Tell me more about Traylor Howard on TV’s Monk, who plays the assistant, Natalie. What happened to the actress she replaced, Bitty Schram, who played Sharona?
-Ralph Morocco, Latrobe, Pa.
Howard, who turns 43 on June 14, was born in Orlando, Fla., and began her career with a Juicy Fruit commercial when in high school. Following graduation from Florida State University with a degree in communications and advertising, she launched her acting career. Before landing the role of Natalie, she starred in several TV series, including Boston Common and Bram and Alice. Twice divorced, she has a 2¬Ω-year-old son. As for Schram, 40, she will be making a guest appearance in an episode of the upcoming eighth and final season of the series. "We couldn’t think of a better way to help wrap up the series than with the return of Bitty’s character," says Tony Shalhoub, who stars as Monk. "Bringing some closure to Sharona is long overdue."