Sunny blonde actress Traylor Howard had her first professional job in a Juicy Fruit gum commercial while a junior in high school. From this start, the Florida native opted to pursue a career not in acting, but in the production end of advertising. After a move to Los Angeles and a series of dissatisfying jobs in that field, Howard returned to acting and completed several commercials. In 1996 she was cast in the NBC comedy "Boston Common" as Joy Byrnes, a pretty and strong-willed doctoral candidate who inspires Boyd Pritchett, the love-struck visiting brother of another student, to take a job at the school in order to be near her and keep an eye on his younger sister. Joy, the focus of the show's primary conflict, was torn between her boyfriend, a snide young professor and Boyd, a sharp and unaffected Southerner played by comedian Anthony Clark. Though the show was primarily a vehicle for Clark's comedy, Howard's role was pivotal, and she aptly played the idealistic and confused graduate student. The actress followed with another series regular stint, in another Boston set comedy this time starring with Ryan Reynolds and Richard Ruccolo in ABC's "Two Guys and a Girl/Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" (1998-2001). Howard played title girl Sharon, a spirited, opinionated best friend and neighbor to the two guys, Berg and Pete, a couple of diverted graduate students who work in a pizzeria. Sharon, an edgier role than the actress' previous series work, was unlucky in love, unhappy at work and often caught up in her friends' zany misadventures. While appearing on the series, she started her film career, appearing in two films in 1998. In her first release, the independent comedy "Confessions of a Sexist Pig," Howard played the female lead of Anne Henning. Next up was the widely released caustic comedy "Dirty Work," in which the actress starred opposite Norm MacDonald's revenge seeking entrepreneur Mitch.