Marg Helgenberger

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Marg Helgenberger
Marg Helgenberger- Intelligence 2013.jpg
Helgenberger at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International
Mary Marg Helgenberger

(1958-11-16) November 16, 1958 (age 60)
Other namesMary Helgenberger
Years active1982–present
Known for China Beach   CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Alan Rosenberg
(m. 1989;div. 2010)

Mary Marg Helgenberger (born November 16, 1958) is an American actress. She began her career in the early 1980s and first came to attention for playing the role of Siobhan Ryan on the daytime soap opera Ryan's Hope from 1982 to 1986. She is best known for her roles as Catherine Willows in the CBS police procedural drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000–12, 2013, 2015) and the subsequent TV movie Immortality (2015) and as K.C. Koloski in the ABC drama China Beach (1988–91), which earned her the 1990 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

<i>Ryans Hope</i> television series

Ryan's Hope is an American soap opera created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer, originally airing for 13 years on ABC from July 7, 1975 to January 13, 1989. It revolves around the trials and tribulations within a large Irish-American family in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

Catherine Willows Fictional character on American television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Director Catherine Willows is a fictional character, portrayed by Marg Helgenberger, from the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Helgenberger made her franchise debut in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's first season episode "Pilot". Helgenberger received several award nominations for her portrayal of Catherine, including two Primetime Emmy Award nominations and two Golden Globe Award nominations.

CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.


She is also known for roles in the TV series Under the Dome and Intelligence , and the films Species (1995), Species II (1998), Erin Brockovich (2000), and Mr. Brooks (2007).

<i>Under the Dome</i> (TV series) American science-fiction drama television series

Under the Dome is an American science-fiction mystery drama television series. It premiered on CBS on June 24, 2013, and concluded on September 10, 2015. The series was developed by Brian K. Vaughan and based on Stephen King's 2009 novel of the same name.

<i>Species</i> (film) 1995 film by Roger Donaldson

Species is a 1995 American science fiction horror film directed by Roger Donaldson and written by Dennis Feldman. It stars Natasha Henstridge, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker and Marg Helgenberger. The film's plot concerns a motley crew of scientists and government agents who try to track down Sil (Henstridge), a seductive extraterrestrial-human hybrid, before she successfully mates with a human male.

<i>Species II</i> 1998 film by Peter Medak

Species II is a 1998 American science fiction horror thriller film directed by Peter Medak. The film is a sequel to Species (1995) and the second installment in the Species series. The film stars Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen, and Marg Helgenberger, all of whom reprise their roles from the first film. The plot has Patrick Ross, the astronaut son of a senator, being infected by an extraterrestrial virus during a mission to Mars and causing the deaths of many women upon his return. To stop him, the scientists who created the human-extraterrestrial hybrid Sil in the original Species try using a more docile clone of hers, Eve (Henstridge).

Early life

Helgenberger was born in Fremont, Nebraska, to Mary Kay (née Bolte), a nurse, and Hugh Helgenberger, a meat inspector. [1] [2] She was raised in North Bend, Nebraska, where she graduated from North Bend Central High School. Helgenberger is of Irish and German descent [3] and had a Roman Catholic upbringing. [4] She has one older sister named Ann and a younger brother named Curt. Helgenberger played the French horn in her high school marching band. Until she went to college, Helgenberger aspired to be a nurse like her mother, but attended Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska at Kearney) in Kearney, Nebraska, then attended Northwestern University's School of Speech in Evanston, Illinois, (now the School of Communication) and earned a B.S. degree in speech and drama. [5]

Fremont, Nebraska City in Nebraska, United States

Fremont is a city in Dodge County in the eastern portion of the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. The population was 26,397 at the 2010 census. Fremont is the county seat and the home of Midland University.

North Bend, Nebraska City in Nebraska, United States

North Bend is a city in Dodge County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 1,177 at the 2010 census.

French horn type of brass instrument

The French horn is a brass instrument made of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. The double horn in F/B is the horn most often used by players in professional orchestras and bands. A musician who plays a French horn is known as a horn player or hornist.


Helgenberger at the 1990 Emmy Awards Marg Helgenberger-1990 (cropped).jpg
Helgenberger at the 1990 Emmy Awards

Helgenberger began as a nightly weather person at KHGI-TV, the ABC affiliate in Kearney, while attending college (her name was changed by the producer to Margi McCarty). During the summer, she also worked as a deboner at her father's meatpacking plant. After portraying the role of Blanche Dubois in a university production of A Streetcar Named Desire , she developed an interest in acting.

KHGI-TV ABC affiliate in Kearney, Nebraska

KHGI-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 13, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Kearney, Nebraska, United States, serving most of central and western Nebraska and the northern third of Kansas. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group as part of a duopoly with Lincoln-licensed Fox affiliate KFXL-TV. The two stations share studios on Nebraska Highway 44 in Axtell, about 14 miles (23 km) south of Kearney; KHGI also operates a secondary studio at the Conestoga Mall in Grand Island. The station's transmitter is located near Lowell, Nebraska.

American Broadcasting Company American broadcast television network

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building, But the network's second corporate headquarters and News headquarters remains in New York City, New York at their broadcast center on 77 West 66th Street in Lincoln Square in Upper West Side Manhattan.

While performing in a summer 1981 NU campus production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew , where she played Kate, Helgenberger was spotted by a scout for the TV soap opera Ryan's Hope . Soon after completing college, Helgenberger landed her first professional role on the long-running ABC Daytime soap opera in March 1982, playing amateur cop Siobhan Ryan Novak DuBujak, a role previously played by Ann Gillespie. After nearly four years, Helgenberger left the show in January 1986 to pursue new opportunities.

ABC Daytime is a division responsible for the daytime programming block on the ABC Network and syndicated programming. The block has historically encompassed soap operas, game shows and talk shows.

Ann Gillespie is a retired American actress who currently works as an Episcopal priest.

Helgenberger guest-starred in an episode of the ABC series Spenser: For Hire , NBC's Matlock , and ABC's thirtysomething. She also played a regular role as Natalie Thayer, opposite Margot Kidder and James Read, on the six-episode drama comedy series Shell Game (1987).

<i>Spenser: For Hire</i> television program

Spenser: For Hire is an American crime drama series based on Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels. The series, developed for TV by John Wilder and starring Robert Urich, was broadcast on ABC from September 20, 1985 until May 7, 1988.

<i>Matlock</i> (TV series) Television series

Matlock is an American television legal drama, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of criminal-defense attorney Ben Matlock. The show, produced by Intermedia Entertainment Company, The Fred Silverman Company, Dean Hargrove Productions, and Viacom Productions, originally aired from March 3, 1986 to May 8, 1992 on NBC; and from November 5, 1992 until May 7, 1995 on ABC.

Margot Kidder Canadian-American actress and activist

Margaret Ruth Kidder, professionally known as Margot Kidder, was a Canadian-American actress, director, and activist whose career spanned over five decades. Her accolades include three Canadian Screen Awards and one Daytime Emmy Award. Though she appeared in an array of films and television, Kidder is most widely known for her performance as Lois Lane in the Superman film series, appearing in the first four films.

She then had a role as Karen Charlene "K.C." Koloski, a heroin-addicted prostitute on the ABC war drama series China Beach from 1988 to 1991. The role earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1990.

In 1989, Helgenberger made her feature-film debut in a leading role as an all-night answering-service operator in one segment of the Wheat brothers' horror anthology After Midnight . She followed it up with a role in Steven Spielberg's romantic comedy-drama Always (starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, and John Goodman), a modern version of the original 1943 Victor Fleming film A Guy Named Joe .

During the early to mid-1990s, Helgenberger played the love interest to Woody Harrelson's character in The Cowboy Way (1994), and had a small role as Capt. Alison Sinclair in Michael Bay's action comedy film Bad Boys (1995). She also played Dr. Laura Baker, a molecular biologist, in Roger Donaldson's science-fiction thriller, Species (1995), and reprised the role in a sequel, Species II (1998).

Helgenberger had roles in the television films Not on the Frontline and In Sickness and in Health. She played opposite Bruno Kirby in I'll Be Waiting, and as a novelist on the miniseries Stephen King's The Tommyknockers opposite Jimmy Smits. After playing a recurring role as George Clooney's love interest on NBC's medical drama ER , Helgenberger appeared as David Caruso's sex-starved widow on Showtime's Elmore Leonard's Gold Coast. She starred with Steven Seagal in the 1997 action film Fire Down Below and portrayed the furious sibling to Steven Weber's character on the miniseries about the elusive Gulf War syndrome, Thanks of a Grateful Nation . She also starred opposite Ann-Margret in Showtime's Happy Face Murders .

In 2000, Helgenberger made a guest appearance in the Valentine's Day episode of Frasier , in which Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) finally wears down his dad Martin's resistance and gets the older man to accompany him to the opera. Actually, this invitation is but a smokescreen, so that Frasier can "accidentally" run into his newest dream girl Emily (Helgenberger).

Helgenberger co-starred in the role of Catherine Willows, a former show girl employed as a blood-spatter analyst on the CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation . Her performance as the female lead has earned her two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe nominations. In 2005, her fellow cast members and she won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. When CSI first started filming, Helgenberger visited the Clark County Coroner's Office to learn about her role, even viewing autopsies in progress. Helgenberger got the chance to act with her husband, Alan Rosenberg, when he guest-starred on CSI, season five ("Weeping Willows") and season seven ("Leaving Las Vegas").

During her time on the show, Helgenberger acted in the feature film Erin Brockovich and portrayed Patsy Ramsey on the miniseries about the mysterious murder of six-year-old beauty-pageant contestant JonBenét Ramsey in Perfect Murder, Perfect Town . She also starred as Dennis Quaid's wife and Scarlett Johansson's mother in writer-director Paul Weitz's romantic drama comedy In Good Company (2004).

In 2006, Helgenberger's hometown of North Bend, Nebraska, renamed the street on which Helgenberger had her childhood home "Helgenberger Avenue".

In 2007, she was in the film Mr. Brooks with Kevin Costner in which her character's daughter is played by Danielle Panabaker, the sister of Kay Panabaker, who plays her fictional daughter on CSI.

In April 2008, Helgenberger was chosen as an endorser of the Got Milk? campaign. [6]

In December 2009, Forbes magazine placed Helgenberger third among primetime's top-earning women, with estimated earnings of $9.5 million, after Tyra Banks and Katherine Heigl. [7]

Helgenberger received the 2,458th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 23, 2012, for her television work. [8] [9]

She lent her voice as Greek goddess Hera to the straight-to-video animated film Wonder Woman . [10]

Following William Petersen's departure from CSI, Helgenberger became one of the two highest paid actors in any of the CSI franchises, earning $375,000 per episode, the same as David Caruso, and $25,000 more per episode than Laurence Fishburne. [11]

Helgenberger only appeared in the first 12 episodes of the 12th season of CSI, as she wanted to return to the stage. The producers said they left the door open for Helgenberger if she wanted to return. Helgenberger left the show on January 25, 2012, during a two-part episode ("Ms. Willows Regrets" and "Willows in the Wind"). The last one was the most-watched episode of the season with 14.26 million viewers. [12]

Helgenberger also starred as Lilian Strand in the series Intelligence alongside Josh Holloway and Meghan Ory. [13] Additionally, she briefly returned to CSI as Catherine for the 300th episode. [14] In February 2015, she joined the third season of Under the Dome. [15]

Personal life

In 1984, Helgenberger met Alan Rosenberg, a guest actor on Ryan's Hope . The two became friends and started dating in 1986. They married in 1989 and have one son, Hugh Howard Rosenberg (b. 1990), named after Helgenberger's late father. On December 1, 2008, the couple announced that they were separating, and on March 25, 2009, she filed for divorce. [16] [17] Their divorce was finalized in February 2010. [18]

As a result of Helgenberger's mother's 27-year battle against breast cancer, Helgenberger and Rosenberg became involved in the fight against breast cancer and have hosted a benefit called Marg and Alan's Celebrity Weekend annually in Omaha since 1999.


Helgenberger at a ceremony for Jerry Bruckheimer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June 2013 MargHelgenbergerHWOFJune2013.jpg
Helgenberger at a ceremony for Jerry Bruckheimer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June 2013


1982 Tootsie Suzanne
1989 After Midnight Alex
1989 Always Rachel
1989Peacemaker [19] Mrs. Cooper
1991 Crooked Hearts Jennetta
1993Distant CousinsConnie
1994 The Cowboy Way Margarette
1995Just LookingDarlene Carpenter
1995 Bad Boys Capt. Alison Sinclair
1995 Species Dr. Laura Baker
1996Frame by FrameDet. Rose Ekberg
1996 My Fellow Americans JoannaUncredited Cameo [20]
1997 Fire Down Below Sarah Kellogg
1997 The Last Time I Committed Suicide Lizzy
1998 Species II Dr. Laura Baker
1999 Lethal Vows Ellen Farris
2000 Erin Brockovich Donna Jensen
2004 In Good Company Ann Foreman
2007 Mr. Brooks Mrs. Emma Brooks
2008 Columbus Day Alice
2009 Wonder Woman Hera
2009Conan: Red NailPrincess Tascela
2016 Holding Patterns Samantha
2019 A Dog's Journey Hannah Montgomery


1982–86 Ryan's Hope Siobhan Ryan Contract role
1986 Spenser: For Hire Nancy KetteringEpisode: "An Eye for an Eye"
1987 Shell Game Natalie Thayer6 episodes
1987 Matlock Laura NorwoodEpisode: "The Gambler"
1988–91 China Beach Karen Charlene KoloskiSeries regular (61 episodes)
1990Blind VengeanceVirginia WhitelawMovie
1991 Tales from the Crypt VickyEpisode: "Deadline"
1991The Hidden RoomJaneEpisode: "A Friend in Need"
1991Death DreamsCrista WestfieldMovie
1992In Sickness and in HealthMickeyMovie
1992 Through the Eyes of a Killer Laurie FisherMovie
1993PartnersGeorgeanne BidwellMovie
1993 The Tommyknockers Roberta "Bobbi" AndersonMiniseries
1993 Fallen Angels Eve CressyEpisode: "I'll Be Waiting"
1993The Seduction of John HearnDebbie BanisterMovie
1994KeysMaureen KickasolaMovie
1994 Lie Down with Lions Kate NessenMovie
1994Where Are My Children?Vanessa Meyer Vernon ScottMovie
1995 The Larry Sanders Show Susan ElliotEpisode: "Nothing Personal"
1995InflammableKay DolanMovie
1996 ER Karen Hines5 episodes
1997 Murder Live! Pia PostmanMovie
1997Gold CoastKaren DiCiliaMovie
1998Giving Up the GhostAnna HobsonMovie
1998 Thanks of a Grateful Nation Jerrilynn FolzMovie
1999 Happy Face Murders Jen PowellMovie
2000 Frasier EmilyEpisode: "Out with Dad"
2000 Perfect Murder, Perfect Town Patsy RamseyMovie
2013, 2015
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Catherine Willows Credit In 264 Episodes
2004 King of the Hill Mrs. HanoverEpisode: "Hank's Back"
2014 Intelligence Lilian StrandSeries regular (13 episodes)
2015 Under the Dome Christine PriceRecurring [21]
2017 Hell's Kitchen HerselfEpisode: "Aerial Maneuvers"; Attended dinner service honoring the Stand Up to Cancer contributors
2019 All Rise JudithSeries regular

Video games

2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Catherine Willows
2004 CSI: Dark Motives Catherine Willows

Awards and nominations

The following is a list of accolades received by Helgenberger:

AARP Movies for Grownups Awards 2005Best Grownup Love Story (shared with Dennis Quaid ) In Good Company Nominated
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 2001 Favorite Supporting Actress – Drama Erin Brockovich Nominated
Golden Globe Awards 1991 Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television China Beach Nominated
2002 Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
2003 Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
People's Choice Awards 2005 Favorite Female Television Star CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Won
Primetime Emmy Awards 1990 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series China Beach Won
1991 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series China Beach Nominated
1992 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series China Beach Nominated
2001 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
2003 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
Satellite Awards 2002 Best Actress in a Series – Drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2002 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
2003 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
2004 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
2005 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Won
TV Guide Awards 2001 Actress of the Year in a New Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Nominated
Viewers for Quality Television Awards 1989 Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series China Beach Won
1990 Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series China Beach Won
1991 Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series China Beach Won

See also

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