Poppy Finds TV Success

On Thursdays, millions of viewers tune in to the CBS drama "Without a Trace" to watch a fictitious FBI investigative unit attempt to find people who have gone missing.

Poppy Montgomery plays Samantha Spade, a key member of the missing persons unit. It's a part, she tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm, she plays a script at a time.

She says, "I'll be reading a script and saying, 'Wow, my character had an affair with Anthony (LaPa and my mother died when I was 3. Who knew?' I play it script to script. I really have no clue."

The sexual undercurrent between Montgomery's and LaPaglia's characters is great to play, she notes. "It's good to play it because it's a procedural show. I think the story lines are really the star of the show in a lot of ways because we're following these other people's stories. So we try to find fun things and the writers try to find fun things for us to play without really sort of beating it over the head."

On a personal level, she says it is great to work with LaPaglia, a fellow Australian actor. "He's wonderful," Montgomery says, "He set up such a great tone on the set. It's like a big family. It really is. And it comes from Anthony starting that feeling, you know, because he's sort of the leader of the pack. And he's very committed to it being that way. You know, a happy, fun place for us to work."

Other projects for Montgomery are "Raising Waylon" also on CBS and the romantic comedy, "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover."

Some Facts About Poppy Montgomery

  • Poppy Montgomery was born June 19, 1972.
  • At the age of 18, the Sydney, Australia, native took a Greyhound bus from Florida to Hollywood and convinced Julia Roberts' agent to give her a chance after reading something about him in the book "How To Make It In Hollywood."
  • Montgomery's mother named her and each of her sisters after flower fairies in a children's book: Poppy Petal, Rosie Thorn, Daisy Yellow, Marigold Sun and Lily Belle.
  • Montgomery's breakout role came in May 2001, when she was tapped to star in the CBS miniseries as Marilyn Monroe in "Blonde."
  • Montgomery's feature film credits include "Dead Man on Campus," "The Other Sister," "Life," "American Untitled," "The Cold Equations" and "Devil in a Blue Dress."
  • Montgomery says her biggest influences were Molly Ringwald and Gillian Armstrong.
  • In her spare time, Montgomery enjoys yoga, snowboarding and horseback riding.