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Margo Martindale

Margo Martindale

American actress
Margo Martindale
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
Is Actor Stage actor Television actor Film actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 18 July 1951, Jacksonville, Cherokee County, Texas, USA
Age 69 years
Star sign Cancer
Siblings: Billy Martindale
University of Michigan
Lon Morris College
Harvard University
Peoplepill ID margo-martindale
The details (from wikipedia)


Margo Martindale (born July 18, 1951) is an esteemed American character actress who has appeared on television, film, and onstage. In 2011, she won a Primetime Emmy Award and a Critics' Choice Television Award for her recurring role as Mags Bennett on Justified. Martindale was nominated for an Emmy Award four times for her recurring role as Claudia on The Americans, winning the award in 2015 and 2016. She has played supporting roles in several films, including Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The Hours, Million Dollar Baby, Dead Man Walking, The Firm, Lorenzo's Oil, ...First Do No Harm, Eye of God, Win Win, Marvin's Room, Forged, Orphan, The Savages, Hannah Montana: The Movie, August: Osage County, and Paris, je t'aime.

Martindale was also nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in 2004 for her performance in the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She also voiced a fictionalized version of herself in the Netflix adult-animated show BoJack Horseman.

Early life

Martindale was born July 18, 1951 in Jacksonville, Texas, the youngest of three children and only daughter of William Everett and Margaret (Pruitt) Martindale. In addition to owning and operating a lumber company in Jacksonville, her father was known as a champion dog handler in Texas and throughout the Southern United States.

Her oldest brother is professional golfer and golf course designer Billy Martindale. The middle child, brother Bobby Tim, died in 2004. Margo participated in golf, cheerleading and drama while in school and was crowned "Football Sweetheart" as well as "Miss Jacksonville High School 1969."

Following graduation from Jacksonville High School in 1969, Martindale attended Lon Morris College, then transferred to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, she attended summer courses at Harvard University, appearing onstage with future movie and TV stars Jonathan Frakes and Christopher Reeve.



In the early 1980s, Martindale worked for four years at the Actors Theatre, Louisville, Kentucky. While there she became good friends with fellow actress Kathy Bates.

Martindale made her Broadway debut in 2004 as Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play, for her work in the role.

Prior to that, Martindale had starred in several Off-Broadway stage productions, most notably originating the role of Truvy Jones in the first production of Steel Magnolias Off-Broadway, as well as starring in the first national tour of the play. Other Off-Broadway appearances include Always...Patsy Cline and The Sugar Bean Sisters.


Martindale's film roles include turns as Susan Sarandon's character's fellow nun in Dead Man Walking, and, again with Sarandon, in Lorenzo's Oil. She appeared as Leonardo DiCaprio's character's doctor in Marvin's Room; and as Hilary Swank's character's selfish mother in Million Dollar Baby. Other films include The Human Stain with Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, Nobody's Fool with Paul Newman, 28 Days with Sandra Bullock, Proof of Life with Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan, and Practical Magic, again with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. She was featured in Paris, je t'aime. She played Mama Cox in the 2007 film Walk Hard, played Ruby in Hannah Montana: The Movie and played Miss Elizabeth Ham in the movie Secretariat.

Martindale had a role in August: Osage County (2013), a film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts. She played Mattie Fae Aiken, the sister of lead character Violet Weston (Meryl Streep). Filming took place in the fall and winter of 2012.


Martindale has been described as a character actress.

One of her first television roles came in the miniseries Lonesome Dove. A series of character and guest appearances followed in a wide range of TV shows. Martindale played recurring character Camilla Figg on the first three seasons of Dexter and had a recurring role in the A&E courtroom drama 100 Centre Street with Alan Arkin.

From 2007-08, she had a recurring role as Nina Burns, a neighbor of the Malloy/"Rich" family in The Riches with Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard.

In 2011, Martindale joined the cast of Justified for the second season. She played the role of Mags Bennett, matriarch of the Bennett crime family which controlled much of the drug activity in the fictional version of Harlan County, Kentucky. She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance.

After learning of the nomination, Martindale told CNN she hoped that it would open up more doors for older women in Hollywood. "People really identify with this character [Mags Bennett] and I think it's because it is a character that is powerful and older and extremely mean", she said. She won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the Critics' Choice Television Awards for her role as Mags Bennett.

In February 2012 it was announced Martindale had been cast in the ABC comedy pilot Counter Culture, which was not picked up.

Martindale returned to television in late January 2013 in the spy drama The Americans on FX Network. She plays Claudia, the KGB "handler" of two Soviet spies living in 1980s Cold War America.

She co-starred in the sitcom The Millers on CBS. In 2015, she began a recurring role as Ruth Eastman, Peter Florrick's new campaign manager on The Good Wife. Martindale took up the role of Ruth again in 2018 in season two of The Good Fight, the sequel to The Good Wife. She appears as a fictionalized version of herself on the Netflix animated comedy BoJack Horseman. Her fictional version is easily angered and temperamentally violent, moonlighting as a bank robber and going on frequent criminal heists. BoJack consistently refers to her as "Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale", while most other characters begin addressing her with "Beloved."

Martindale played Audrey Bernhardt, matriarch of the family on the Amazon series Sneaky Pete starring Giovanni Ribisi, for the 2015 pilot, the first season which aired in January 2017, and the second and third seasons as well.


On November 2019, I Spy, a podcast hosted by Martindale and produced by Foreign Policy, was released.

Personal life

Martindale has been married to musician Bill Boals since 1986. They have a daughter, Margaret.

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Film Result
2004 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Nominated
Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Justified Won
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film Nominated
Television Critics Association Award Individual Achievement in Drama Nominated
2013 Online Film & Television Association Award Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2014 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture August: Osage County Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Nominated
2015 Gracie Awards Outstanding Female Actor in a Featured or Guest Role Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Won
2016 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series The Good Wife Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series The Americans Won
2018 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Sneaky Pete Nominated
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 29 Jun 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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