Who is Traylor Howard?
Traylor is an American actress, best known for her roles in several popular TV series. She gained prominence for playing Sharon Carter on the sitcom “Two Guys and a Girl”, which aired from 1998 to 2001. She is also recognized for portraying Natalie Teeger in the detective comedy-drama “Monk”, from 2005 until the show’s end in 2009. Outside of her television work, she has appeared in a handful of films, including “Me, Myself & Irene” in 2000.
Early Life and Education
Traylor Howard was born on 14 June 1966, in Orlando, Florida, to parents Peggy E. and Robert M. Howard, Jr. Even at a young age, Traylor showed a propensity for the creative arts, which later influenced her decision to pursue a career in acting.
After matriculating from Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, she attended Florida State University (FSU), where she was an active member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Traylor graduated from FSU with a degree in communications and advertising, and briefly worked in the field before switching to acting.
Traylor’s professional acting career began in the mid-1990s. She made her TV series debut in 1994, in an episode of the action drama series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”. In the following year, she made her first film appearance, in the drama “Till the End of the Night”, written and directed by Larry Brand.
In 1996, Traylor secured a role in the short-lived NBC sitcom “Boston Common”. The series was created by David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, and was one of the first projects from their production company, KoMut Entertainment.
The show revolved around the lives of two siblings, Wyleen and Boyd Pritchett. Boyd, played by Anthony Clark, decides to move from Virginia to Boston to accompany his younger sister, Wyleen, portrayed by Hedy Burress, who earned a scholarship at the fictional Randolph Harrington College. Traylor played Joy Byrnes, a quick-witted, attractive undergraduate at the college, who becomes the object of Boyd’s affections. Although the series only lasted two seasons, her performance was well received, and she gained further recognition in the industry.
Her breakout role came in 1998 when she was cast as Sharon Carter in the sitcom “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place”, created by Danny Jacobson and Kenny Schwartz. The series follows the lives of three friends living in Boston: Pete Dunville (Richard Ruccolo), Berg (Ryan Reynolds), and Sharon Carter (Traylor). During the first two seasons, Pete and Berg work at a pizza place, hence the original title. However, by the third season, the pizza place was dropped from the story, and the title was shortened to “Two Guys and a Girl”. The series was widely known for its unique season finales that offered multiple-choice cliffhangers, letting the audience vote over the summer via the internet to decide the outcome of the storyline. The show concluded in 2001, after 81 episodes.
Parallel to her work on “Two Guys and a Girl”, Traylor appeared in several comedy movies, including in 1998 “Confessions of a Sexist Pig” and “Dirty Work”, and “Me, Myself & Irene” (2001). In addition, she starred in the music video for “Breakout” by the alternative rock band Foo Fighters.
In the following years, Traylor primarily appeared in TV series, landing minor roles in shows such as “The West Wing” and “Bram and Alice” both in 2002. She also starred as Tonya Avery in the comedy movie “Son of the Mask” (2005), the sequel to the popular 1994 film “The Mask”. Despite the success of the original movie, “Son of the Mask” was both a commercial and a critical failure, earning the highest number of nominations for the infamous Razzie Awards and winning several Stinkers Bad Movie Awards.
Traylor’s most recognized role to date is her portrayal of Natalie Teeger in the popular detective series “Monk”, created by Andy Breckman and which aired on USA Network from 2002 through 2009. The show follows Adrian Monk, a brilliant former homicide detective for the San Francisco Police Department who suffers from an extreme case of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which forced him to leave the force but he frequently assists them as a private consultant.
The titular character Monk is played by Tony Shalhoub, who won several awards for his portrayal, including the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Monk’s OCD manifests as a host of phobias and compulsions, but it also allows him to spot tiny details and patterns that others miss, making him an exceptional detective.
Traylor joined the series in its third season, replacing actress Bitty Schram who played Sharona Fleming, Monk’s original assistant. In contrast to Sharona, Natalie is generally more patient and empathetic towards Monk’s quirks and phobias, which brings a new dynamic to the show.
Natalie’s character also brought a familial aspect to Monk’s life, as he becomes close to Natalie and her daughter, which added a deeper layer to Monk’s character development and the overall narrative of the show. Traylor’s chemistry with Shalhoub and the rest of the cast was praised by audiences and critics alike; she remained on the show until it concluded in 2009 after eight successful seasons.
Where is She Now?
Following her successful stint on “Monk”, Traylor took a step back from the limelight to focus on her personal life and family. Her only film role since “Monk” was in the 2010 TV comedy “Nolan Knows Best”, which also starred Dana Gould and Brian Dennehy. More recently, in 2020, Traylor appeared in an episode of the variety show “Peacock Presents”, and in 2024, she’s set to reprise her role as Natalie Teeger in the upcoming “Monk” spin-off movie “Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie”.
In her personal life, Traylor has been married three times. Her first marriage was to actor Cameron Hall in 1991, which ended in divorce two years later. In 2003, she married Christian Navarro, but they divorced in 2006.
In 2011, Traylor married Jarel Portman, the son of the renowned architect John C. Portman Jr. Trayor and Jarel have two children together, daughter Sabu, and son Julien. Traylor has expressed her profound joy and fulfillment in being a mother, and spends much of her time focusing on her family.
Interesting Facts and Hobbies
Traylor is not only an accomplished actress, but she also has a variety of interests and hobbies. She’s an avid animal lover, and enjoys spending time with her pets.
Traylor also appreciates fine arts and is known for her unique and beautiful art collection.
During her time at university, she was an enthusiastic sorority member, and she continues to maintain her connections with Pi Beta Phi.
Traylor Howard has built an impressive career in the television industry, and her net worth reflects her success. As of July 2023, her estimated net worth is around $2 million, largely from her acting roles, particularly her long-standing role on “Monk”.