Marg Helgenberger

Marg Helgenberger Headshot

Actress

Birth Name: Mary Margaret Helgenberger

Birth Date: November 16, 1958

Age: 65 years old

Birth Place: Fremont, Nebraska

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, 2000-15). 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.

After making her feature debut as an all-night answering service operator in the mediocre anthology thriller "After Midnight," Helgenberger had a small role in Steven Spielberg's engaging fantasy "Always" (both 1989). But her bread-and-butter through the 90s were TV-movies and miniseries, many of which were made for the Lifetime Channel: "Death Dreams" (1991), "A Friend in Need" segment of "The Hidden Room" series (1991), "Lie Down with the Lions" (1994), "Giving Up the Ghost" (1998), and "Keys to Her Past" (1999) to name a few.

Though "Stephen King's The Tommyknockers" (ABC, 1993) was not one of the better made-for-TV King adaptations, "Peacemaker" (PBS, 1991) was a thoughtful drama of life in the nuclear 1950s, and the CBS drama "In Sickness and in Health" (1992) offered her the plum role of Mickey, the lusty caretaker who befriends her charge (Lesley Ann Warren) suffering from multiple sclerosis, only to betray that trust by sleeping with her husband (Tom Skerritt).

Her leading role in "The Cowboy Way" (1994) offered Helgenberger some feature exposure, as did "Species" (1995) and its regrettable 1998 sequel "Species II," "My Fellow American" (1996) and "Fire Down Below" (1997), but nothing about her work in these films would erase perceptions of her as a TV actress.

With Tom Hanks' "I'll Be Waiting" (1993) segment of the "Fallen Angels" series, Helgenberger began an association with Showtime which would include Peter Weller's "Partners" (1994, from the "Directed By" series), "Conundrum" (1996), "Elmore Leonard's Gold Coast" (1997), "Thanks of a Grateful Nation" (1998) and "Happy Face Murders" (1999).

Excellent as the sex-starved widow of "Gold Coast," in which she rejoined Weller, she delivered arguably her best performance as the sister of a veteran felled by Gulf War Syndrome in the critically-acclaimed "Thanks of a Grateful Nation." She was equally terrific in NBC's "Murder Live!" (1997) as shallow talk-show host Pia Postman and "Perfect Town, Perfect Murder" (2000), a thoughtful CBS miniseries look into the killing of JonBenet Ramsey.

That year also found her in her biggest feature success to date, playing the woman whose medical condition leads Julia Roberts to uncover evidence of corporate wrongdoing in Steven Soderbergh's "Erin Brockovich."

She appeared next in the critically acclaimed comedy-drama by Paul Weitz, "In Good Company" (2004), in which she played the pregnant wife of a recently demoted executive (Dennis Quad).

Credits

Access Daily With Mario & Kit

Guest
Show
2022

CSI: VegasStream

Actor
Catherine Willows
Series
2021
77%

All RiseStream

Actor
Lisa Benner
Series
2019

Access Daily

Guest
Show
2019

All Rise: Extras

Actor
Show
2019

A Dog's JourneyStream

Actor
Hannah
Movie
2019
51%

Stand Up to Cancer

Guest
Show
2018

Access Live

Guest
Show
2017

Celebrity PageStream

Guest
News
2016

Almost Friends

Actor
Samantha
Movie
2016

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Extras

Actor
Show
2015

The Rich Eisen Show

Guest
Show
2014

Celebrity Name Game

Contestant
Game Show
2014

IntelligenceStream

Actor
Lillian Strand
Series
2014
38%

The Queen Latifah Show

Guest
Talk
2013

Under the DomeStream

Actor
Series
2013
68%

Under the DomeStream

Guest Star
Series
2013
68%

Home & Family

Guest
Talk
2012

Live! With Kelly and Michael

Guest
Talk
2012

Entertainment Studios.TV

Guest
Show
2012

CBS This Morning

Guest
Show
2012

LIVE with Kelly

Guest
Talk
2011

The TalkStream

Guest
Talk
2010

Columbus Day

Actor
Alice
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2008

Mr. Brooks

Actor
Emma Brooks
Movie
2007

Rachael Ray ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2006

ET Canada

Guest
Show
2005

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Guest
Talk
2005

In Good CompanyStream

Actor
Ann Foreman
Movie
2004
82%

Live With Regis and Kelly

Guest
Show
2001

CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationStream

Actor
Catherine Willows
Series
2000

CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationStream

Guest Star
Catherine Willows
Series
2000

Perfect Murder, Perfect Town

Actor
Show
2000

Erin BrockovichStream

Actor
Donna Jensen
Movie
2000
85%

The Early Show

Guest
Show
1999

The Daily Show With Jon StewartStream

Guest
Talk
1999

Happy Face Murders

Actor
Jen Powell
Movie
1999

Lethal Vows

Actor
Ellen Farris
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1999

The Gulf War

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Jerrilynn Folz
Show
1998

Thanks of a Grateful Nation

Actor
Jerrilynn Folz
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1998

Species IIStream

Actor
Dr. Laura Baker
Movie
1998
9%

Giving Up the Ghost

Actor
Anna Hobson
Movie
1998

The ViewStream

Guest
Talk
1997

King of the HillStream

Guest Voice
Mrs. Hanover/Pretty Student
Series
1997

Murder Live!

Actor
Pia Postman
Movie
1997

The Last Time I Committed Suicide

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Lizzy
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1997

Gold Coast

Actor
Karen DiCilia
Movie
1997

Fire Down Below

Actor
Sarah Kellogg
Movie
1997

Partners

Actor
Show
1996

Conundrum

Actor
Detective Rose Ekberg
Movie
1996

Bad BoysStream

Actor
Captain Alison Sinclair
Movie
1995
43%

SpeciesStream

Actor
Dr. Laura Baker
Movie
1995
42%

Inflammable

Actor
Lt. Kay Dolan
Movie
1995

Keys to Her Past

Actor
Maureen "Kick" Kickasola
Movie
1995

Just Looking

Actor
Darlene Carpenter
Movie
1995

ERStream

Guest Star
Karen Hines
Series
1994

Extra

Guest
News
1994

Directed By

Actor
Show
1994

Lie Down With Lions

Actor
Kate Nessen
Movie
1994

The Cowboy Way

Actor
Margarette
Movie
1994
20%

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Actor
Vanessa Meyer Vernon Scott
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1994

Bling Vengeance

Actor
Movie
1994

Ken Folletts Roter Adler (2)

Actor
Kate Nessen
Movie
1994

Ken Folletts Roter Adler (1)

Actor
Kate Nessen
Movie
1994

FrasierStream

Guest Star
Emily
Series
1993
95%

Late Show With David Letterman

Guest
Talk
1993

Fallen Angels

Actor
Eve Cressy
Series
1993

The Tommyknockers

Actor
Miniseries
1993

When Love Kills: The Seduction of John Hearn

Actor
Debbie Banister
Movie
1993

Partners

Actor
Georgeanne Bidwell
Movie
1993

In Sickness and in Health

Actor
Mickey
Movie
1992

Through the Eyes of a Killer

Actor
Laurie Fisher
Movie
1992

Not on the Frontline

Narrator
Show
1991

Death Dreams

Actor
Crista Westfield
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1991

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Jennetta
Movie
1991

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Actor
Movie
1990

Blind Vengeance

Actor
Virginia Whitelaw
Movie
1990

Tales From the Crypt

Actor
Series
1989
82%

Madrugada de Terror

Actor
Movie
1989

After Midnight

Actor
Alex
Movie
1989

Always

Actor
Rachel
Movie
1989

Après minuit

Actor
Movie
1989

China Beach

Actor
Karen Charlene "K.C" Koloski
Series
1988

thirtysomething

Guest Star
Cooper
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1987
83%

Shell Game

Actor
Natalie Thayer
Show
1987

MatlockStream

Guest Star
Series
1986

Spenser For HireStream

Actor
Series
1985

Entertainment Tonight

Guest
News
1981

Entertainment Tonight

Host
News
1981

CBS News Sunday Morning

Guest
News
1979

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