Nancy Travis

Nancy Ann Travis (born September 21, 1961) is an American actress.

Nancy Travis
Nancy Travis 2012.jpg
Travis in 2012
Nancy Ann Travis

(1961-09-21) September 21, 1961 (age 61)
EducationNew York University
Alma materCircle in the Square Theatre School
  • Actress
  • producer
Years active1985–present
Known forLast Man Standing
(m. 1994)

She began her career on Off-Broadway theater, before her first leading screen role in the ABC television miniseries Harem opposite Omar Sharif. Her breakthrough came in 1987, playing Sylvia Bennington in the comedy film Three Men and a Baby. She later starred in its sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady (1990).

Travis has starred in many films, including Internal Affairs (1990), Air America (1990), Passed Away (1992), Chaplin (1992), So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), Greedy (1994), and Fluke (1995). On television, Travis went on to star in the CBS sitcom Almost Perfect in 1995, which ran two seasons, and in the short-lived Work with Me (1999). In 2002, she played a leading role in the ABC miniseries Rose Red, and later joined the cast of the CBS sitcom Becker for its final two seasons.

From 2011 to 2021, Travis starred as Vanessa Baxter in the ABC/Fox sitcom Last Man Standing. From 2018 to 2019, she also starred opposite Michael Douglas in the Netflix comedy series The Kominsky Method.

Early lifeEdit

Travis was born in Queens, the daughter of Theresa, a social worker, and Gordon Travis, a sales executive.[1] Travis was raised in Framingham, Massachusetts,[1][2] and Baltimore, Maryland.[1][3] She was raised Catholic.


Travis's first job after graduating from high school was in a play, It's Hard to Be a Jew, at The American Jewish Theatre in NYC. After that, Travis appeared in a stage version of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs and was a founding member of the Off-Broadway theater company Naked Angels. She appeared in their Frank Pugliese play Aven U-Boys, as well as in King of Connecticut. She made her Broadway debut in I'm Not Rappaport. She starred in Athol Fugard's My Children, My Africa.

Travis has had roles in many films, including Three Men and a Baby and its sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady, plus Air America and Internal Affairs (as the wife of Andy García's character), So I Married an Axe Murderer, as the bride of Mike Myers' character, thriller The Vanishing with Kiefer Sutherland, Greedy with Michael J. Fox, and in the action-comedy Destiny Turns on the Radio with Dylan McDermott. Other notable films include the 1995 box office bomb Fluke,[4] 1996 Whoopi Goldberg's comedy Bogus, political comedy/drama Running Mates with Three Men and a Baby co-star Tom Selleck, 2001 drama film Auggie Rose, 2005 comedy The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and 2007 ensemble cast romantic drama The Jane Austen Book Club adapted from the 2004 novel of the same name by Karen Joy Fowler. She was featured in Chaplin opposite Robert Downey Jr., portraying Joan Barry, the woman who filed a paternity suit against Chaplin.

Travis starred with Peter Gallagher and Isabella Rossellini in the Tom Cruise-directed episode of the Showtime series Fallen Angels in 1993. From 1995 to 1997, Travis played a leading role in the CBS sitcom Almost Perfect. The show was canceled after two seasons. In 1999 she starred in the short-lived TV series Work with Me, Travis was also a producer.[5] Due to low ratings, the show was cancelled after four episodes.[6]

Travis had the leading role of psychology professor Dr. Joyce Reardon in 2002's four-hour television adaptation of Stephen King's Rose Red.[7] In 2002, Travis joined the cast of the CBS sitcom Becker as Chris Connor. She starred in the show for its final two seasons, replacing the series' original female lead, Terry Farrell. From 2007 to 2009 Travis appeared in the television sitcom The Bill Engvall Show as Bill's wife Susan. In 2009 she starred in the Hallmark Channel film Safe Harbor, about a happily married couple, Doug (Treat Williams) and Robbie Smith (Travis) about to retire and spend their days cruising the world on their sailboat.[8] In 2010, she starred in TV films The Pregnancy Pact, In My Shoes and was a guest star in two episodes of Desperate Housewives.[9] In 2011, she guest starred in the television series Grey's Anatomy[10] and How I Met Your Mother.[11]

In 2011, Travis was cast in the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing opposite Tim Allen.[12][13] Travis also was cast in the same time in The CW medical drama series Hart of Dixie as Emmeline "Mrs. H" Hattenbarger, but due to her commitments with the 20th Century Fox-produced Last Man Standing left the show after two episodes.[14] Last Man Standing was canceled in 2017, after six seasons and 130 episodes, but was revived by Fox in the fall of 2018.[15] The show debuted on September 28, 2018, and had its highest rating since season two.[16] The series ended in 2021 after 194 episodes.

From 2017 to 2018, Travis played Brendan Gleeson's ex-wife in the crime thriller series Mr. Mercedes. In 2018, Travis was cast as a female lead opposite Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin in the Netflix comedy series The Kominsky Method, created by Chuck Lorre.[17] In 2022, she returned to film, starring opposite Hilary Swank in the drama Ordinary Angels directed by Jon Gunn.[18] She next was cast in the Hallmark Channel Neo-Western drama series Ride playing the role of Isabel McMurray, the family matriarch.[19]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1994, Travis married Robert N. Fried, the former president and CEO of Savoy Pictures and Founder and former CEO of Hallmark Movies Now (formerly known as SpiritClips and FeeIn). They have two sons: Benjamin E., and Jeremy. She starred in the 2007 short film Sally, featuring Benjamin and written by her husband.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Three Men and a Baby Sylvia Bennington
1988 Married to the Mob Karen Lutnick
1988 Eight Men Out Lyria Williams
1988 I'll Be Home for Christmas Leah Bundy
1989 How Much Is Really True? Short film
1990 Loose Cannons Riva
1990 Internal Affairs Kathleen "Kathy" Avilla
1990 Air America Corinne Landreaux
1990 Three Men and a Little Lady Sylvia Bennington
1992 Passed Away Cassie Slocombe
1992 Chaplin Joan Barry
1993 The Vanishing Rita Baker
1993 So I Married an Axe Murderer Harriet Michaels
1994 Greedy Robin
1995 Fluke Carol Johnson
1995 Lieberman in Love Kate Short film
1995 Destiny Turns on the Radio Lucille
1995 Body Language Atty. Theresa Janice 'T.J.' Harlow
1996 Bogus Lorraine Franklin
1999 My Last Love Susan Morton Also producer
2000 Beyond Suspicion Carol
2002 Rose Red Prof. Joyce Reardon Miniseries
2005 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Lydia Rodman
2007 The Jane Austen Book Club Cat Harris
2007 Sally Sally Short film
2014 Squatters Carol
2014 Dissonance Bobbi Short film
2015 The Submarine Kid Mrs. Koll
2017 Bernard and Huey Mona
2018 Married Young Rachel
2021 Night of the Animated Dead Helen Cooper Voice
2023 Ordinary Angels Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Malice in Wonderland Ann Television film
1986 Harem Jessica Gray Television film
1986 Spenser: For Hire Maggie Ellis Episode: "The Hopes and Fears"
1993 Fallen Angels Bette Allison Episode: "The Frightening Frammis"
1994–1997 Duckman Bernice / Beverly / Beatrice / Grandma-ma 67 episodes, voice role
1995–1997 Almost Perfect Kim Cooper Series regular, 34 episodes
1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Spencer Voice role
1998 Superman: The Animated Series Darci Mason 1 episode, voice role
1999 Work with Me Julie Better Series regular, 9 episodes, also producer
2000 Running Mates Jennifer "Jenny" Pryce Television film
2002 Stephen King's Rose Red Prof. Joyce Reardon Miniseries
2002–2004 Becker Christine "Chris" Connor Series regular, 39 episodes
2007–2009 The Bill Engvall Show Susan Pearson Series regular, 30 episodes
2007 The Party Never Stops: Diary of a Binge Drinker April Brenner Television film
2008 Medium Laura Swenson Episode: "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
2009 Numb3rs Dr. Jane Karellen Episode: "First Law"
2009 Safe Harbor Robbie Television film
2010 The Pregnancy Pact Lorraine Dougan Television film
2010 A Walk In My Shoes Cindy/Trish Television film
2010 Desperate Housewives Dr. Mary Wagner 2 episodes
2011 Grey's Anatomy Alison Episode: "Not Responsible"
2011 How I Met Your Mother Cheryl Whittaker Episode: "Legendaddy"
2011 Hart of Dixie Emmeline Hattenbarger (Mrs. H) 2 episodes
2011–2021 Last Man Standing Vanessa Baxter Series regular, 194 episodes
2017–2018 Mr. Mercedes Donna Hodges 7 episodes
2018 The Ranch Karen Episode: "Telling Me Lies"
2018–2019 The Kominsky Method Lisa Series regular, 16 episodes
2023 Ride Isabelle "Mama" McFlurray Filming (Hallmark)[21]


  1. ^ a b c "Becker's Nancy Travis Rekindles Her Baby Love with Ted Danson". People Magazine. January 13, 2003. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
  2. ^ Amatangelo, Amy (July 10, 2007). "Travis gives high praise to Framingham drama coach". The Boston Herald. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  3. ^ "Nancy Travis- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. July 7, 2013. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014.
  4. ^ Fluke (1995), Box Office Mojo
  5. ^ ""Work with Me" (1999)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  6. ^ Pursell, Chris (October 25, 1999). "CBS pink slips 'Work With Me'". Variety. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  7. ^ Wilkes, Neil (July 18, 2001). "ABC Fall miniseries: Full details". Digital Spy. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  8. ^ "Christian Therapeutic Boarding School – Safe Harbor Boys Home". Safe Harbor.
  9. ^ Ausiello, Michael (September 16, 2010). "'Desperate Housewives' Exclusive: Nancy Travis is B.A.G.'s mom!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  10. ^ Wightman, Catriona (January 27, 2011). "Nancy Travis lands 'Grey's Anatomy' role". Digital Spy. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  11. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (February 2, 2011). "Nancy Travis signs for 'HIMYM' role". Digital Spy. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  12. ^ Becky Kirsch. "ABC 2011 Pilots Including Good Christian Belles, Charlie's Angels, Once Upon a Time, Pan Am, Last Man Standing, Scandal, Revenge". POPSUGAR Entertainment. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  13. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (March 30, 2011). "Nancy Travis joins ABC Tim Allen pilot". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  14. ^ "Coming This Fall to The CW..." TV Fanatic. March 12, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  15. ^ "Fox picked up 'Last Man Standing' after being 'emboldened' by response to 'Roseanne'". Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  16. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 29, 2018). "TV Ratings: 'Last Man Standing' Surges in Fox Debut". Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 11, 2018). "'The Kominsky Method': Nancy Travis To Co-Star In Netflix Comedy Series".
  18. ^ Grobar, Matt (April 18, 2022). "Kingdom Story Company's 'Ordinary Angels' Adds Nancy Travis, Tamala Jones & More".
  19. ^ Rice, Lynette (August 4, 2022). "Nancy Travis & Tiera Skovbye Join Cast Of Hallmark Channel's 'Ride'; Beau Mirchoff & Tyler Jacob Moore Also Star".
  20. ^ "Nancy Travis on the View". YouTube. December 7, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2011.[dead YouTube link]
  21. ^ Vlada Gelman (August 4, 2022). "Tiera Skovbye, Beau Mirchoff Cast in 'Ride' Hallmark Rodeo Series". TVLine. Retrieved August 16, 2022.

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