As the only girl in a family of four children, Tracy Needham found that her height gave her a leg up whenever she would play football with the boys. I grew up being very competitive with guys", says Needham, who is 5'11". "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. But I usually ended up with my nose bloody". Needham was born on a March 28 in Dallas, Texas, where her father was a home builder. When she was 8, the Needhams moved to Denver, 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 (1987). After a few more acting classes, she landed the part of "Paige Thatcher", the big sister on Life Goes On (1989) (1989-93), beginning in the series's second season. Life Goes On (1989), I learned for the first time how to hit a mark, developed confidence, and became comfortable with myself," she says.
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