Traci Bingham (née Julie Anne Smith) was born January 13, 1971, in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. The youngest of 7 siblings, Traci has her diverse heritage of half
Afro-American, part Cherokee and part Italian to thank for her exotic looks.
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Her parents' strict upbringing that emphasized family values and
education, which led Traci to attend Harvard after graduating from Cuyahoga
Community College, and follow in the footsteps of her Ivy League older siblings.
But although she attended Harvard, she was more interested in acting.
She got her feet wet by appearing in plays such as West Side Story, Guys and
Dolls and Grease, but it all changed for her when director John Landis was in
Boston, filming Celtic Pride. He noticed the gorgeous Harvard student, and
gave her a bit part in the basketball film, enough to convince Traci that
she wanted to be an actress.
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Traci put her studies on hold and headed to Los Angeles, where it didn't take
long for her to land roles. She appeared in sitcoms such as Cheers, The Fresh
Prince of Bel-Air, Married...With Children. But it was in 1996 that Traci hit the
beaches of Baywatch, as lifeguard Jordan Tate. The first African American to don
the staple red bathing suit, Traci fulfilled her lifeguard duties for two years.
Her Baywatch stint motivated her to get involved with Heal the Bay, as well as
other environmental charities. Just when things were getting red hot for Traci
with her 1998 spread for Playboy, she was taken out of the Baywatch script by the
time her issue was released.
That didn't stop Traci from keeping busy though, as she added modeling to her
resume and has appeared on a slew of magazine covers, and took on small
television roles in Sin City Spectacular, The Jamie Foxx Show, Strip Mall,
Malcolm & Eddie, The Parkers, as well as occupying a square on the game show,
Traci has also appeared in the documentary in both parts of Exposed: TV's
Lifeguard Babes, as well as the 1999 film, Foolish and 2000's The Private Public.
In 1999, Traci landed the role of Victoria Carrera in the film and short-lived
television series The Dream Team, along with fellow beauties, Angie Everhart and
Caprice Bourret, as agents disguised as supermodels (quite a stretch).
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