The Party Never Stops
American actress Nancy Travis is known to television audiences for her roles as the compulsive TV producer in the CBS sitcom “Almost Perfect” (1995-1996), wife Julie Better on the short-lived sitcom “Work With Me” (also CBS, 1999), Chris Connor on “Becker” (2002-2004) and Bill's wife on “The Bill Engvall Show” (2007-2009). She has also starred in several television films, including “Body Language” (1995), “My Last Love” (1999), “Running Mates” (2000), “The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker” (2007), where she earned a Prism nomination for her portrayal of April Brenner, and “Safe Harbor” (2009) and in the TV miniseries “Harem” (1986) and “Stephen King's Rose Red” (2002). She also provided the voice of Aunt Bernice in the animated series “Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man” from 1994 to 1997. On the wide screen, Travis is memorable for playing Sylvia Bennington in the popular comedy “Three Men and a Baby” (1987) and its sequel “Three Men and a Little Lady” (1990) and as Harriet Michaels in “So I Married an Axe Murderer” (1993). Other film credits include “Air America” (1990), “Destiny Turns on the Radio” (1995), “Auggie Rose” (2000), “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (2005) and “The Jane Austen Book Club” (2007). She recently appeared in television’s “Pregnancy Pact” (2010) and will act in John Kent Harrison’s upcoming “In My Shoes.”
Travis began her career as a stage actress with “It's Hard to be a Jew.” She also toured with Neil Simon's hit play “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and made her Broadway debut alongside Judd Hirsch in the Tony winning play “I'm Not Rappaport” (1986).
Mother of 2
Childhood and Family:
Nancy Ann Travis was born on September 21, 1961, in New York City, New York. She was raised in Baltimore and Boston and returned to New York in 1980 to attend New York University, where she majored in drama.
In 1994, Nancy married ex-president and CEO of Savoy Pictures, producer, writer and director Robert N. Fried. The couple has two sons, Benjamin (born in 1998) and Jeremy (born in 2001).
So I Married an Axe Murderer
After graduating high school, Nancy Travis performed in “It's Hard to be a Jew” at The American Jewish Theatre in New York City. She went on to join the national touring company of Neil Simon's hit play “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” in which she understudied for the role of Nora. Her later stage credits include Frank Pugliese's “Aven U-Boys,” “King of Connecticut” and Athol Fugard's “My Children, My Africa.” Along with Helen Slater, Fisher Stevens and others, Travis co-founded the off-Broadway theater company Naked Angels in Manhattan.
Travis made her television acting debut in 1985 when she landed the supporting role of Ann in the Emmy Award winning made for TV film “Malice in Wonderland” (CBS), starring Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Alexander. Later that same year, she starred as Judy in the “ABC Afterschool Specials” episode “High School Narc,” opposite Greg Germann and Michael E. Knight. Her television miniseries debut was “Harem” (ABC, 1986), where she starred as a young British girl named Jessica Gray who flees to Arabia with her fiancé. Also in 1986, she guest starred in an episode of “Spencer: For Hire” and made her Broadway debut in Herb Gardner's “I'm Not Rappaport.” The play won a Tony for Best Play.
Following appearances in “Worlds Beyond” and “Tales from the Darkside” (both 1987), Travis landed her first feature role in “Three Men and a Baby” (1987), a hit comedy starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson that was directed by Leonard Nimoy. In the movie, she portrayed Sylvia Bennington. She followed it up with roles in Jonathan Demme's “Married to the Mob” (1988), John Sayles' “Eight Men Out” (1988, starred John Cusack), “I'll Be Home for Christmas” (1988, TV), Mike Figgis' “Internal Affairs” (1990, with Richard Gere, Andy Garcia and Laurie Metcalf), Bob Clark's “Loose Cannons” (1990, starred Dan Aykroyd and Gene Hackman) and Roger Spottiswoode's “Air America” (1990, opposite Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr.) before she reprised the role of Sylvia in the installment “Three Men and a Little Lady” (1990).
Travis revisited the cinematic industry in 1992 with a bit part in the comedy “Passed Away,” followed by a bigger part as a young Hollywood actress, Joan Barry, in the biographical movie “Chaplin” (1992), which was about the life of English comedian Charlie Chaplin (played by Robert Downey, Jr.). She then costarred with Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock in the thriller “The Vanishing” (1993), a remake of the 1988 film of the same name (both directed by George Sluizer), starred as Harriet Michaels in Thomas Schlamme's comedy “So I Married an Axe Murderer” (1993), and teamed up with Michael J. Fox, Kirk Douglas and Phil Hartman for the Jonathan Lynn helmed comedy “Greedy” (1994). She also costarred with Danny Aiello and Christine Lahti in the Academy Award winning short “Lieberman in Love” (1995, as Kate), Dylan McDermott in Jack Baran's “Destiny Turns on the Radio” (1995, as Lucille), Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew Modine in Carlo Carlei's “Fluke” (1995, as Carol Johnson) and Whoopi Goldberg, Gérard Depardieu and Haley Joel Osment in Norman Jewison's “Bogus” (1996, as Lorraine Franklin). Meanwhile, Travis also worked on several television projects. Starting in 1993 with a guest spot in “Fallen Angel,” she provided the voice of Grelch in an episode of the Nickelodeon animated series “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters” (1994), Spencer in an episode of Cartoon Network's “The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest” (1996) Darci Mason in an episode of “Superman” (1999) and Bernice in the USA Network animated series “Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man” (19 episodes, 1994-1997). She also played Attorney Harlow in the HBO TV film “Body Language” (1995), opposite Tom Berenger and Robert Patrick, and starred as a single mother with cancer in the ABC movie “My Last Love” (1999), which she produced. Travis made her television series debut as the star of the ABC sitcom “Almost Perfect,” which ran from September 17, 1995, to October 30, 1996. She returned to series television in the short lived CBS sitcom “Work with Me” (1999), where she co-starred as Kevin Pollak's wife, Julie Better. She also served as the show's co-executive producer.
Travis next co-starred as Carol in the independent film “Auggie Rose,” opposite Jeff Goldblum and Anne Heche, and Jennifer Pryce in the television film “Running Mates” before voicing Cat in an episode of “The Wild Thornberrys” called “Queen of Denial” (all 2000). She then played Joyce Reardon in the TV miniseries “Stephen King's Rose Red” (2002) and starred as Chris Connor on the television series “Becker” (2002-2004), which reunited her with actor Ted Danson.
After “Becker,” Travis starred as Windsor on UPN's pilot “Talk Show Diaries” (2005), which followed the lives and antics of three morning talk show hosts. The same year, she revisited the big screen with the role of Lydia Rodman in the coming of age drama “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” an adaptation of Ann Brashares' novel. Two years later, she played Cat in “The Jane Austen Book Club,” Robin Swicord's adaptation of Karen Joy Fowler's book of the same name, and Sally in “Sally.” Also in 2007, Travis began her role of Susan Pearson, Bill's wife, on the television sitcom “The Bill Engvall Show” and portrayed April Brenner in the made for television movie “The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker,” for which she was nominated for a Prism Award in the category of Best Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries She next guest starred in “Medium” (2008, as Laura Swenson) and “Numb3rs” (2009, as Jane Karellen) and portrayed Robbie in the TV film “Safe Harbor” (2009).
Recently playing Lorraine Dougan in the TV film “Pregnancy Pact” (2010), Travis will appear in the upcoming TV movie “In My Shoes” (2010).