take long before her career skyrocketed.

She got her breakthrough role in 40 episodes of the second season of the sitcom “Life Goes On” in 1990, performing as Paige Thatcher.

In 1995 she went on to play Lt. Meg Austin, a strong, feminine character in an all-male environment, in the first two seasons of action series “JAG” – standing for “Judge Advocate General” – and focused on a former pilot who switches careers and becomes a lawyer. JAG was an elite wing of officers who work with people accused of performing military-related crimes. However, Needham’s character was written off after the second season and 20 episodes.

One year later she played Roxanne in the horror TV film “Buried Alive II” , then went on to act in the TV movie “Justice” as Gina Gallagher – another role that expanded her fan base.

Tracey Needham

After that she appeared in “Total Security” as Ellie Jones, and in 2004 joined the cast of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” as Jessica Abernathy, as well as “CSI: Miami” as Cheri Lyle Manning. She is also famous for playing Marilyn Copeland, a mother whose daughter has been abducted, in an episode of “Criminal Minds”, called “What Fresh Hell?” Some of her later movie roles were playing Sarah in “Angel in the Family” in 2004 and Sarah Sharpe in the 2010 movie “The Last Harbor”, acting alongside Samaire Armstrong and Wade Williams.

Needham didn’t just stop at acting. She was also the second assistant director for “I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook and Now I Have Three-Picture Deal at Disney”, a short film with a long title from 1993 that was directed by Ben Affleck.


Needham tied the knot with her fellow actor Tommy Hinkley on the 1st January 1995 after several years of dating. Tommy is known for playing several characters in popular movies, including his debut “Back to the Beach” from 1987, “Ray’s Male Heterosexual Dance Hall”, “Star Trek Generations”, “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “Angel of Death”.

The couple even acted together in “Buried Alive II”, and Hinkley has also had guest roles in series such as “ER”, “Martial Law” and “That ‘70s Show”. Needham and Hinkley had their only child, Katie, in 1999. As of March 2020, they are still married.

Personal Life

Tracey has always been an advocate for equal rights, as she has faced discrimination since her earlier years due to her height. She loves horse riding and playing cards. She doesn’t share her daily lifestyle on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, keeping most of her private life away from the spotlight. Little is known about her life after her, temporary or permanent, retirement from acting in 2010.

Net worth

Her acting career, despite being dormant for a while as of 2020, has earned her a nice fortune, and her net worth is estimated at around $4 million. This shouldn’t be surprising as Needham was active on TV screen for over 30 years.

Physical characteristics

As stated, Needham is a really tall woman standing at a height of 5ft 11ins (1.80m), and her vital statistics are 36-27-34 – there’s no relevant information about her weight, but she tries very hard to maintain her body. She is usually seen as a blond to light brunette, with bright blue eyes.

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