Biography

Though she's appeared on both the big and small screens, Helgenberger has always been more at home on the latter. After starting out on the daytime soap Ryan's Hope, she made the jump to prime time in the late '80s as a savvy prostitute on China Beach and won an Emmy for her work. In the '90s she was known for acting in a number of Lifetime movies, with occasional forays into features. But she was over 40 when she landed her seminal role as an ex-stripper turned forensic specialist on the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In her spare time, Helgenberger is a supporter of breast-cancer charities (her mother battled the disease) and cohosts an annual celebrity golf fund-raiser.

Fast Facts

  • Worked in a meat-packing plant as a teenager.
  • Was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People and Esquire magazine's Women We Love in 2002.
  • In order to prepare for her role on CSI, visited a coroner's office to view an autopsy being performed.
  • Enjoys playing hacky sack with her costars on CSI in between scenes.
  • Cohosts an annual celebrity golf tournament that raises money for breast-cancer awareness. Her mother is a breast-cancer survivor.

Awards

  • 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1991, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1990, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1991, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Nominee
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
  • 2005, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Female TV Performer: Winner
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2003, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2002, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
  • 1992, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 2004, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee

Relationships

  • Hugh Helgenberger — Father
  • Curt Helgenberger — Brother
  • Hugh Howard Rosenberg — Son
  • Kay Helgenberger — Mother
  • Ann Helgenberger — Sister
  • Alan Rosenberg — Husband (separated)

College

  • Attended Kearney State College, Kearney, NE; Northwestern School of Speech, Evanston, IL (BS, 1982)

Details

  • Birth Name: Mary Marg Helgenberger
  • Birth Place: Freemont, NE
  • Birthday: November 16, 1958, Scorpio
  • Profession: Actor
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