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Julianna Margulies
File:Julianna Margulies at 2015 PaleyFest.jpg
Margulies at the 2015 PaleyFest
Born June 8, 1966 (1966-06-08) (age 56)
Spring Valley, New York, U.S.
Education Sarah Lawrence College
  • Actress
  • producer
Years active 1991–present
Spouse Keith Lieberthal (m. 2007)
Children 1
Relatives Kenneth Lieberthal (father-in-law)

Julianna Margulies (Template:IPAc-en; born June 8, 1966) is an American actress and producer. After several small television roles, Margulies achieved wide recognition for her starring role as Carol Hathaway on NBC's long-running medical drama series ER (1994–2009), for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award. She also voiced Neera in Dinosaur (2000) and appeared in the miniseries The Mists of Avalon (2001).

In 2009, she took on the lead role of Alicia Florrick in the CBS legal drama The Good Wife (2009–2016). Her performance garnered acclaim, winning two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, a Golden Globe Award, and a Television Critics Association Award.

Her films include Evelyn (2002), Ghost Ship (2002), Snakes on a Plane (2006), City Island (2009), Stand Up Guys (2012), and The Upside (2017). Margulies also had starring roles in the AMC dark comedy series Dietland (2018) and the National Geographic miniseries The Hot Zone (2019).

Margulies has won eight Screen Actor Guild Awards, making her the second most awarded woman ever within SAG after Julia Louis-Dreyfus, one Golden Globe Award, and three Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2015, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Margulies is also a recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Early life

Margulies was born in Spring Valley, New York, the youngest of three daughters. Her mother, Francesca (née Goldberg, later Gardner), was a ballet dancer and eurythmy teacher; her father, Paul Margulies, was a writer, philosopher, and Madison Avenue advertising executive. Her parents were both Jewish, descendants of Jewish immigrants from Romania, Austria, Hungary, and Russia. Her mother converted to Christianity when the children were young, though Margulies still identifies herself as Jewish. The Margulies family lived in Israel for a period of time before Julianna's birth, then moved back to the Upper West Side of New York City.

Margulies attended grade school at Green Meadow Waldorf School and high school at High Mowing School. As a child, she lived in New York, France, and England. She later enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College, where she appeared in several campus plays.


1991–2008: Breakthrough with ER and recognition

Margulies made her feature film debut in Steven Seagal's action film Out for Justice (1991), playing a prostitute. In 1994, Margulies was cast in the pilot episode of the NBC medical drama ER as Carol Hathaway, an emergency care nurse who attempted suicide. Her character was originally intended to die; however, the producers changed the plot and made Carol Hathaway a main cast member. At the same time Margulies had been offered an extended role on NBC's Homicide: Life on the Streets, after a two-episode appearance earlier in the year. Margulies chose ER and remained on the show for six seasons until 2000. She won an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1994, and continued to be nominated for this award every year during her tenure on ER. She was the only series regular cast member to win a Primetime Emmy Award.

In March 2012, Margulies broke her silence on her decision to leave ER at the height of her career and a $27 million paycheck. She revealed that although everyone said it would be "career suicide" not to return to the medical drama she had starred in for six years, she was never concerned about the consequences.

"I'm a smart girl," said Margulies. "I had a year's worth of work waiting and a mortgage completely paid at age 32. I was under no illusion that I was going to be some big movie star. My dad said, 'If you got hit by a bus tomorrow, were you living your life truthfully, or were you waiting to get rich?' If I died and my soul started leaving my body, would I be looking down going, 'You idiot. You could have gone to Prague, you could have been on Broadway'? Those are the things I wanted to do."

After leaving the series, Margulies worked on stage and screen. On stage, she appeared in a MCC Theater production of Kate Robin's Intrigue With Faye, a Lincoln Center production of Jon Robin Baitz's Ten Unknowns, and The Vagina Monologues. Her film work after ER included Evelyn with Pierce Brosnan and Ghost Ship (2002) with Gabriel Byrne and Ron Eldard. She starred as the protagonist and narrator (Morgaine) in the TNT miniseries The Mists of Avalon (2001) and participated in the documentary film Searching for Debra Winger (2002).

In 2004, she guest-starred in a two-episode arc in season four of the hit comedy series Scrubs as Neena Broderick, an unscrupulous lawyer who sues Turk and has a brief sexual relationship with J.D. She starred in another miniseries on TNT, The Grid. In April 2006, she appeared in four episodes of the sixth season of The Sopranos, portraying realtor Julianna Skiff. In August 2006, she appeared in Snakes on a Plane as flight attendant Claire Miller. In December 2006, she played Jennifer Bloom in the Syfy Channel miniseries The Lost Room.

File:Julianna Margulies at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg

Margulies at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

In an August 2006 interview with, Margulies said she was close to accepting an offer to return to ER for a four-episode arc, with Noah Wyle, that filmed in Hawaii during the 2005/06 season. However, she decided against it at the last minute. Margulies was invited to return during ER's final season, but the actress initially turned down the offer, saying she felt like she left Carol Hathaway in the perfect place and could not imagine bettering her departure episode. However, Margulies did return to ER for one episode during its 15th and final season.

She had a minor role in The Darwin Awards (2007). In 2008, Margulies starred in the legal series Canterbury's Law, a Fox mid-season replacement show. She played the title character, Elizabeth Canterbury, a lawyer described as a "tough-minded defense attorney who isn't afraid to push boundaries in order to protect innocent clients." She was also credited as a producer of the show. The series was severely affected by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike; it was cancelled by the network after only six episodes.

2009–present: The Good Wife and further acclaim

In 2009, Margulies began starring in the CBS legal drama The Good Wife. She played Alicia Florrick, an attorney returning to legal practice after her husband Peter Florrick (played by Chris Noth) resigned as Illinois State's Attorney amid a sex and corruption scandal. She won two Primetime Emmy Awards for the series. Beginning in 2011, starting with the third season, Margulies was credited as a producer of The Good Wife. The series ended in May 2016.

Since 2013, the actress has done voiceovers for a Chase credit card commercial. In 2014, Margulies narrated "Women in Business", an episode of season 2 of Makers: Women Who Make America. In 2015, TIME featured Margulies as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World." It noted her work to get Erin's Law, concerned with child sexual abuse, passed in every US state.

In 2018, Margulies co-starred in the dark comedy series Dietland on AMC as Kitty Montgomery—a nasty, razor-thin fashionista who employs an overweight woman for menial tasks and enjoys torturing her constantly (especially about her weight).

In 2019, Margulies starred in The Hot Zone on National Geographic as Dr. Nancy Jaax—a U.S Army scientist Nancy Jaax, DVM, ACVP, trying to stop a deadly outbreak of Ebola. The limited series put up big rating numbers for the Disney-owned cable network, becoming the highest-rated scripted series in National Geographic's history and ranking second among all series.

In 2019, Margulies was slated to reprise the role of Alicia Florrick for three episodes of The Good Fight, a spin-off of The Good Wife. However, negotiations broke down over the question of Margulies' salary, with CBS offering to pay her at the guest star rate instead of the same rate she had been paid on The Good Wife. She stated that: "I watch the show, I love the show. But I'm not a guest star. You don't pay me a guest-star salary. I would get a guest-star salary if I went and did SVU—it's not my show. I wouldn't ask for what I got paid as Alicia Florrick. I also know for a fact that any male star who got asked to go on a spinoff of his show would have been offered at least $500,000. I know that for a fact."

In November 2019, it was announced that Margulies will guest star in Billions. Margulies will play Catherine Brant in the Showtime drama, who is described as an Ivy League sociology professor and bestselling author.

In December 2020, it was announced that Margulies will join the second season of The Morning Show as Laura Peterson, an anchor at UBA News. She will join returning series stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

File:Julianna Margulies at Met Opera 2 (cropped).jpg

Margulies and Lieberthal at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008


In May 2015, it was announced that Julianna Margulies will publish a picture book with Random House Children’s Books in May 2016. Titled Three Magic Balloons, the story is based on one that the actress’s father, Paul Margulies, wrote for his three daughters.

In October 2020, Margulies announced on her Instagram that she is writing an autobiography Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life, in which she opens up about navigating the "turmoil" of being a child of divorced parents, her journey to becoming an award-winning actor, and her complex romantic relationships.

"After completing The Good Wife, I had time to look back on my life and career," Margulies, 54, says in a statement of her Emmy-winning performance on the hit show. "What began as a simple exercise in self-reflection eventually grew into a memoir. When I was a baby, my mother called me her 'Sunshine Girl.' This book recounts the chaotic, unconventional childhood my parent’s choices gave me, and the choices I made as an adult because of them."

"It is both a coming of age story and an introspection about being a working mother and wife, trying to juggle everything while remaining the 'Sunshine Girl' I thought everyone expected," she continues. "I hope it gives readers a candid look into my journey to becoming an actress with all the highs and lows as I navigated my way to this life I never expected".

The book will be published by Ballantine Books, a division of Penguin Random House, on May 4, 2021. It's described as a "riveting self-portrait of a woman whose resilience in the face of instability will leave readers intrigued and inspired."

Personal life

From 1991 to 2003, Margulies was in a relationship with actor Ron Eldard, whom she met in an acting class.

On November 10, 2007, Margulies married attorney Keith Lieberthal, the son of academic Kenneth Lieberthal, in Lenox, Massachusetts. They have a son, Kieran Lindsay Lieberthal. They reside in Manhattan. The couple also owns a country house in Upstate New York.



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Out for Justice Rica
1997 Traveller Jean
1997 Paradise Road Topsy Merritt
1998 Newton Boys, TheThe Newton Boys Louise Brown
1998 Price Above Rubies, AA Price Above Rubies Rachel
2000 What's Cooking? Carla
2000 Dinosaur Neera Voice
2002 Man from Elysian Fields, TheThe Man from Elysian Fields Dena
2002 Evelyn Bernadette Beattie
2002 Ghost Ship Maureen Epps
2005 Slingshot Karen
2006 The Darwin Awards Carla
2006 Armenian Genocide, TheThe Armenian Genocide Narrator
2006 Snakes on a Plane Claire Miller
2006 Beautiful Ohio Mrs. Cubano
2009 City Island Joyce Rizzo
2011 No Job for a Woman Narrator
2012 Stand Up Guys Nina Hirsch
2016 The Last Gold Narrator
2017 The Upside Lily Foley
2017 Three Christs Ruth
File:Julianna Margulies 66th Emmy Awards (cropped).jpg

Margulies holding her award at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, in 2014


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Murder, She Wrote Rachel Novaro Episode: "Murder at Discount"
1993 Law & Order Lt. Ruth Mendoza Episode: "Conduct Unbecoming"
1994 Homicide: Life on the Street Linda 2 episodes
1994–2000, 2009 ER Nurse Carol Hathaway Main role; 132 episodes
1995 The Larry Sanders Show Herself Episode: "Larry's on Vacation"
1998 Ellen Ellen Screen Test #5 Episode: "Ellen: A Hollywood Tribute: Part 1"
2000 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Julianna Margulies/DMX"
2001 Mists of Avalon, TheThe Mists of Avalon Morgaine Lead role; 8 episodes
2001 Jenifer Jenifer's Psychiatrist Television film
2003 Hitler: The Rise of Evil Helene Hanfstaengl 2 episodes
2004 Scrubs Neena Broderick 2 episodes
2004 The Grid Maren Jackson Lead role; 2 episodes
2006 The Lost Room Jennifer Bloom Main role; 3 episodes
2006–2007 Sopranos, TheThe Sopranos Julianna Skiff 4 episodes
2008 Canterbury's Law Elizabeth Canterbury Lead role; 6 episodes
2009–2016 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Alicia Florrick Lead role; 156 episodes
2010 Sesame Street Dr. Berger Episode: "Big Bird Sprains His Wing"
2014 Makers: Women Who Make America Narrator Episode: "Women in Business"
2017 Nightcap Herself Episode: "Out of the Box"
2018 Dietland Kitty Montgomery Main role; 10 episodes
2019 The Hot Zone Dr. Nancy Jaax Lead role; 6 episodes
2020 Billions Catherine Brant Recurring role
2020 The Morning Show Laura Peterson Season 2-Present


Year Title Role Venue Ref.
1999 The Vagina Monologues Performer Westside Theatre
2003 The 24 Hour Plays 2003 Molly American Airlines Theatre
2005 Escape: 6 Ways to Get Away 2 Performer Circle in the Square Theatre
2006 Festen Helene Music Box Theatre
2006 The 24 Hour Plays 2006 Adrienne American Airlines Theatre

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Julianna Margulies