Tracey Needham is a Texas-born American actress best known as Paige Thatcher on Life Goes On during the series' second to fourth seasons (1990–1993), and then on the first season of JAG as Lt. Meg Austin (1995–1996).
Needham was born on March 28, 1967, in Dallas, Texas, where her father was a homebuilder. When she was eight, the Needhams moved to Denver, Colorado, and her father's work dictated that the family move back and forth between the two cities. Needham was fully grown by the eighth grade, and later, when she took to heart a high-school theater director's snippy advice that she was too tall to appear on stage, she worked on the technical crew instead. After her high-school graduation, Needham traveled through Europe and Australia. In 1988, she went to Los Angeles to study acting and audition for roles. She made her TV acting debut on Jake and the Fatman. After a few more acting classes, she landed the part of Paige Thatcher, the big sister, on Life Goes On, beginning in the series' second season.
While growing up, she was always jumping into football games and wanted to be treated equally and not have boys take it easy on her. Later she would call on her own past experiences to play the strong but feminine Lt. (j.g.) Meg Austin in the first season of JAG. As the female star of a military action-adventure series, Needham portrayed a Navy judge advocate who was also a computer-weapons expert.
She married actor Tommy Hinkley in January 1995 and they have a daughter, Katie, born in 1999.