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Marg Helgenberger

Marg Helgenberger

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Also Known As: Mary Margaret Helgenberger Died:
Born: November 16, 1958 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Fremont, Nebraska, USA Profession: actor, meat packing plant worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A comely, red-haired leading lady with an open-faced, forceful manner, Marg Helgenberger began on the small screen as the feisty rookie police officer Siobhan Ryan on ABC's Irish-flavored daytime soap, "Ryan's Hope". After some primetime guest spots, she landed a regular role supporting Margot Kidder and James Reid on the short-lived CBS series about two former con artists, "Shell Game" (1987). She fared better with her second series, winning an Emmy for the provocative Vietnam War drama, "China Beach" (1988-91). As K.C., a prostitute who attaches herself to a M.A.S.H. unit in Vietnam, Helgenberger brought forthright feminist insights to her brash, hard-bitten character. Though she would have a recurring role as George Clooney's love interest on NBC's popular medical drama "ER" in 1996, she had to wait for her return as a series regular until the Las Vegas-set "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000- ). Cast as senior forensics investigator Catherine Willows, who tries to balance work and motherhood, the actress enjoyed a meaty role that earned her an Emmy nomination in its first season.

A comely, red-haired leading lady with an open-faced, forceful manner, Marg Helgenberger began on the small screen as the feisty rookie police officer Siobhan Ryan on ABC's Irish-flavored daytime soap, "Ryan's Hope". After some primetime guest spots, she landed a regular role supporting Margot Kidder and James Reid on the short-lived CBS series about two former con artists, "Shell Game" (1987). She fared better with her second series, winning an Emmy for the provocative Vietnam War drama, "China Beach" (1988-91). As K.C., a prostitute who attaches herself to a M.A.S.H. unit in Vietnam, Helgenberger brought forthright feminist insights to her brash, hard-bitten character. Though she would have a recurring role as George Clooney's love interest on NBC's popular medical drama "ER" in 1996, she had to wait for her return as a series regular until the Las Vegas-set "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 2000- ). Cast as senior forensics investigator Catherine Willows, who tries to balance work and motherhood, the actress enjoyed a meaty role that earned her an Emmy nomination in its first season.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Columbus Day (2009)
2.
 Mr. Brooks (2007)
3.
 In Good Company (2004) Ann Foreman
4.
 Erin Brockovich (2000) Donna Jensen
5.
 Happy Face Murders (1999) Jennifer Powell
6.
 Keys to Her Past (1999) Maureen "Kick" Kickasola
7.
 Lethal Vows (1999) Ellen Farris
8.
 Species II (1998) Doctor Laura Baker
9.
 Giving Up the Ghost (1998) Anne Hobson
10.
 Murder Live (1997) Pia Postman
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in North Bend, NE; worked part-time in a meat packing plant
:
Made first TV appearance as a nightly local news weather girl in her hometown Nebraska (billed as Margi McCarty)
1981:
Performed in a campus production of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew"
1982:
Landed first professional acting role, playing rookie cop Siobhan Ryan on the daytime drama "Ryan's Hope" (ABC)
1987:
Played the regular role of Natalie Thayer in the short-lived CBS comedy-drama, "Shell Game"
1988:
First prominent role was as Karen Charlene "K.C." Koloski, a heroin-addicted prostitute on the ABC war drama "China Beach"; nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1991, 1992)
1989:
Made feature film debut in one segment of the horror anthology "After Midnight"
1989:
Had a small role in Steven Spielberg's romantic comedy-drama "Always"
1990:
Made TV-movie debut, "Blind Vengeance" (USA Network)
1991:
Acted in Michael Bortman's adaptation of Robert Boswell's novel "Crooked Hearts"
1993:
Portrayed a novelist living in a haunted forest in the ABC miniseries, "The Tommyknockers"
1993:
Acted opposite Bruno Kirby in "I'll Be Waiting," a Tom Hanks directed segment of Showtime's "Fallen Angels"
1994:
Played Woody Harrelson's love interest in "The Cowboy Way"
1995:
Portrayed molecular biologist Laura Baker in "Species"
1996:
Appeared as James Garner's book editor in "My Fellow Americans"
1996:
Had a recurring role as George Clooney's love interest on NBC's medical drama "ER"
1997:
Portrayed sex-starved widow to David Caruso's small-time crook in Showtime┬┐s "Elmore Leonard's Gold Coast"
1997:
Played Pia Postman, the shallow, vain, heavily made-up talk show host in the NBC TV-movie "Murder Live!"
1998:
Reprised role as Dr. Baker in the sequel bomb "Species II"
1998:
Played Steven Weber's irate sister in Showtime's miniseries about the elusive Gulf War Syndrome, "Thanks of a Grateful Nation"
2000:
Portrayed Patsy Ramsey in the CBS miniseries about the killing of Jon Benet Ramsey "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town"
2000:
Cast in a featured role opposite Julia Roberts in the Oscar-winning film "Erin Brockovich"
2000:
Returned to series television as Catherine Willows on the CBS drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"; earned Best Actress Golden Globe (2002) and Emmy (2003) nominations
2004:
Starred opposite Dennis Quaid and Scarlett Johansson in the comedy "In Good Company"
2007:
Cast as Kevin Costner's wife in the thriller "Mr. Brooks"
2008:
Acted opposite Val Kilmer in the heist thriller "Columbus Day"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Kearney State College: Kearney , Nebraska -
Northwestern University: Evanston , Illinois - 1982
Northwestern University: Evanston , Illinois - 1982

Notes

Her first name is pronounced with a hard "G".

"China Beach" co-star Concetta Tomei on Helgenberger: "There's no BS about Marg. She's fiesty, direct and down home." --quoted in People, July 1, 1991.

About working on the set of "ER": "The smell of testosterone is very heavy on that set. There's a lot of one-upmanship and that put-each-other-down thing that guys do, but it's fun. George [Clooney] likes to have a good time. I think that's his M.O. in life."

As for Clooney's housemate, a 150-lb. pig named Max: "He got him when he was living with Kelly Preston. When we lived next door to Jason Patric, he and [then gal pal] Julia Roberts got a pig, too. When they broke up, Jason kept the pig. When George and Kelly broke up, he kept the pig. The guy always ends up with the pig. I wonder what that means?" --Marg Helgenberger to People, May 6, 1996.

On her approach portraying Patsy Ramsey (mother of slain six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet) in the miniseries "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town": "I just cleared the slate and thought of her as a mother and went from there." --Helgengerber quoted in People, January 22, 2001.

Though she plays a crime scene investigator who comes across often gruesome scenes on "CSI", Helgenberger admits: "I'm relatively squeamish in civilian life. I've been very fortunate not to have to deal with such things in my immediate family. When we're filming autopsy scenes, I actually feel sad. Behind each of these death's there's usually a back story of unhappiness and loss. We use a guidebook the Las Vegas police put together that's incredibly graphic. Looking at the pictures can make me turn white. If I'm going over the script at home, my husband will ask, 'Are you all right?'" --to Parade, April 22, 2001.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Alan Rosenberg. Actor. Born on October 4, 1951; met when both were acting on the daytime soap opera "Ryan's Hope" (ABC); became reacquainted in 1986 after his divorce from actor Robin Bartlett; married in 1989.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Hugh Helgenberger. Meat inspector. Died in 1986 of multiple sclerosis.
mother:
Kay Helgenberger. Nurse. Born c. 1936.
sister:
Ann Helgenberger. Jazz musician. Born c. 1956.
brother:
Curt Helgenberger. Meat inspector, horse trainer. Born c. 1961; trains quarter horses.
son:
Hugh Howard Rosenberg. Born on October 21, 1990.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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