|Born||(1966-05-11) May 11, 1966
Wyckoff, New Jersey, U.S.
|Occupation||actress, director, screenwriter, producer|
Nancy Hower grew up in Wyckoff, New Jersey, and is one of nine children. She appeared onstage for the first time as a senior in high school. Upon graduating from high school, Nancy continued her studies at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City where she majored in drama. During her years at Juilliard, she appeared in such productions as King Lear, And A Nightingale Sang, Macbeth, The Fifth of July, and The Would-Be Gentleman. She also later appeared in two stage productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
Nancy began her professional acting career playing the role of Andrea in The Years at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 1993. Nancy has also been in several on and off-Broadway stage productions throughout her distinguished career. In 1994, she made her film debut with a supporting role in the comedy film Insomnia. In 1998, she appeared in the 1998 airline disaster film Blackout Effect. Her other film work includes a role in the short independent film Tunnel Vision also in 1998. In 1999, she was cast as FBI Agent Green in the sci-fi movie The Last Man On Planet Earth. Also that year, Nancy also had a role in Standing On Fishes, and although her name appears in the end credits of this movie, her role was cut from the final version of the film. She has also had guest-starring roles on such popular television series as Suddenly Susan and The Sentinel.
Star Trek: Voyager
Nancy had a recurring role as Ensign Samantha Wildman on the popular sci-fi series Star Trek: Voyager. She appeared in eight episodes spanning the series’ seven-year run. Her character in the series was named after a real life 7-year-old girl who died in an accident. The little girl’s parents decided to donate their daughter’s organs. The ailing wife of one of Voyager‘s writers received one of the girl’s kidneys. The writer, Jimmy Diggs, decided to honor the child’s memory by naming Nancy’s Voyager persona after the little girl. Because the real Samantha Wildman had been fond of animals, Jimmy Diggs thus made Ensign Wildman head of Voyager‘s xenobiology department. Ensign Samantha Wildman had the distinction of being the first of two crew members with a child aboard Voyager (The other was Lieutenant B’Elanna Torres in the final episode of the series, “Endgame II”).
Nancy’s Voyager appearances are (in order):
Ensign Wildman was also mentioned, but not seen, in several other Voyager episodes.
Nancy formerly fronted two alternative rock bands, WENCH and STELLA. STELLA was the opening act on Meat Loaf‘s 2001 UK tour. She sang lead, played rhythm guitar, and wrote all of the band’s music. Nancy almost recorded an album with her band STELLA, but the band broke up before then.
Nancy also co-wrote the original music for the play Momma in 2001, as well as writing and recording an unreleased rock opera titled Girl On Mars. Also in 2001, Nancy played the role of Yitzak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch in Los Angeles.
Nancy wrote and directed the short film The Wizard of Id. This was an unreleased film about a musician, who discovered that he literally had the power to change the lives of the people around him through his music. The film reportedly starred Claire Forlani and Wallace Shawn. In 2003, Nancy also directed the stage play City Limits at the Keck Theater in Los Angeles.
Nancy wrote, directed, produced and edited the independent film Memron (2004). Memron, a mockumentary on the Enron scandal, won many awards and high acclaim from audiences at several film festivals that year. It is currently available on DVD through Netflix, and can be seen occasionally on Showtime/TMC. In 2004, she also directed the stage play The Lights Change at the Keck Theatre.
Following the success of Memron, Nancy teamed up with fellow Memron producers Robert Hickey, John Lehr, and Evie Peck to create a comedy improv series titled 10 Items or Less. The TBS show stars John Lehr as a less than successful businessman who takes over the family supermarket when his father dies. 10 Items or Less premiered on TBS on November 27, 2006.
Nancy also provided her vocal talent for the film Catch and Release in which she also plays a small role.