Marg Helgenberger

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Name: Mary Marg Helgenberger (Catherine Willows)
Birthday: November 16, 1958
Birthplace: North Bend, Fremont, Nebraska
Where she lives now: Santa Monica, California
Height: 5 feet, 6 inches

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All About Marg

  • Husband: Actor Alan Rosenberg (married September 9, 1989, who has a semi-recurring role as lawyer Adam Novak on the show and now they are separated)
  • Son: Hugh Howard, born on October 21, 1990
  • Pet: a dog named Momo (deceased)
  • In-laws: Mark Rosenberg, Paula Wienstien
  • Niece: Hannah Rosenberg
  • Father: Hugh Helgenberger
  • Mother: Kay Snyder
  • Brother: Curt Helgenberger
  • Sister: Ann Helgenberger

Education: Kearney State College; Northwestern University
Memorable Quotes (on/off the set):

“This is the best day job I’ve ever had. What’s even more exciting is that when a show goes to the top, you become a part of the pop culture landscape. Your character becomes an icon, a role model. It is very special to me that women of all ages find me inspiring, because I play someone strong and smart who doesn’t have to squander her femininity in the workplace.” -when asked about her role as Catherine Willows on CSI, Midwest Today Magazine
Marg Helgenberger | CSI
"I'm more willing to sit back and let things come to me, but this business is too competitive, and one has got to be more aggressive and go for things. Those are the ones that succeed.
Talent is such a small fraction of what makes a successful movie star, because it's so much about other things: drive and passion in whatever you want to be." -interview from

"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?'" -Marg on Parade magazine, when asked about the squeamish scenes on CSI

"Once I come home, I need to compensate, or overcompensate, for the time I've spent away. But then again, I'm Catholic." She laughs. "I draw guilt out of the air." -More Magazine October 2007 Interview, when asked about how she balances her family life and busy career.

"Catherine's relationship with Grissom: somebody described this to me, they have this incredible chemistry without them doing it." -Five US video Interview, December, 2006

"I either play cops or criminals - I'm either on the right side of the law or the wrong side. I gravitate toward edgier material because it suits my nature. I find it fascinating to play. I'm just that kind of person." -From interview

About Madonna: "Life will always be good as long as Madonna is around. I don't think of her as a guilty pleasure anymore - she's an outright pleasure" -In Style magazine, Sept. 2006.

What her colleagues say about her:
I thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.Marg with the CSI cast And really talented." -Alan Rosenberg

"The sexiest redhead on television." -Gary Dourdan, People Magazine

"She's got just the right blend of hormones."
-William Petersen on ESPN radio

"She's great with the crew, she makes everybody feel comfortable. There's no diva thing going on... the best thing about Marg is that she gets all my jokes, so of course I am completely endeared to her." - William Petersen, A&E Biography Interview

"Marg is one of the strongest and toughest women I've ever met...She's a bada**" -Jorja Fox on Playboy magazine

"Marg! Marg is awesome. I love her, I love being around her." -George Eads, when asked who is his favorite person to work with on CSI, Yahoo interview

"She's drop-dead gorgeous, and she's got something going on underneath. She's got a bit of the devil inside her.
She's a rock-and-roll chick from the Midwest, with a ribald sense of humor. She cracked me up the whole time we were shooting." -Liev Schreiber, MORE magazine, October 2007

"She has a kinda punk thing to her, a rock 'n roll edge. But she's really a family girl." -Dana Delany, China Beach co-star

"She'a a real, organic and genuine person" - Gary Dourdan, Lifetime Intimate Portrait Interview

I have always been a huge fan of Marg's. And really like working with her. It seems like a lot of the fans have picked up on our chemistry together. And that puts a big ole' smile on my face. Played in a golf tournament/breast cancer fund raiser she hosts with her hubby Alan Rosenberg (the current SAG president) up in Omaha. It was a great experience. Met her mom. AND - my team came in second place! Rock on!" -CSI co-star Gerald McCullough, 2006 AOL Elyse CSI site interview

When she's not acting:
  • When she comes home from the set of CSI she plunges into homework and housework and gets involved with her son Hughie's school activities.
  • Marg has been actively involved with the fight against breast cancer and other charities for several years now.
  • Teamed up with "Women's Voices, Women Vote" for a PSA campaign that encourages women to show their strength in numbers at the polls.

Before she was a star:

  • She once had a job as a weather girl at a TV station in Nebraska, and her name was shortened to Margie McCarty. (McCarty is her grandmother's last name)
  • Marg played the french horn in her high school (North Bend Central High School) marching band.
  • Marg can also play the piano.
  • Started working in the soybean fields at the age of 11
  • Worked part-time in a meat packing plant while a teenager.

Fascinating facts:
Click to Enlarge Marg loves the song "Babylon Sisters" by Steely Dan for the lyrics "Drive west on sunset to the sea" which she and her husband Alan did on their first date.
  • She's the object of adoration of Buddy in Mark Heath's "Spot the Frog" comic strip.

  • Was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People and
Esquire magazine's Women We Love in 2002
  • Is number 4 on TV Guide Magazine's Sexiest Stars on TV for 2007. (Source)
  • Marg is #41 on Entertainment Weekly's "The EW 100 Stars We Love Right Now" in summer 2007.
  • In 2008 Marg joined the ranks of the celebrities who sported the famousmilk mustache, as she was chosen as an endorser of the Got Milk? campaign.
  • Local officials of North Bend Nebraska renamed Locust Street into Helgenberger Avenue when the actress went home to celebrate the little town's 105th anniversary in the summer of 2006.
  • Six years before CSI, she and Gary Dourdan starred together in a TV movie called Keys (1994).
  • CSI co-star Gary Dourdan's nickname for Marg is "Margalicious”.
  • During breaks on the CSI set, Marg and her co-stars Jorja Fox, Gary Dourdan and Robert David Hall jam together and play different musical instruments.
  • Marg is known for throwing great parties.
  • Her Hollywood home once belonged to silent movie star William S. Hart
  • Middle of 3 children. Her older sister is Ann Helgenberger (jazz musician) and her younger brother is Curt Helgenberger (a meat inspector).
  • She was a huge fan of the TV show Mission: Impossible when she was young.
  • Her mother, Kay, is an Irish American and her father, Hugh, was a German American.Click to Enlarge
  • Meet husband Alan in 1984 and they started dating in 1986.
  • Daughter of Hugh Helgenberger, who was a meat inspector, and Kay Helgenberger, who was a nurse. Marg originally wanted to be a nurse like her mother.
  • Sister-in-law of Mark Rosenberg and Paula Weinstein.
  • In her personal life, Helgenberger is the daughter of a cancer survivor and is very active in supporting research for breast cancer.
  • Marg's production company "Don't Call Me Marge!" is her humorous jab at people’s mispronunciation of her name.
  • On March 2007 Marg was named one of the sexiest TV stars of 2007 by TV Guide Magazine.
  • Until she went to college, Marg wanted to be a nurse like her mother.
  • At one time both Marg and her husband Alan Rosenberg had successful series on CBS. Marg: CSI (2000 – present) Alan: The Guardian (2001 - 2004).
  • Was on the list of VH1's 40 sexiest stars over 40.
  • Her birth name is Mary Marg Helgenberger.

Notable credits:
Marg Helgenberger | CSI on CBS

She got her start on the daytime drama Ryan's Hope in the early '80
s after being discovered in the acting program at Northwestern University.


    • Recurring guest role on ER as Karen Hines, Doug's (George Clooney) love interest
    • China Beach as KC Koloski
    • Guest star in Frasier, as Emily
    • Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenét and the City of Boulder as Patsy Ramsey
    • Mini-Series: "The Tommyknockers"
    • Partners as Eve Darrin
    • Shell Game as Nathalie Thayer
    • Starred in In Sickness and in Health, a 1992 made for TV movie
    • Played as Ellen Farris in the 1999 made for TV movie Lethal Vows
    • Appeared in the made for TV movie Happy Face Murders. She played Jen Powell.
    • She co-starred with her husband, Alan Rosenberg in the 1998 made for TV movie Giving Up the Ghost.
    • Portrayed the character Jerrilynn Folz in the 1998 made for TV movie Thanks of a Grateful Nation
    • Starred in the 1997 made for TV movie Murder Live! as Pia Postman
    • Played Vanessa Meyer Vernon Scott in Where Are My Children? a made for TV movie based on a real life story
    • Kate Nessen in the made for TV movie Lie Down with Lions.
    • Mini-Series: When Love Kills: The Seduction of John Hearn, as Debbie Banister
    • Played Georgeanne Bidwell in the made for TV movie Partners
    • TV movie: Through the Eyes of a Killer as Laurie Fisher
    • Starred in Death Dreams a made for TV movie
    • Played Virginia Whitelaw in the made for TV movie Blind Vengence
    • Portrayed the character Laura Norwood in Matlock
    • Starred opposite Gary Dourdan in Keys, a TV movie
    • Co-starred with David Caruso (from CSI Miami) in Gold Coast in 1997. She played Karen DiCilia
    • Co-stared with Jimmy Smits in "The Tommyknockers" in 1993. Based on a novel by Stephen King.


  • Alongside Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich (played Donna Jensen, the mother of two children who were poisoned by the PGE pollution, as well as her character was poisoned.)
  • Starred opposite Dennis Quaid and Scarlett Johansson in In Good Company (as Ann Foreman, Dennis Quaid's wife)
  • Species and Species II (as Doctor Laura Baker, one of the more human scientists in the alien breeding program)
  • Played the character Capt. Alison Sinclair in the 1995 action movie Bad Boys, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
  • Starred opposite Steven Segal in the 1997 movie Fire Down Below, as Sarah Kellogg.
  • Played the role of Jennetta in the drama Crooked Hearts starring Peter Berg, Vincent D'Onofrio, Noah Wyle and Joshua Jackson.
  • Plays Emma, the wife of Kevin Costner in Mr. Brooks, a crime suspense thriller released June of 2007. The movie also features William Hurt, Demi Moore and Dane Cook. (Trailer)
  • Alongside Val Kilmer and Wilmer Valderrama in Columbus Day, an indie crime drama film directed by Charles Burmeister. Val Kilmer plays a thief who has just one morning to fix what has gone awry in the biggest heist of his life, all while attempting to repair his relationship with his ex-wife played by Marg. The film is set to be released in 2008.


  • Received 3 Golden Globe nominations so far, and 6 wins and 10 nominations in various award giving bodies
  • Two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations for her role as Catherine Willows
  • Winner, People's Choice Awards Favorite Female Television Star, for her role on CSI as Catherine Willows, 2005
  • Won an Emmy for her role in China Beach, 1993
  • Nominee, International Press Academy's Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Drama for her role as Catherine Willows, 2002

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Talk about Marg/Catherine | Marg Helgenberger Photos