You’ll recognise her as the star of television smash hit CSI, but Marg Helgenberger was up for Emmy awards way before she became a top forensic investigator in Vegas.
Born Mary Margaret Helgenberger on 16 November 1958 in Fremont, Nebraska, she is the daughter of a meat inspector and a nurse. She attended Kearney State College in Nebraska before transferring to Northwestern University where she majored in drama.
Shortly after graduation, Helgenberger moved to New York to pursue an acting career. She soon landed a role on the soap opera 'Ryan's Hope', where she worked for four years.
After moving to Southern California, the actress appeared on such series as 'Matlock' and 'thirtysomething', but it wasn't until she was cast as tough-as-nails prostitute K.C. Koloski on ABC's 'China Beach' that Helgenberger received critical and popular success. She worked on the award-winning dramatic series from 1988 until its demise in 1991, earning an Emmy in 1989 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
After turning in various television guest performances throughout the 1990s, Helgenberger once again landed a plum primetime role as Catherine Willows on the popular dramatic series 'Crime Scene Investigation' in 2000. That same year, she received an Emmy award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Helgenberger was nominated for the award again in 2003.
In 2008, she renewed her 'CSI' contract for two years. It was renewed again in 2010 when the 11th season of the show was commissioned. Following William Petersen's departure, she became one of the two highest paid actors in any of the 'CSI' series, earning the same as David Caruso.
Helgenberger left the show in January 2012 to concentrate on theatre work, returning briefly for an appearance in the show's 300th episode. Also in January 2012, Helgenberger was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to honour her TV work.
She has also branched out to film work, debuting on the big screen in 'Tootsie' in 1982. In 2000, Helgenberger gave a memorable supporting performance in Steven Soderbergh's widely acclaimed 'Erin Brockovich'. She went on to play Dennis Quaid's wife in the comedy 'In Good Company' (2005) and the unsuspecting spouse of a serial killer in 'Mr Brooks' (2007).
Helgenberger married actor Alan Rosenberg, whom she met on the set of 'Ryan's Hope', in 1989. The couple have one son, Hugh Howard Rosenberg. On 1 December 2008, the pair announced they were separating and on 25 March 2009, she filed for divorce. The divorce was finalised in February 2010.
Since 1997, the couple hosted 'Marg and Alan's Celebrity Weekend' once a year to raise money for breast cancer as the actress's mother battled with the disease for 27 years.