Tracy Scoggins is perhaps best known for her role as Captain Elizabeth Lochley, a career military officer with a troubled past, in Babylon 5, the 1998 TV movies Babylon 5: The River of Souls, Babylon 5: A Call to Arms, and its spinoff series Crusade.The youngest child of two attorneys, Tracy Scoggins was a prodigious athlete during her high school years, excelling in a numerous sports, including gymnastics and diving. She graduated from Dickinson High School at the age of sixteen and enrolled in Southwest Texas State University, where she studied physical education. While at SWTSU, Scoggins nearly qualified for a spot on the 1980 Olympic diving team, however if she had done, she would not have competed as USA boycotted the Olympics that year.
Following graduation, Scoggins briefly taught physical education before being recruited by John Casablancas of the Elite modeling agency. Elite sent Scoggins to New York, where she worked for a year before taking of the European modeling circuit, including assignments in Italy, Germany, and France.
Scoggins returned to the United States and studied with the Herbert Berghoff Studio and the Wynn Hanmann Studio in hopes of launching an acting career. She was a guest star on TV shows including The Dukes of Hazzard (in a memorable role as a fake deputy sheriff) and T. J. Hooker. Her first role was in the TV movie Twirl, also starring Heather Locklear, although she was soon cast in the 1984 television series Renegades. Scoggins also landed a role on the Dynasty spinoff The Colbys, playing Monica Colby, the daughter of Charlton Heston's character. She has also guest-starred in various TV series, such as Remington Steele and The A-Team.
Scoggins landed a number of recurring or short-term roles on television series in the 1980s and 1990's, including society columnist Catherine "Cat" Grant in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Amanda Carpenter on Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years, Elizabeth Lochley on Babylon 5 and its spin-off Crusade, Cassandra on Highlander, and Anita Smithfield in two Dallas TV movies.
She was one of several Babylon 5 actors to guest star in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She guest starred in the episode "Destiny" as Gilora Rejal, a Cardassian engineer who became infatuated with Miles O'Brien. While in Cardassian makeup, she took the opportunity to walk around the Paramount lot, scaring schoolchildren on buses! Finally, security called the DS9 set and said "Could ya'll do something about keeping your aliens contained over there?"
Alan Spencer, cult figure and creator of the TV show "Sledge Hammer!" cast Scoggins in an offbeat and hilarious pilot produced for CBS called "Galaxy Beat." Sadly, the pilot didn't sell but Spencer and Scoggins remain close friends. Spencer says she's "one of the funniest people on earth and also one of the best."
Recently, Scoggins has starred in the season premiere of cult TV show Nip/Tuck, playing a mother and one of Christian's lovers. She has also been a main character on the GLBT horror series Dante's Cove.
We are extremely excited to have Tracy come to Fargo (her first time in this area!). Please join us in welcoming her!
"Life after Babylon 5"
An Interview with Tracy Scoggins
by Tamara Holly © 2003
Scoggins is gorgeous. Even up close. She's the woman all other women want so desperately to hate, but somehow cannot help but love. When we meet in August 2002 at Atlanta's Marriott Marquis, I am suddenly thankful to have left my boyfriend waiting for me downstairs in the lobby, lest he be seduced by her charms. Though I am genuinely intrigued by her comedy and candor, I am secretly hating myself for scanning her sunny Texan face for even the slightest imperfection-some shred of evidence that she may not be, well, perfect. But within seconds of sitting down with her and her lovely mother, LouCille, it's alarmingly apparent that the beauty radiating from this ageless actress is emerging from somewhere beyond her green feline eyes, soaring cheekbones and mega-watt smile. Then it dawns on me. Not only is she a pretty face, she's a great person, too. Damn.
A true Southern woman, Tracy Scoggins is a contradiction: Intellectual and athletic, composed and forthright, refined and racy. She's refreshingly real and, for a woman who has spent some time in outer space (not to mention Hollywood), delightfully down to earth.
Tamara Holly: It's obvious what your fans get out of a convention such as this [Dragon*Con 2002]. Why do you come?
Tracy Scoggins: Sci-fi fans are so devoted and so courteous and so respectful, how could you not like it? And coming from Texas, I'm used to talking to everybody. When I first moved to New York, I was with Elite Modeling and John Casablancas came up to me one day, [in a quite convincing French accent], "Tracy, you talk to everyone, people are going to think you're a hooker!"
TH: What is it about the science fiction genre that affects fans so strongly?
TS: First of all, it's a very intelligent genre. And it's also one that sort of shows hope for the future, you know? It presents the future, usually, in a very hopeful way. And I think that, I'm sure it's tied in to the way they respond. For me, the fact that my sci-fi character [Babylon 5's Capt. Elizabeth Lochley] is a very strong woman and a very admirable female role model, I think strong women, all women, respond to it. And a certain more educated man responds to it.
TH: You played Charlton Heston's daughter on The Colbys. What was it like to work with one of the "Greats"?
TS: After The Colbys was off the air, I would be doing a play in a 99-seat theatre, just to keep my chops going, and on opening night, I would have roses from Charlton Heston [with a note] that said, Love, Daddy. He is a wonderful guy. I mean, how did he know?
TH: Sounds like he took a genuine interest in you and your career...
TS: ...and that's the way he was on the set. He was very paternal in all the best ways. This is a funny story: He had this really cool black Corvette and I said, "Please, please, pleeeease let me drive it", and he's like, "Just around the lot". You can only go 5 MILES AN HOUR around the lot! [Laughing] I'm sure I drove him crazy asking.
TH: Are there any actors you would like to work with in the future?
TS: Johnny Depp...[pauses, thinking]...Albert Brooks, Steve Martin. I like the funny guys, the off-beat, funny guys.
TH: You graduated high school when you were only 16 years old. Have you always been a motivated person?
LouCille: She was reading and writing when she was three.
TS: I was not old enough to go to school until the 3rd grade and in the 2nd grade I had a private tutor. I didn't even think of it as motivation. You don't know anything else, that's what you think is normal.
LouCille: We were middle aged when we had her and we never talked baby talk to her. And we were always reading to her.
TS: Plus, I was lucky that I was tall for my age, so I fit in OK.
TH: Adolescence is awkward enough, so you want to fit in.
TS: Well, I had another identity by then. I was the jock. When youre that age, you just need some kind of identity to get you through.
TH: Speaking of being a jock, how do you stay in such great shape?
TS: [Snickering conspiratorially] I have friends that call me President of the Just F****** Lucky Club. (Before we hate her, let's remember that Tracy starred in and produced 2 fitness videos).
TH: How were you initially discovered?
TS: I had heard that John Casablancas was going to be in Houston doing a talent scout and he would be seeing Houston models. Well, I wasn't a model yet, but I arranged to be there to meet him and he said, "Where are your pictures", and I said, "Well, um, they're all at a client's in Dallas. I'm sorry, they're so in demand!" [Laughing].
TH: So how did you make the move from print to television?
TS: I'll tell you the route for me. I had a commercial agent in New York, back then in the early 80's, fitness wasnt the craze it became later. I was a springboard diver, a gymnast, a water skier, a trampolinist. I played all these off-beat sports and it was a time when everyone didn't have that swimsuit body, so I got all the parts I went up for. And consequently, my commercial agent loved me-[Laughs]-he thought I pooped ice cream. And, plus, I remember when I went for the diving commercial for Sunkist, and there were girls at the audition that were better divers than me, but the director didn't know. He's like, "We'll take the one with the long legs." The girls that went up for it were truly maybe national level competitors, maybe not models.
TH: You were recently a guest star on WB's Felicity. What was that experience like?
TS: It was fun. It was just this past season, actually. I played a crazy beauty pageant leader. When youre a guest star on something [pauses]...I come from a couple decades where, when youre the star, you welcome everyone. When I was on The Colbys and on Lonesome Dove and Babylon 5 and there were guest people, I would make sure they had chairs, knew where the coffee was, and they didn't do that. It's just a different time.
TH: Do you think that kind of hospitality is a Southern trait?
TS: Well, maybe it's partially Southern. Maybe I never really analyzed it that way. But, I'm not saying, Oh, I'm so kind, it's just that there seems to be a trend toward Let's take care of ourselves. I mean, you're supposed to be nice to people.
TH: Yes sir, no sir...
TS: ...please and thank you. My pet peeve these days is No problem instead of You're welcome.
TH: Right, it's like, Thank you for not letting me cause a problem for you.
TS: Yeah! I don't want to hear about a problem. I've gotten to the point where if people say, "You're welcome" in a restaurant, I tip them double just because it's so uncommon.
TH: It's unfortunate that nowadays we comment on niceness as if it were some unique quality. People should be nice.
TS: Thats what I always say because I spend part of the year in Texas. I have to leave any time I start to be shocked by kindness. I want to spend my life being shocked by cruelty and meanness. I dont want the table to turn that way.
TH: You starred in the Rape is Not an Option video with BET's Bev Smith. How did you become involved on that project?
TS: [It was] fantastic. The guys who wrote and produced it just really had us both in mind for it. They thought we would be good together and I thought we would. I did some research on [rape] when I first got the rough draft and I learned things that I had no idea about. I had no idea that rape is most unreported in minority communities.
TH: The statistics are shocking. It's so prevalent that even small, intimate groups of friends are affected by it. I commend you for being involved in that video.
TS: Part of my motivation was because I had been attacked in an elevator in El Paso when I was hosting the Miss Universe Pageant. And I beat the snot out of him. And he actually sued me. I spent about $80K on attorney's fees and they're like, "Just give him anything" and I said, "I will NOT! I will send all of your children to law school before I give him a nickel!" And I let them dismiss [the case]... I always thought justice somehow found the truth.
TH: Unfortunately, thats not always the case. So, was the video cathartic for you?
TS: It was, it truly was. Because in the video I say if someone touches you, they have no respect for you. Do whatever, mutilate them, kill them, do whatever you have to do to stop it.
TH: You've done stage, TV, film, modeling. What's next for you?
TS: I really like writing. I know so many people say that, but I feel that's my next frontier.
TH: A novel, screenplay?
TS: Screenplays, probably. I like short stories. I like to read Cynthia Ozick. I love her essays. That's probably the next thing. I've produced the workout videos and I like the process of making something out of nothing. To see a yellow legal pad that I've made notes on and then to see the finished product...
TH: ...it becomes your baby...
TS: ...it really does.
About the Interviewer: Tamara Holly is a freelance writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is now venturing into entertainment journalism - her true passion.