Marg Helgenberger, Our February 2014 Woman of Interest

The 'Intelligence' star talks about enjoying her fifties

by David Hutchings
marg helgenberger
Photograph: Ari Michelson

She's the head of a federal agency in CBS's new cyberthriller, Intelligence (Mondays, 10: p.m. ET).
I’m a Hillary Clinton type, in charge of making important decisions on behalf of U.S. security. I love the power my character has.

She returned as Catherine for CSI’s 300th episode.
It felt like I was putting on my sweats and chillin’ with the fam’!

Name change
Before college, I got a job as a weather girl in my hometown in Nebraska and changed my name to Margi McCarty, my grandmother’s maiden name. It’s a cute name, and I kind of wish I’d kept it.

By George!
In the second season of ER, I was George Clooney’s love interest. He was the hottest up-and-coming guy in movies. He had a lot on his plate, [but] he was fun, funny and we laughed a lot.

CSI seduction
I made a specific wardrobe choice on CSI. My character was loosely based on a real Vegas criminalist. I [met her] and saw how smart she was, but she also had a cute bod, which she showed off in tight jeans and tank tops.

Learning curve
Around 50, my life changed. My son went off to college, and my marriage of almost 20 years fell apart. I decided to leave CSI, which was painful. But I have no regrets. My ex-husband [actor Alan Rosenberg] and I remain friends, I got involved with another guy, and we’re still together. I’m in my fifties now, and there are so many good female roles on television!

Watching the clock
I’ve learned that life goes by really quickly. When you get older, you instinctively know that some things are just not worth your time.

Next: Melissa Leo, Our December 2013/January 2014 Woman of Interest

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First published in the February 2014 issue

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